A Polished Performance

Chen Shaomei (1909-1954)

A Polished Performance

Citizens of the polished capital
Sigh for the towns up country,
And their innocent simplicity.

People in the towns up country
Applaud the unpolished innocence
Of the distant villages.

Dwellers in the distant villages
Speak of a simple unspoilt girl,
Living alone, deep in the bush.

Deep in the bush we found her,
Large and innocent of eye,
Among gentle gibbons and mountain ferns.

Perfect for the part, perfect,
Except for the dropsy
Which comes from polished rice.

In the capital our film is much admired
Its gentle gibbons and mountain ferns,
Unspoilt, unpolished, large and innocent of eye.

by D. J. Enright

Chinese brush painting
Gibbons at Play, Emperor Xuanzong (1399-1435), Ming dynasty Hanging scroll, ink and colors on paper.

 Kasamatsu Japanese Woodblock Print Rice Planting 1953

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