Li Bai Poem: Hard Is the Way of the World – 李白《行路难》










[1] 行路难:古乐府“杂曲歌辞”调名,内容多写世路艰难和离别悲伤之意,多以“君不见”开头。原诗有三首,这是第一首。

[2] 樽:古代盛酒的器具。

[3] 斗十千:形容酒价昂贵。

[4] 玉盘:玉制的盘子。

[5] 珍羞:精美的食品。羞,同“馐”。直,同“值”。

[6] 箸(zhù):筷子。

[7] 太行(hánɡ):山名,位于山西河北交界处。

[8] 垂钓碧溪上:据《史记·齐太公世家》载,吕尚(姜太公)曾在渭水边垂钓,后来遇到周文王,被重用。

[9] 乘舟梦日边:传说伊尹在受成汤重用前,曾梦见自己乘船经过日月旁边。

[10] 歧路:岔路。

[11] 长风破浪:比喻远大抱负得以实现。据《宋书·宗悫传》载:宗悫(què)少年时,叔父宗炳问他的志向,他说:“愿乘长风破万里浪。”

[12] 云帆:像白云一样的船帆。

[13] 济:渡过。

[14] 沧海:大海。

Hard Is the Way of the World

Li Bai

Pure wine in golden cup costs ten thousand coins, good!

Choice dish in a jade plate is worth as much, nice food!

Pushing aside my cup and chopsticks. I can’t eat;

Drawing my sword and looking round, I hear my heart beat.

I can’t cross Yellow River: ice has stopped its flow;

I can’t climb Mount Taihang: the sky is blind with snow.

I poise a fishing pole with ease on the green stream

Or set sail for the sun like the sage in a dream.

Hard is the way. Hard is the way.

Don’t go astray! Whither today?

A time will come to ride the wind and cleave the waves;

I’ll set my cloud-like sail to cross the sea which raves.

The poet sighs for the hard way of the world, but he will brave the wind and waves to cross the sea of perils.


Three Poems on the Difficulties of Walking on the Road” is a group of poems by Li Bai, a great poet of the Tang Dynasty. These three poems express the poet’s feelings after encountering hardships on the political road, reflecting the poet’s contradiction of not wanting to be with the powerful and noble but also not wanting to be alone. It is the waves of emotions stirred up by this unresolvable contradiction that make this group of poems extraordinary. The poem’s ups and downs, leaps of thought, and high momentum give the work a unique artistic charm, and it has become a famous poem widely recited by later generations.

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