Bai Juyi Poem: Grass on the Ancient Plain in Farewell to a Friend – 白居易《赋得古原草送别》

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赋得[1]古原[2]草送别

白居易

离离[3]原上草,

一岁一枯荣。

野火烧不尽,

春风吹又生。

远芳[4]侵古道,

晴翠[5]接荒城。

又送王孙[6]去,

萋萋[7]满别情。

注释:

[1] 赋得:凡是指定、限定的诗题,按惯例要在题目上加“赋得”二字。

[2] 古原:古原野。也有人认为是乐游原,是汉宣帝修建的游览地,在陕西长安城南。

[3] 离离:青草茂盛的样子。

[4] 远芳:春草的芳香播散得很远。

[5] 晴翠:阳光下翠绿的野草。

[6] 王孙:本指贵族子弟,后来成为对他人的尊称。这里指即将远游的友人。

[7] 萋萋:青草长得茂盛的样子。

Grass on the Ancient Plain in Farewell to a Friend

Bai Juyi

Wild grasses spread over ancient plain;

With spring and fall they come and go.

Fire tries to burn them up in vain;

They rise again when spring winds blow.

Their fragrance overruns the way;

Their green invades the ruined town.

To see my friend going away,

My sorrow grows like grass overgrown.

The poet compares his friendship to the overgrown grass on the ancient plain.

《赋得古原草送别》是唐代诗人白居易的成名作。此诗通过对古原上野草的描绘,抒发送别友人时的依依惜别之情。它可以看成是一曲野草颂,进而是生命的颂歌。前四句侧重表现野草生命的历时之美,后四句侧重表现其共时之美。全诗章法谨严,用语自然流畅,对仗工整,写景抒情水乳交融,意境浑成,是“赋得体”中的绝唱。“野火烧不尽,春风吹又生”二句作为一种“韧劲”而有口皆碑,传诵千古。
此诗是作者应考的习作。按科场考试规矩,凡指定、限定的诗题,题目前须加“赋得”二字,作法与咏物相类,须缴清题意,起承转合要分明,对仗要精工,全篇要空灵浑成,方称得体。束缚如此之严,故此体向少佳作。据载,作者这年始自江南入京,谒名士顾况时投献的诗文中即有此作。起初,顾况看着这年轻士子说:“米价方贵,居亦弗易。”虽是拿居易的名字打趣,却也有言外之意,说京城不好混饭吃。及读至“野火烧不尽”二句,不禁大为嗟赏,道:“道得个语,居亦易矣。”并广为延誉。(见唐张固《幽闲鼓吹》)可见此诗在当时就为人称道。

The poem “Grass on the Ancient Plain in Farewell to a Friend” is a famous poem by Bai Juyi of the Tang Dynasty. Through the depiction of the weeds on the ancient plain, the poem expresses the feeling of farewell to a friend. It can be seen as an ode to weeds, and thus an ode to life. The first four lines focus on the beauty of the life of the weeds through time, while the second four lines focus on their beauty through time. The poem is a masterpiece in the genre of “fudai”, with a strict chapter style, natural and fluent language, neat counterpoint, and a blend of scenes and emotions. The poem “The wildfire cannot be burnt out, the spring breeze blows and grows again” is a kind of “toughness” and has been recited for thousands of years.
This poem is the author’s practice work for the examination. According to the rules of the examination, all the designated and limited poetry questions must be preceded by the word “fude”, and the method of composition is similar to that of chanting, and the meaning of the question must be clear, the beginning and the end must be clear, the couplets must be well-written, and the whole piece must be ethereal and mellow in order to be considered decent. The constraints are so strict that there are few good works in this genre. According to the record, the author began to enter the capital from Jiangnan this year, when he visited the famous scholar Gu Lang, he submitted this work in the poem. At first, Gu Lang looked at the young scholar and said, “Rice is expensive, and living is not easy.” Although he was joking about Juyi’s name, he also meant something more than that, saying that the capital was not a good place to make a living. And read the two lines of “wildfire can’t be burned”, can’t help but greatly contemplate the appreciation, said: “Road to a language, living is also easy.” And it was widely praised. (See Zhang Ku’s “Leisurely Drumming” in Tang Dynasty.) It can be seen that this poem was praised at that time.

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