"Returning to Dwell in Gardens and Fields I"
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This paper reviews and discusses "Returning to Dwell in Gardens and Fields I," written by Tao Qian. It describes his work as an elegant and rather autobiographical poem and describes the context in which Qian wrote it. The paper discusses the content of Qian's poetry and the messages that are revealed through it to the contemporary reader.
From the Paper:"As Owen expressed it, the mistake might be made, the poem seems to be saying, of mistaking Tao Qian for a farmer, for he may be seen to work at clearing scrub from the edges of his property, but he explains in the poem that he does not compare himself to the farmers, or to the officials known in the cities, so much as he speaks to humanity or understanding persons, of whatever origin, who might sense the reasons for his choice and departure from a town life that others might very much covet. (See Mirror 234) His poem has done as Tao Qian feels he must, in explaining himself. He writes as though knowing his reader will understand, perhaps a person like himself faced with similar realizations, or having made similar choices. The whole idea of true nature is debatable in that the poet argues he belongs where he was in youth whereas other readers will argue that as a self-conscious farmer, able to describe his present life in relation to something else, that Tao Qian is forever differentiated. As Owen points out, Tao Qian stresses the unity of the self and of the chosen role but even these give away his doubleness, the reader learning how to presume nothing from surfaces and wondering "how inner and outer can be brought together, again." (Mirror 79)"
Sample of Sources Used:
- Owen, Stephen. "The Self's Perfect Mirror - Poetry as Autobiography, from The Validity of the Lyric Voice reproduced in East Asian Studies 209Y, Approaches to East Asia course materials, "Secondary Sources." (University of Toronto, Fall 2006), p. 230f.
- Tao Qian. "Returning to Dwell in Garden and Fields I," from An Anthology of Chinese Literature reproduced in East Asian Studies 209Y, Approaches to East Asia course materials, "Primary Sources." (University of Toronto, Fall 2006), p. 134.
Cite this Poem Review:
"Returning to Dwell in Gardens and Fields I" (2008, February 18) Retrieved October 25, 2014, from http://www.academon.com/poem-review/returning-to-dwell-in-gardens-and-fields-i-101062/
""Returning to Dwell in Gardens and Fields I"" 18 February 2008. Web. 25 October. 2014. <http://www.academon.com/poem-review/returning-to-dwell-in-gardens-and-fields-i-101062/>