Gao Shi Poem: Written on New Year’s Eve – 高适《除夜作》








[1] 除夜:指除夕,即每年农历最后一天的夜晚。

[2] 客:在异乡漂流的人。

[3] 凄然:凄凉悲伤的样子。

[4] 霜鬓:斑白的鬓发,代指年老。

Written on New Year’s Eve

Gao Shi

Sleepless alone at an inn by cold lamplight,

Why should a roamer feel so sad and drear?

Thinking of my home far away tonight,

I’ll have more frosty hair in the new year.

The poet is homesick on (lunar) Near Year’s Eve when the family should get together.


The poem “Written on New Year’s Eve” is a seven-line poem written by Gao Shi in the Tang Dynasty, which opens with a poignant and lonely mood. In the second line, the poem turns to his own straightforward and poignant inner world. The third line is about homesickness. The last line, “Another year in the morning”, is about “New Year’s Eve”, which adds to the sigh of passing years and short life. Gao Shi’s poetic style is mellow and majestic, but this poem “New Year’s Eve” is easy and natural, without a single word of ornate rhetoric or scenery of foreign cities or wonders.

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