Yuan Zhen Poem: Dream and No Dream – 元稹《酬乐天频梦微之》

[1]乐天频梦微之[2]

元稹

山水万重[3]书断绝,

念君怜我梦相闻。

我今因病魂颠倒,

唯梦闲人不梦君。

注释:

[1] 酬:应和;酬答。

[2] 微之:元稹,字微之。

[3] 山水万重:形容路途非常遥远。

Dream and No Dream

Yuan Zhen

Letters can’t pass over thousands of mountains and streams.

How much I thank you for you have sent me your dreams.

I’m sorry that in illness I can’t tell old friends from new;

I dream of indifferent people, but not you.

The poet who has not dreamed of his friend sends him as much friendship as his friend who has.

《酬乐天频梦微之》是唐代诗人元稹所写的一首七言绝句。此诗约写于元和十二年(817)前后。当时元稹贬通州司马,白居易谪江州司马,一南一北,相隔数千里之遥。加之“山水万重”,音信不通,只有梦中相见。白居易多次梦见元稹,并作诗相告。这首诗就是酬答乐天“频梦”之作。
志同道合、交谊深厚的朋友,总希望经常见面,如果分开了,就希望经常通信,而如果山长水远,连通信都不方便,那便只有梦中相见,以慰离怀了。白居易屡次梦见元稹,作诗相告,正表现了这种生活常情,如此诗前两句所写的。但元稹收到白居易这首诉说衷肠的诗篇的时候,正在病中。由于生病,精神就颠倒了。经常想念的好友不曾出现于梦中,而一向没有想到过的“闲人”却屡次在梦中出现,这就更使自己感到离群索居的悲痛了。以梦中相见代替实际相见,已令人感到惆怅,何况梦中也不曾相见。这是深入一层的写法。前两句属白,后两句属己,以白之频频梦己,与己之因病未尝梦白对照,事异情同。写入梦以见相思之切,人之所同;写不入梦而仍见相思之切,则是己之所独。这是此诗别开生面之处。
这首诗纯用白描,几乎没有设色布景,而人物形象生动,情调也感人肺腑。

The poem “Dream and No Dream” is a seven-line poem written by Yuan Zhen, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. The poem was written around the 12th year of Yuanhe (817). At that time, Yuan Zhen was relegated to Tongzhou and Bai Juyi was relegated to Jiangzhou. The distance between them was thousands of miles, and there was no communication between them, so they only saw each other in their dreams. Bai Juyi dreamed of meeting Yuan Zhen many times and wrote a poem to tell him. This poem is a reply to Lotian’s “frequent dreams”.
The poem is a reply to Lotte’s “frequent dreams”. Friends who share the same interests and have deep friendship always want to meet often, and if they are separated, they want to communicate often. Bai Juyi repeatedly dreamed of Yuan Zhen and wrote a poem to tell him about it, which shows this common feeling of life, as written in the first two lines of the poem. However, when Yuan Zhen received this poem from Bai Juyi, he was sick. As a result of his illness, his mind was turned upside down. The close friend whom he often missed did not appear in his dream, but the “idle man” whom he had never thought of appeared in his dream again and again, which made him feel the sorrow of being isolated. The fact that we see each other in our dreams instead of actually seeing each other is already a cause for despair, not to mention that we never see each other in our dreams either. This is a deeper writing style. The first two lines belong to Bai and the last two lines belong to oneself, contrasting Bai’s frequent dreams of oneself with one’s own dreams of Bai due to illness, which are different and the same. The first two lines belong to Bai, and the second two lines belong to him. This is what makes this poem unique.
The poem is purely in white, with almost no coloring and scenery, but the characters are vivid and the mood is touching.

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