Du Fu Poem: Winter Solstice – 杜甫《小至》












[1] 《千家诗》注说:“添线者,言冬至后,日渐长,以女工之,当刺绣时,多添一线之工夫也。吹灰,古者以葭莩之灰,置管内吹之。冬至前灰飞向下,至后则灰飞向上也。言冬至一阳生,天气渐长,阳气渐舒,岸柳山梅,皆将舒放。父子虽在异乡,而云烟景物不殊故园,教儿且进杯酒,弗负此佳景也。”这是描写冬至的风俗景物诗。小至,冬至的前一天。

[2] 日相催:逐日催促,指时光流逝之快。

[3] 冬至阳生:古人认为冬至的时候阳气已经初动。

[4] 五纹:五色花纹。

[5] 弱线:丝线。

[6] 吹葭六管:古时将芦灰放入玉管之内,以预测节气。葭,芦苇茎内的薄膜。

[7] 岸容:河边的景色。

[8] 腊:腊月,即农历十二月。

[9] 山意:山色。

[10] 冲寒:冲掉寒气。

[11] 云物:指自然风光。

[12] 不殊:没有不同。

[13] 覆:倾倒。

Winter Solstice

Du Fu

Heaven and earth press for a change from day to day;

On winter solstice spring will come without delay.

The embroiderer adds in an hour one more thread;

When six reed pipes are blown, up and down ashes spread.

The rivershores wait to be greened by willow trees;

The coldproof mountain sets mume blossoms at release.

The scenery here looks fine as in our homeland;

I tell my son to drink up the cup in his hand.



The poem “Winter Solstice ” is a seven-line poem written by Du Fu, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. The first couplet of the poem gives an account of the time, and the word “hurry” sets the tone of the poem; the first couplet describes the activities of people, and the third couplet describes the changes of natural scenery, giving people a sense of joy that the weather is getting warmer and spring is approaching; the last couplet turns to the poet’s thought of being in a foreign country and he cannot help but feel sad, so he invites his son to drink together to dispel his sorrow. The poem is typical in its choice of material, with “events”, “scenery” and “feelings”, and the emotion is generated by the scenery, full of strong interest in life and not generalized.

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