Zhang Ji Poem: Song on River Xiang – 张籍《湘江曲》







Song on River Xiang

Zhang Ji

The River Xiang unruffled in autumn looks wide;

The wayfarer at moonset leaves the riverside.

We see wayfarers come, we see wayfarers go.

Over white duckweed partridges fly to and fro.

In this quatrain the wayfarers are compared to partridges flying to and fro.


Xiangjiang River Song” is a poem written by Zhang Ji, a poet of the Tang Dynasty, when he was traveling in Hunan Province. The poem’s lines are shallow and deep, seemingly ordinary but strange. The first line of the poem illustrates the vastness of space; the second line illustrates the quietness of time; the last two lines describe the farewell scene. The second two lines are about the farewell scene, which expresses the poet’s feelings of farewell to his friends. The poem is rich in the flavor of folk songs, with twists and turns in its simplicity, and the best taste in its simplicity.

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