苦吟 – Chinese philosophy and culture

kǔyín 苦吟

Painstaking Versification

指唐代诗人贾岛(779—843)创作时苦思冥想、反复吟哦的创作方法。苦吟诗人多困顿失意,所以苦吟也被视为诗人借诗解愁的一种方式。有时也指从事文艺创作时精益求精的创作态度。

The Tang-dynasty poet Jia Dao (779-843) found composing his poems quite a painful process, and his creative method was to chant his verses repeatedly to get the right line. Those engaged in “painstaking versification” tended to be exhausted and frustrated, and their poetry is regarded as a way of relief for their sorrows. Sometimes, the term also refers to a perfectionist attitude to literary and artistic creation.

引例 Citations:

◎两句三年得,一吟双泪流。(贾岛《题诗后》)

(两句好诗三年才写出来,一朝吟出不禁泪流满面。)

It took me three years to get two lines right. / So when I chanted them, my tears flowed. (Jia Dao: After Finishing a Poem)

◎吟安一个字,捻断数茎须。(卢延让《苦吟》)

(琢磨出一个恰当的字,捻断了好几根胡须。)

Chanting in search of the right word, / I twisted off several hairs of my beard. (Lu Yanrang: Painstaking Versification)

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