In Translation: April in the Countryside // 乡村四月

Photo: © Olga Breydo. All Rights Reserved.

Weng Juan (Song) was a poet of the Southern Song Dynasty. This poem by Weng Juan (Song) is translated from the Chinese by co-translators Gary Young and Yanwen Xu. The original Chinese follows the English translation.

April in the Countryside

The mountains are green, the wetlands white with the reflection of the sky.
The cry of the cuckoos can be heard through the mist.
In April, there are few idle hands in the village.
Finished with silkworm and mulberry, it’s time now to plant rice.




About the Author

Little is know about Weng Juan, a poet of the Southern Song Dynasty, whose precise birth and death dates are a mystery. We know that he failed to pass the Imperial Examinations, and spent his life in a remote mountain village. This poem, “April in the Countryside,” is greatly admired in China, where it is represented in many anthologies and textbooks.

About the Co-Translators

Gary Young’s most recent books are That’s What I Thought, winner of the Lexi Rudnitsky Editor’s Choice Award from Persea Books, and Precious Mirror, translations from the Japanese published by White Pine Press. His many honors include the Shelley Memorial Award, and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. He teaches creative writing and directs the Cowell Press at UC Santa Cruz.

Yanwen Xu was born in Xuzhou, China. He now studies and writes at UC Santa Cruz.

Appears In

Issue 6

Browse Issues