So Said Wang Wei

The reduplication in this poem by Wang Wei for me provides a mimetic commentary on the actions of the birds.

Vast vast the water falls

              where the white egrets fly

Dark dark the summer trees

              where the yellow orioles sing

from "Written at my house near the Wang River at a time of incessant rain" collected in Poems of Wang Wei translated by G.W. Robinson. And indeed the repetition reminds one of the persistent rain.

I love Robinson's note on these lines:

Though literary allusion, involving mild plagiarism, is an essential feature of Chinese literature, some critics feel that here Wang Wei, always particularly inclined to plagarise, has gone too far. He has taken two successive five-syllable lines from the T'ang poet, Li Chia-yu, and tacked on a pair of reduplicated expressions at the beginning (vast vast, dark dark). But it is also argued that he has greatly enhanced the feeling of two otherwise banal descriptive lines.

And so for day 692