Li Shangyin’s Poetry – – 李商隐《离亭赋得折杨柳》

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.

 

离亭[1]赋得折杨柳[2]

(二首其一)

暂凭樽酒送无憀[3],

莫损愁眉与细腰。

人世死前唯有别,

春风争拟惜长条。

这是一首讲惜别的诗。前两句和后两句一个谓之勿折杨柳,一个谓之不惜折杨柳,看似矛盾,其实各有深意,极尽表达了惜别之情。

注释:

[1]离亭:离别的驿站。

[2]赋得折杨柳:赋诗来咏折柳送别。

[3]无憀:即无聊,无所依赖,指愁苦。

Breaking Willow Twigs at Parting

(I)

What can I do but pour wine for your broken heart?

Don’t aggravate your eyebrows and waist slender!

Before our death there’s nothing sadder than to part,

Why should the vernal breeze save willow branches tender?

Note:The breaking of a twig from the willow tree was a symbol to show the grief at parting.So the poet urges his lover to break more so as to lessen her grief as if a greater grief might diminish a lesser one.