Qian Qi Poem: To the Returning Wild Geese – 钱起《归雁》








[1] 归雁:指北归的大雁。

[2] 潇湘:潇水和湘江在今湖南永州芝山区北合流后的统称,位于洞庭湖的南面。

[3] 何事:何故;什么原因。

[4] 等闲:无端;轻易;随便。

[5] 二十五弦:指弦乐器瑟。《史记·封禅书》载:或曰:“太帝使素女鼓五十弦瑟,悲,帝禁不止,故破其瑟为二十五弦。”

[6] 不胜:忍受不了。

[7] 却:仍;还。

To the Returning Wild Geese

Qian Qi

Why will you stay on South River no more

With blue water, bright sand and mossy shore?

The moonbeams play on twenty-five sad strings.

Can you not bear the grief the zither brings?

The poet imagines the wild geese fly north for they cannot bear the grief of the princess who plays on a zither of twenty-five strings at the emperor’s death by the riverside.


“To the Returning Wild Geese” is a seven-part poem written by the Tang Dynasty poet Qian Qi. It is a poem written by Qian Qi, a poet of the Tang Dynasty, to express his thoughts on his travels to other countries. With its unique artistic characteristics, the poem has become one of the most famous poems on singing geese.

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