Wang Wei Poem: At Parting – 王维《送别》









At Parting

Wang Wei

Dismounted, I drink with you

And ask what you’ve in view.

“I can’t do what I will;

So I’ll do what I will;

I’ll ask you no more, friend,

Let clouds drift without end!”

This poet speaks of their love of freedom at their parting.


“At Parting” is an ancient poem in five lines written by Wang Wei, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. It is a poem about sending a friend back to seclusion. It uses a question-and-answer style to tell the reason for his return to seclusion from his friend’s mouth, and also expresses the poet’s complex thoughts and feelings. The poet shows concern and love for his friend, both to console him and to show his envy for his retired life, indicating that the poet is not very satisfied with his own reality either. The language of the poem seems to be plain and uninteresting, but the last two lines add poetic meaning to the poem, and the words can be described as shallow and deep, containing inexhaustible meaning.

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