Li Shangyin’s Poetry – – 李商隐《安定城楼》

Li Shangyin 李商隱 Lǐ Shāngyǐn (812-858) is the love poet par excellence in the Chinese tradition. His poems, particularly his ‘Untitled Poems’, set a trend for later Chinese love poetry.

 

安定[1]城楼

迢递[2]高城百尺楼,

绿杨枝外尽汀洲。

贾生[3]年少虚垂泪,

王粲[4]春来更远游。

永忆江湖归白发,

欲回天地入扁舟。

不知腐鼠成滋味,

猜意鸳雏[5]竟未休。

春风吹柳的季节,诗人登上泾源古城头——安定城楼,纵目远眺,看到朝政的混乱,腐败势力的横行,有理想和才干的人无从施展自己的抱负,心中不禁生起了哀国忧时和自伤身世的无穷感触。此诗意境深远,充分表达了诗人的博大胸怀,备受后人推崇。尤其“永忆江湖归白发,欲回天地入扁舟”一句,使后人颇为赞赏,常诵常新,回味无穷。

注释:

[1]安定:郡名,即泾州,今甘肃省平凉市泾川县北,唐代泾原节度使的治所。

[2]迢递:此形容楼高而且连续绵延。

[3]贾生:贾谊(前200年—前168年),西汉初年著名政论家、文学家,世称贾生。

[4]王粲:东汉末年人,建安七子之一。年轻时曾流寓荆州,依附刘表,但并不得志。

[5]鸳雏:古代传说中一种像凤凰的鸟。

On the Tower of the City Wall

From hundred-foot-high city wall I look afar;

Beyond green willow branches sandy islets are.

I remember a student while young shed vain tears,

And a famed scholar roamed in the spring of his years.

I can’t forget white-haired General on the lake floating

After changing the face of the world he went boating.

An owl might feed on dead rats with good appetite,

But a phoenix would perch on trees of lofty height.

Note:The poet compares himself with two unsuccessful scholars,regrets his failure to realize his ideal like the general and shows his disdain for those who seek fortune and fame.