Cen Shen Poem: The Mountainside Bower – 岑参《登总持阁》

Cen Shen – 岑参












[1] 这是一首写景说理诗。第一联写天日,第二联写生死,第三联论高低大小,第四联则明佛家清净自由之理,可以看到佛教对唐代知识分子的影响。总持阁,应为总持寺阁,在终南山山腰之上。

[2] 逼:靠近。

[3] 诸天:佛教认为天上分为多层,最上诸层为神佛所居。

[4] 开:呈现。

[5] 万井:指无边的平原田地。井,井田。

[6] 五陵:指长安。

[7] 槛:栏杆。

[8] 低秦岭:感觉秦岭很低矮。

[9] 小渭川:感觉渭水很细窄。

[10] 清净理:指清心寡欲、远离罪恶的佛理。

[11] 奉:侍奉。

[12] 金仙:指佛祖。

Cen Shen – 岑参

The Mountainside Bower

Cen Shen

High bower scrapes celestial sphere,

When I climb, the sun seems near.

The sunlit trees appear in bloom;

The mist-veiled royal tombs in gloom.

Far-off high mountains low would seem;

Windows belittle flowing stream.

To freedom had I known the way,

I would worship Buddha for age.

Cen Shen – 岑参



This poem is an exhaustive description of the majestic and high height of the Chief Master’s Pavilion. The high pavilion in the poem is a building in the Chief Master’s Temple, which was written in the poem by Cen Shen because it is so high. The logic of the poem is still to write about the scenery first and then add a personal comment at the end. The first and second stanzas exaggerate the towering position of the pavilion in the temple, and the middle four stanzas are about the view from the pavilion. The whole poem is easy to understand, it is about a high pavilion, but at the end it points out the function of this pavilion, which is a Buddhist building for monks to practice. This ending has a lot of connotations, not only explaining the role and location of the pavilion, but also summarizing the characteristics of its environment, i.e., pure and distant.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *