Liu Yuxi Poem: Willow Branch Song (Ⅰ) – 刘禹锡《杨柳枝词(其一)》








[1] 梅花:指汉乐府横吹曲中的《梅花落》曲,用笛子吹奏。

[2] 桂树:指代《楚辞》中的《招隐士》篇。相传西汉淮南王刘安门客小山之徒作《招隐士》篇来哀悼屈原。

Willow Branch Song (Ⅰ)

Liu Yuxi

The flute played on “Mume Blossoms” on Northern Frontier,

“The Laurel Branch” to Southern River shore was dear.

They were sung in the former dynasties for long.

Now listen to my newly composed “Willow Song” .


The poem “Willow Branch Song (Ⅰ)” is a seven-line poem written by Bai Juyi, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. The first two lines of the poem are about the beauty of the willow tree, and the poet focuses on the willow, showing the dynamics, form and color of its material. The second two lines are about the poet’s evaluation of the willow tree and his own, because the place where the willow tree was born was not allowed to get its place and could not be appreciated by people, implying that the willow tree was not met with talent and was unjust, implicitly attacking the talent selection mechanism and relevant government officials at that time.

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