Buddhist Dancers
- Poetry of Li Bai (Li Po)

《菩萨蛮·平林漠漠烟如织》

- Last updated: 2024-03-24 16:39:25

Buddhist Dancers by Li Bai (Li Po)
中文原文

平林漠漠烟如织,寒山一带伤心碧。

暝色入高楼,有人楼上愁。

玉阶空伫立,宿鸟归飞急。

何处是归程?长亭更短亭。(更短亭 一作:连短亭)


English Translation

O'er far-flung wooded plain wreaths of smoke weave a screen,

Cold mountains stretch into a belt of sorrowful green.

The dusk invades the tower high

Where someone sighs a longing sigh.

On marble steps she waits in vain

But to see birds fly back amain.

Where should she gaze to find her dear?

She sees but stations far and near.

As early as the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127),this poem and the following were considered to be the two earliest literary lyrics written by Li Bai (701-762).This poem describes the sorrow of a young woman who mounts a high tower at dusk,looks far into the wooded plain and the belt-like mountains,but fails to find her husband oh his way home.

Why Chinese poems is so special?
The most distinctive features of Chinese poetry are: concision- many poems are only four lines, and few are much longer than eight; ambiguity- number, tense and parts of speech are often undetermined, creating particularly rich interpretative possibilities; and structure- most poems follow quite strict formal patterns which have beauty in themselves as well as highlighting meaningful contrasts.
How to read a Chinese poem?
Like an English poem, but more so. Everything is there for a reason, so try to find that reason. Think about all the possible connotations, and be aware of the different possibilities of number and tense. Look for contrasts: within lines, between the lines of each couplet and between successive couplets. Above all, don't worry about what the poet meant- find your meaning.

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