Li Shangyin’s Poetry – – 李商隐《代赠(二首其一)》

Li Shangyin was born about 812 or 813 CE, but the exact date is uncertain. His career was rough, and he never obtained a high position, either because of factional disputes or because of his association with Liu Fen (劉蕡), a prominent opponent of the eunuchs.

 

代赠

(二首其一)

楼上黄昏欲望休,

玉梯横绝[1]月中钩。

芭蕉不展丁香结,

同向春风各自愁。

该诗以一女子的口吻,写她不能与情人相会的愁绪,以芭蕉心之卷缩未伸和丁香花蕊刚刚初露尚未绽放来比喻双方的不解之愁和相思之苦,同时还含有两位缘分未到,天意不助之意,无限惆怅。

注释:

[1]玉梯横绝:华美的楼梯横断,无由得上。

Lovesickness

(I)

At dusk she will not gaze afar in tower high;

The hook-like moon shines on untrodden stairs nearby.

Banana leaves uprolled and lilacs in knot

Reveal their lovesickness the vernal breeze knows not.

Note:Banana and lilacs waiting for the breeze are symbols of the lovesick waiting in vain for their lover.