Li Shangyin’s Poetry – – 李商隐《银河吹笙》

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.

 

银河吹笙

怅望银河吹玉笙[1],

楼寒院冷接平明。

重衾[2]幽梦[3]他年断,

别树[4]羁雌[5]昨夜惊。

月榭故香因雨发,

风帘残烛隔霜清。

不须浪作缑山意[6],

湘瑟[7]秦箫自有情。

本诗打破了时间与空间的顺序和逻辑联系,跳跃性极强,但也显得晦涩难懂。首联写吹笙的环境;颔联写吹笙的内容;联写眼前景物,虚实结合,情景交融;尾联抒发诗人的梦想与执着。构思实在巧妙。

注释:

[1]玉笙:笙之美称。

[2]重衾:两层衾被,借以喻男女欢会。

[3]幽梦:隐约不明之梦境。

[4]别树:树的斜枝。

[5]羁雌:失偶之雌鸟。

[6]缑山意:指入道修仙。缑山,即缑氏山,在今河南省偃师市东南。刘向《列仙传·王子乔》:“王子乔者,周灵王太子晋,好吹笙,道士浮丘公接以上嵩山成仙。三十余年后,乘白鹤于山头,举手谢时人,数日乃去。”李白《凤笙篇》:“绿云紫气向函关,访道应寻缑氏山。”

[7]湘瑟:湘灵鼓瑟,即湘水女神鼓瑟传情。

Playing on Flute in Sight of the Silver River

Gazing on Milky Way,on flute of jade I play

In bower and courtyard cold near the break of day.

Gone are sweet dreams in heavy quilt of bygone year;

A lonely bird on lonely tree shivers with fear.

Fragrance of moonlit bower spreads out with the rain;

Flickering candle flame and frost sing the retrain.

Why should you go on crane divine to Heaven high?

The music played by fairies would bring you to the sky.

Note:The last line says in conclusion that the music played by fairies would bring a lonely heart to the sky as a crane divine does.