Wang Wei Poems: A Captive Lady – 王维《息夫人》










A Captive Lady

Think not the royal favor of these years

Could efface her love for the vanquished king.

The sight of flowers fills her eyes with tears,

She won’t tell the conqueror anything.

《息夫人》是唐代诗人王维所作的一首五绝。 此诗巧妙而恰切地以息夫人的史事设喻,来描写卖饼人的妻子不忘旧爱。前两句写女子不慕眼前的宠幸,怀恋贫贱之交。以“莫以”、“难忘”构成一个否定的条件句,反衬出息夫人和息国君主旧日的恩情很深,显示了淫威和富贵并不能征服弱小者的心。后两句写被人夺志的哀怨,花虽美而泪眼相对,对在她身边的楚王却一言不发,进一步写出女子不为荣华富贵所迷惑的志向。前两句隐去叙述,突出情理,后两句描绘形象,寓情其中。短短二十个字,句句叙事,却句句都是情语,表达委婉含蓄,而又情理俱到。既吟咏了史事,又讽喻了现实,塑造了一个受着屈辱而在沉默反抗的妇女形象,又概括了类似这样一些由统治阶级的荒淫无耻而造成的社会悲剧。

“A Captive Lady” is a poem written by Wang Wei, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. The poem cleverly and aptly uses the historical incident of Lady Xi as a metaphor to depict the wife of a biscuit seller who never forgets her old love. The first two lines are about a woman who does not admire her immediate favor and misses her poor friend. The first two lines are about the woman’s love for the poor and the poor. The last two lines are about the sorrow of being taken away from her. Although the flower is beautiful and her eyes are in tears, she does not say a word to the king of Chu who is beside her, further writing about the woman’s ambition not to be confused by glory and wealth. The first two lines conceal the narrative and highlight the sentiment, while the second two lines depict the image and imply emotion. In just twenty words, each sentence is a narrative, but each sentence is a love story, and the expression is subtle and subtle, while the sentiment and reasoning are at the same time. It is not only a recitation of historical events, but also a satire of reality, creating an image of a woman who is humiliated but silently resists, and summarizing some social tragedies like these caused by the shamelessness of the ruling class.

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