Frost and Moon
No cicadas trill when I first hear wild geese cry;
The high tower overlooks water blending with the sky.
The Moon Goddess and her Maid of Frost are cold-proof;
They vie in beauty in moonlight over frosty roof.
Seeing the bright moon and frost, the poet imagines the Moon Goddess and her Maid of Frost are vying in beauty.
“Frost and Moon” is a poem written by Li Shangyin, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. This poem is about a moonlit night in late autumn, but instead of a static description, it draws on myths and legends to describe the cold beauty of the moonlit night. In the first line, the poem uses the change of weather to illustrate the cold and frosty sky and the arrival of late autumn; in the second line, the moon is clear and bright and the sky is high; in the third and fourth lines, the poem describes the superb goddesses, competing for beauty. The whole poem is based on imagination, with a clear and ethereal mood and a cold and beautiful atmosphere. The poet’s brush strokes are completely hovering in the sky, and the poetic realm is like a mirage, passing away with a snap of the fingers; the image of the poem is a perfect whole of fantasy and reality intertwined together. The poet brings the static scene to life, and the first two lines give rise to the imaginary mood of the last two lines, which vividly conveys a vivid and beautiful scene. This shows the aesthetic tendency of Li Yishan’s poem.