Li Shangyin Poem: To the Willow Tree – 李商隐《柳》

[1]

李商隐

曾逐东风[2]拂舞筵,

乐游春苑[3]断肠天。

如何肯到清秋日,

已带斜阳又带蝉。

注释:

[1] 柳:这里应指曲江柳。长安城南曲江盛产柳树,而且与乐游苑相邻,是京城士女游览之所。

[2] 东风:这里指春天之风。古人把四方与四季相对应:春对东,夏对南,秋对西,冬对北。

[3] 乐游春苑:乐游苑,又称乐游原。位于今西安城南大雁塔东北的高地,本来为汉宣帝时的乐游庙。乐游苑是长安城最高处,登苑可眺望全城,每到三月三日(上巳)、九月九日(重阳),京城士女多至此登赏,诗人也著有众多吟咏乐游苑的诗篇,李商隐就有一首《登乐游原》。

To the Willow Tree

Li Shangyin

Having caressed the dancers in the vernal breeze,

You’re ravished amid the merry-making trees.

How can you wail until clear autumn days are done

To shrill like poor cicadas in the setting sun?

The poet compares himself to the willow ravishing in spring and wailing in autumn.

《柳》是唐代诗人李商隐创作的借咏柳自伤迟暮、倾诉隐衷的一首七绝。此诗写的是秋日之柳,但诗人不从眼前写起,而是先追想它春日的情景,然后再回到眼前的柳上来。全诗言少意丰,隐而不露,含蓄委婉。全篇不着一个“柳”字,却句句关柳,句句是景,句句咏物,而又句句写人,抒发对稀疏衰落的秋柳的悲叹之情。诗中经历今昔荣枯悬殊变化的秋柳正是诗人自叹身世的生动写照。

“To the Willow Tree” is a poem written by Li Shangyin, a poet of the Tang Dynasty, in which he expresses his sadness for the willow and his secret feelings. This poem is about the willow in autumn, but the poet does not start from the immediate, but first recalls its spring scene, and then returns to the willow in front of him. The poem is rich in words, hidden but not revealed, and subtle and euphemistic. The poem does not contain the word “willow”, but it is about willow in every line, and every line is a scene, and every line is about people, expressing the lamentation for the sparse and declining autumn willow. In the poem, the autumn willow, which has undergone disparate changes between the present and the past, is a vivid portrayal of the poet’s self-lamentation of his life.

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