A Picture of the Rooster 画鸡

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Huà Jī
画 鸡

Táng Yín (Míng )
唐寅(明)

Tóu shàng hóng guān bú yòng cái,
头 上 红 冠 不 用 裁,

mǎn shēn xuě bái zǒu jiāng lái.
满 身 雪 白 走 将 来。

Shēng píng bù gǎn qīng yān yǚ,
生 平 不 敢 轻 言 语,

yí jiào qiān mén wàn hù kāi.
一 叫 千 门 万 户 开。

A Picture of the Rooster

Tang Yin (Ming)

A crimson comb untrimmed on the head,

All in white, a rooster walks nearby.

In his life seldom a single sound he’s made,

But thousands of doors soon open to his cry.

Comment:

This poem is an inscription on the painting of a rooster, in which the poet uses easy, colloquial language to picture a big, proud white rooster with the bright red crest. In the later part of the verse the poet enhances the image of the bird by asserting that he seldom crows during the day but at the peep of dawn thousands of households open their doors to his loud cries.

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