Huang Tingjian Poem: The Mourning Day– 黄庭坚《清明》

Huang Tingjian – 黄庭坚












[1] 《千家诗》注说:“桃李遇清明而盛开,故曰笑。荒冢遇寒食祭扫而生悲,故曰愁。斯时也,春雷发而龙蛇起蛰,春雨足而草木皆新。因祭祀而忆齐人乞食于坟间,见禁烟而哀子推之焚死。盖介子推割股以救晋文公,文公即位,而赏不及,故子推耻言功而隐于绵谷,文公思而求之不得,使人召之不出,乃焚其山,意其必出,子推终不肯出而焚死。晋人哀之,以其死于清明前三日,故于此三日皆禁火不举,至清明乃祀之。禁烟之节,盖本于此。然子推之廉,齐人之贫,皆何在哉?往古来今,蓬蒿满眼,荒冢累累,惟黄土一丘而已。人生一世,何不及时而行乐乎!”这个注解说明了寒食节禁烟的起源,是介子推有大功而不得赏,因此宁愿烧死也不做官,说明古人尊重知识分子的气节。但在今天看来,为了赏赐不公就宁死不仕,反倒说明自己重仕轻生了,其实大可不必。

[2] 桃李笑:指桃李花朵盛开,犹如笑脸。

[3] 荒冢:长满杂草的坟墓。

[4] 蛰:动物蛰伏冬眠。

[5] 草木柔:指草木长出嫩芽。

[6] 士甘焚死不公侯:介子推宁肯被烧死也不愿意出山为官。

[7] 蓬蒿:杂草。

[8] 共:都,同。

[9] 丘:坟墓。

Huang Tingjian – 黄庭坚


The Mourning Day

Huang Tingjian

On Mourning Day smiling peach and plum flowers blow;

In dreary fields and graveyards grief and sorrow grow.

The thunder startles dragons and snakes on the plain;

The trees and grass are softened by plenty of rain.

The poor may beg for the remnants of sacrifice;

The sage forgotten would not serve at any price.

Who can since long ago tell the fool from the wise?

There’s but one graveyard with briars before our eyes.

Huang Tingjian – 黄庭坚


“The Mourning Day” is a poem written by Huang Tingjian, a poet of the Northern Song Dynasty, who was touched by the scenery during the Qingming Festival. The poem uses many contrasts. The first couplet is “Peach and plum laughing” versus “Grave sorrow”; the third couplet is “Animals lying dormant” versus “Grass and trees growing “In the neck line, “the shameless beggar” is contrasted with “the faithful hermit”, which is a sharp contrast and provokes people to think; in the last line, the poet expresses his feeling that both the wise and the foolish are covered with yellow earth in the end. The poet contrasts the vibrancy of nature with the inescapable fate of death in the human world, expressing a negative and vain thought, and expressing the poet’s lament for the impermanence of life and his indignation against social injustice.

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