Du Fu: Fenghuang Tower: Poem No. 2

Feng Huang Tower: No. 2

凤 黄 台
君 不 见 潇 湘 之 山 衡 山 高
山 巅 朱 凤 声 嗷 嗷。
侧 身 长 顾 求 其 曹
翅 垂 口 噤 心 甚 劳。
下 悯 百 鸟 在 罗 网
黄 雀 最 小 犹 难 逃。
愿 分 竹 实 及 蝼 蚁
尽 使 鸱 枭 相 怒 号。
Feng Huang Tai


Jun bu jian xiao xiang zhi shan heng shan gao
Shan dian zhu feng sheng ao ao.
Ce shen chang gu qiu qi cao
Chi chui kou jin xin shen lao.

Xia min bai niao zai luo wang
Huang qiao zui xiao you nan tao.
Yuan fen zhu shi ji lou yi
Jin shi chi xiao xiang nu hao.


Feng Huang Tower: Poem No. 2

Flying Red Phoenix
You do not see between the Xiao and Xiang rivers
Mt. Hen is the tallest nearby mountain.
Mountain peaks with a vermilion phoenix that cries out “Ao Ao”
Turn around, looking sideways and long for anyone close by.

Wings hang down, mouth silent, heart-mind bound up and ineffective
Below are one hundred birds inside nets and traps
Even the smallest yellow sparrows find it difficult to escape.
Hope to divvy up my solid bamboo seeds between the crickets and ants
And produce the sparrow hawks to roar and howl among each other.



Xiao and Xiang Rivers:  A lakes and rivers region south of the Changjiang in the province of Hunan. The Xiao River is tributary to the Xiang, which then flows into Dongting Lake.

Mt. Hen:  One of the Five Great Mountains of China. Located in Hunan Province.

Ao-ao: An onomatopoeia (words that mimic natural sounds) that sound like the cries of a phoenix.

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