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HomeTang Poetry and Chinese Calligraphy张宗祥 行书:李商隐《瑶池》~ Tang Poetry and Chinese Calligraphy

张宗祥 行书:李商隐《瑶池》~ Tang Poetry and Chinese Calligraphy

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张宗祥 行书:李商隐《瑶池》








【Simple Translation】

  The opening of the poem is only about the doubts of the Queen Mother of the West, but not about the reason why “the song of the yellow bamboo moves the earth to mourn”, leaving room for the reader to think and imagine, which is a wonderful subtlety. The “moving earth mourning” is a double “mourning” together, a word to lead the chapter. The first sorrow is the “sorrow” of mourning everywhere, the feudal emperor “does not ask the gods and ghosts” all day long indulge in the dream of immortality, how can the common people live a good life? Wailing everywhere, the Mu Tienzi’s mountains and the country will not last long. The second mourning is the “mourning” of self-deception that one has to die in the yellow spring after unsuccessfully seeking immortality. Old age, sickness and death are irresistible objective laws, but the emperors, in order to enjoy the honor and glory of the earth forever, insisted on moving against the heavenly numbers, and had to use any “elixir” to change the rhythm of life, either he cheated people, or people cheated him, either in their prime and early decline, or accelerated demise. The use of the word “mourning” hits the nail on the head of the condemned, reflecting the poet’s extraordinary skill and ability in mastering language and words.

  Although Mu Tianzi had eight horses that traveled 30,000 miles a day and immense wealth and honor, he could no longer go to Yaochi to meet with the Queen Mother of the West because his life was already over, the horses could not be recovered, the royal power could not be exchanged, and the Queen Mother of the West could not wait. Throughout history, the same as Mu Tianzi Qin Shi Huang, Han Wu Di and other people have always wanted to find the “elixir” of immortality, but their efforts are ultimately hate water flowing east, a pile of barren mounds. The strong contrast between subjective sentimentality and objective ruthlessness is apparently about the sadness and greed of King Mu of Zhou, but in fact it is a revelation and satire of the bad behavior of the Tang emperors of the same generation as the poet, who disregarded the safety and security of the world, disregarded the lives of the people, and were only interested in immortality and worshiping Buddha.

  The satire on the pursuit of immortality is originally a subject of much discussion, but this poem does not contain a single word of discussion. The author’s intention is completely melted into the actions and psychological activities of the Queen Mother of the West, and is expressed in concrete and vivid images, which is extremely cleverly conceived. The last line is a question mark in the mind of the Queen Mother of the West, rather than a direct rhetorical question from the poet. Therefore, although the poem’s sarcasm is sharp and biting, it is expressed in a euphemistic and twisted way, not in a straightforward sarcastic way.

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