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Chinese is romanised in hanyu pinyin.

Seeking the recluse but not finding him

This is probably the most famous of Jia Dao's poems, it is also representative of his style which emphasises simplicity. The theme is simple but the images evoked are vivid.


Sōng xià wèn tóng zǐ
Yán shī cǎi yào qù
zhǐ zài cǐ shān zhōng
Yún shēn bù zhī chù

Beneath the pine tree, I ask the boy
And he replies, "My master has gone to gather herbs.
I only know he is in these mountains
But the clouds are thick and I do not know where he is."

(This translation by gak 27 July 2003)