Two Poems about the Start of Winter by Chou Yuan  

The Start of Winter (Ⅰ)

The drizzle brings to get cold, Frost has not yet been seen. Leaves of the tree in the front yard, Half yellow, half green. The late autumn has just left, Where’s the fragrance of plum blossoms?

The Start of Winter (Ⅱ)

The aroma of tea circles the magnificent mountain, The drizzle dampens the felt. The winter comes early this year, My brown robe has not been filled with cotton yet.

About the poet: Chou Yuan (1247-1326), also named Renjin or Renfu, lived in the late Song Dynasty (960-1279) and the early Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). He was born in Zhejiang province. As he lived in the Chou Mountain, he addressed himself as “Shancun Min” (a person of the mountain). He was a famous litterateur and calligrapher. As an old adherent of the past dynasty, it was hard for him to find his position in the new dynasty, which was founded and led by the Mongolian nationality. At that time, authority was held by the other nationality, so most litterateurs had no chance to be officials. Moreover, they were loyal to the dynasty of when they were born. Chou Yuan would lose himself in nature most of the time. However, in the lines of his poems, the melancholy feeling still can be seen.

Edited and translated by Zhang Min

Editor: Wen Yi

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