Han Yu: Jesting With Zhang Ji

Jesting With Zhang Ji

调 张 籍
李 杜 文 章 在
光 焰 万 丈 长。
不 知 群 儿 愚
那 用 故 谤 伤!
蚍 蜉 撼 大 树
可 笑 不 自 量。
伊 我 生 其 后
举 颈 遥 相 望。
夜 梦 多 见 之
昼 思 反 微 茫。
徒 观 斧 凿 痕
不 瞩 治 水 航。
想 当 施 手 时
巨 刃 磨 天 扬。
垠 崖 划 崩 豁
乾 坤 摆 雷 蜋。
惟 此 两 夫 子
家 居 率 荒 凉。
帝 欲 长 吟 哦
故 遣 起 且 僵。
剪 翎 送 笼 中
使 看 百 鸟 翔。
平 生 千 万 篇
金 薤 垂 琳 琅。
仙 宫 敕 六 丁
雷 电 下 取 将。
流 落 人 间 者
太 山 一 毫 芒。
我 愿 生 两 翅
捕 逐 出 八 荒。
精 诚 忽 交 通
百 怪 入 我 肠。
剌 手 拔 鲸 牙
举 瓢 酌 天 浆。
腾 身 跨 汗 漫
不 著 织 女 襄。
顾 语 地 上 友
经 营 无 太 忙。
乞 君 飞 霞 佩
与 我 高 颉 颃。
Tiao Zhang Ji

Li du wen zhang zai
Guang yan wan zhang chang.
Bu zhi qun er yu
Na yong gu bang shang!

Pi fu han da shu
Ke xiao bu zi liang.
Yi wo sheng qi hou
Ju jing yao xiang wang.

Ye meng duo jian zhi
Zhou si fan wei mang.
Tu guan fu zao hen
Bu zhu zhi shui hang.

Xiang dang shi shou shi
Ju ren mo tian yang.
Yin ya hua beng huo
Qian kun bai lei lang.

Wei ci liang fu zi
Jia ju shuai huang liang.
Di yu chang yin e
Gu qian qi qie jiang.

Jian ling song long zhong
Shi kan bai niao xiang.
Ping sheng qian wan pian
Jin xie chui lin lang.

Xian gong chi liu ding
Lei dian xia qu jiang.
Liu luo ren jian zhe
Tai shan yi hao mang.

Wo yuan sheng liang chi
Pu zhu chu ba huang.
Jing cheng hu jiao tong
Bai guai ru wo chang.

La shou ba jing ya
Ju piao zhuo tian jiang.
Teng shen kua han man
Bu zhu zhi nu xiang.

Gu yu di shang you
Jing ying wu tai mang.
Qi jun fei xia pei
Yu wo gao xie hang.


Jesting With Zhang Ji

Li Bai and Du Fu writings exist
They are flaming radiances thousands of feet long.
Their critics like a foolish group of children
Thinking of how they can utilize the wounds of slander.

Like little ants trying to shake big trees
Laugh at their unnatural attempts.
I was born after both of their passing
Strain my neck to see them off in the distance.

Many times see them in night time dreams
During daylight hours try to imagine them through the mists.
Believers see the chisels and axes pulverize the mountains
Cannot see how Da Yu controlled the rivers and boats.

Take for granted the time of his intent and skill
Raised his large and sharp sword up to the sky.
Boundary crags crack and crumble into pieces
All the universe of yin and yang thunders like the sounds of water dashing upon the rocks.

Only these two poets are high-level masters
They are now under the desolate, uncultivated land.
Heavenly emperor wants to softly chant their poems
Would it not be a good reason to dispatch them down to earth again.

Being down here would be like the trimming of their feathers
Watch as hundreds of immortals flying circles in the air.
They wrote thousands of poems about human experiences
The written characters done in gold leaf and beautiful jade.

Palace of immortals gave the order for the six deities to snatch them
Took them with the power of thunder and lightning.
The deities also grabbed almost all of their poems
Like taking one writing brush next to the peaks of Mt. Tai.

My fervent hope is to sprout two wings
To pursue and catch, flying into the eight boundless directions.
With good faith, suddenly can communicate with them
Their one hundred daemons enter my insides.

With skills, I can now pull the teeth out of a whale
Begin to ladle out their heavenly and thick wine elixir.
Astride my body, ascend up into the heavens
By myself, without the assistance of the Weaver Girl.

Tell my land-based friends to join me attending to these heavenly poems
You are too busy working to appreciate these two poetic masters.
Implore you to fly among the rosy clouds of dawn wearing clothes of the immortals
Together, when can we lift our heads and fly into the blue skies.



Li Bai: (701-762):  Tang Dynasty poet and considered one of the best. See this website for biographical information and translated poems

Du Fu: (712-770)  Tang Dynasty poet, friends with Li Bai, and also considered one of China’s best. See this website for biographical information and translated poems.

Da Yu: (2200-2101 BC)  Also known as Yu the Great. Legendary tamer of floods, founder of the Xia Dynasty, and one of China’s sage rulers. His dynasty set the precedence for continuing dynastic rulers.

Mt. Tai:  Eastern of the Five Great Mountains of China located in Shandong Province with many ancient sacred ceremonial centers.

Weaver Girl:  Along with Cowherd, were the lovers of a famous folk tale and love story. Only once a year could they see each other. Weaver Girl was the star Vega, and Cowherd the star Altair. They had to traverse a bridge of magpies to reunite on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. Also known as the Chinese version of Valentines Day.

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