Shirley Created Music
  Chinese Songs
     Folk Songs
     Art Songs
     Popular Songs
  Bilingual Songs
  Foreign Songs
Instrumental Music

Chinese Classical Poem 135 & Shirley Created Music 135/ Painting 58: Xiao Chi-- A little Pond (By Yang Wanli) - August 21, 2012/ Jan 23, 2012 / Sep 5, 2010 /Ju 23, 2006

Listen to Shirley Singing the Poem in English & Chinese Jan 22, 2012
Listen to Shirley Singing the Poem in Chinese & English Jan 22, 2012

Listen to Shirley Explaining the Poem & Follow Me to Read It

Learn the Meaning of This Poem

See Shirley Created Paintings & Calligraphy for the Poem Jan 23,2012

See Shirley Created Paintings & Calligraphy for the Poem Sep 5,2010

Hello, friends, have you been to China? China is a poetics country. In our daily life, we often use some lines to make our language more implicative but easier to be understood.

For example, when we say something just appears with a little part, the most part of it has been hidden or has not been showed, we often say: Xiao He Cai Lu Jianjian Jiao -- A little lotus leaf just appears with a pointed tip.

This line is from a little poem Xiao Chi -- A little Pool by Song Dynasty((960 - 1279) poet Yang Wangli (1127 - 1206).

About the Poet

Yang Wanling 杨万里    yáng wànlǐ   n.       Yang Wangli (1127 --1206) was from Jizhou (in today’s Jiangsu Province). He was a successful candidate in the highest imperial examinations in 1154. He was a good official in Song Dynasty (960 - 1279). He insisted to fight again the aggression from a north nation -- Jin (1115 - 1234). But, he was excluded and died with a sorrow heart.   

The Song Dynasty included North Song (960-1126) and South Song (1127 - 1279) two phases, Yang Wangli was a famous poet in South Song Dynasty. He is one of the Four Great Masters of South Song and he has a same reputation as You Mao, Fang Dacheng and Lu You in Chinese literature history.
Yand Wanli created over 20,000 poems and now there are still more than 4200 poems in the world.

Enjoy the poem
Xiao Chi ? A little Pool is a very little poem that has written some very interesting small scene with just 4 lines in a beautiful summer day. Via depicting a mouth of a spring, a little streamlet, a shadow of tree, several little lotus leaf and a lovely dragonfly, forms a lively picture of a little pool, shows us a close and harmonious relationship among the things in the nature.   

First two lines: 泉眼无声惜细流,树阴照水爱晴柔 ? The silent mouth of a spring " cherishes"   the little streamlet and lets her flow into the pond quietly; A shadow of the trees is reflected in the water, why? Because it " loves "   the soft view in the sunny day. Bring the reader into a small and exquisite, soft and delightful environment.   

With the wonderful imagination, the poet endowed the nature things lives and feelings of human being: The mouth of the spring Cherish the streamlet, then it lets the water flows silent; the shadow of the tree Loves the soft and fine view in the water, so that it is reflected into the water, too.

No matter the mouth of the spring, the shade of the tree or the dragonfly, they are alive and have lives and feelings as human being, each line is just a picture.

Last two lines: 小荷才露尖尖角,早有蜻蜓立上头 -- A slim lotus leaf just shows a little pointed tip, before it opens her body, a dragonfly has stood on it quickly.

Like a master photographer who can snapshoot a peppy and interesting scene, we have seen: when the time has not been at the midsummer, a lotus leaf just appears with her little pointed tip, a little dragonfly has quickly stood on it. Writes out how both of the lotus leaf and the dragonfly “ enjoy and rely on ”each other.

Yang Wanli claimed the poetry should imitate the nature and learn from the nature. He was quite interested in the natural landscape, very often he used the clear and alive tone and the easy and popular language, described the daily and common views, especially he was good at capturing the character of the views and the transient change, painted out some interesting paintings, there were full of the strong breath of life in his poems.

With this writing style, no matter what small things he wrote, the little flower, little worm or a little bird, they have the feeling of and thoughts of people, vivacity and lovely, be full of wit and humor.

Therefore, now, the little lotus leaf is often used to describe the new people who just begin to show their ability and talent, the dragonfly is just like someone who admires the new people.

Mr. Wang Guowei (1877 -1927) , a versatile, original scholar who made important contributions to the studies of ancient history, epigraphy, philology, vernacular literature and literary theory said:
The poetic priority has big and small, we should not distinguish the excellent or bad according to the big or small of the subject.

Every thing in this poem is small, but, it has written out of the exquisite feelings and the tasteful stories via capturing a detail of life. It is really great.

I translated it, created a piece of music for it and wrote a comment about it on July 23, 2006, September 5, 2010 and Chinese New Year vacation in 2012. I really hope my effort will be some help with you to learn Chinese culture and language.

Translation of the Poem

A Little Pond

By Yang Wangli (Song Dynasty)

The silent mouth of a spring cherishes the thin streamlet,
The shadow of the trees is reflected in the water, it loves the scene in the sunshine.
A little lotus leaf just appears with a pointed tip,   
Quickly a dragonfly stands on it.

Chinese Characters & Pronunciations:

You can click any Chinese Character to open the New Character Board and to see its Chinese pinyin, meaning, pronunciation and follow my reading,   you can also click the links over to enter the Painting Column,or you can directly enter the art notes on the painting that I created for this poem to see my painting and art notes for the poem

小池 - Xiǎo Chí

杨万里   ( 宋 ) - Yáng Wànlǐ ( Sòng )

泉眼无声惜细流 - Quányǎn wúshēng xī xìlíu,
树阴照水爱晴柔 - shùyīn zhàoshuǐ ài qíng róng。
小荷才露尖尖角 - Xiǎo hé cái lù jiānjiān jiǎo,
早有蜻蜓立上头 - zǎoyǒu qīngtíng lì shàngtóu。

If you have any questions, comments and suggestions, please write to or You are welcome to publish your opinions in Message Board as well.

Shirley Zhang

Shirley Wrote, Painted, Translated, Sang & Recorded the Content over Jan 20, 2012/ Sep 5, 2010/ July 23, 2006