Li Yi Poem: On Hearing a Flute at Night atop the Victor’s Wall – 李益《夜上受降城闻笛》

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Li Yi – 李益

 

夜上受降城[1]闻笛

李益

回乐峰[2]前沙似雪,

受降城外月如霜。

不知何处吹芦管[3]

一夜征人尽望乡。

注释:

[1] 受降城:在灵州(今宁夏回族自治区灵武县西南)州治所在地回乐县。在唐代,这里是防御突厥、吐蕃的前线。贞观二十年,唐太宗曾经亲临灵州接受突厥一部的投降,故称灵州为“受降城”。

[2] 回乐峰:烽火台名,当在回乐县境内。

[3] 芦管:题中之“笛”。

On Hearing a Flute at Night atop the Victor’s Wall

Li Yi

Before the beacon tower sand looks white as snow;

Beyond the Victor’s Wall like frost cold moonbeams flow.

None knows from where a flute blows a nostalgic song,

All warriors lie awake homesick the whole night long.

Hearing a flute song, the warriors on the frontier are drowned in homesickness.

Li Yi – 李益

《夜上受降城闻笛》是唐代诗人李益创作的一首七言绝句。这首诗最大的特点是蕴藉含蓄,将所要抒发的感情蕴涵在对景物和情态的描写之中。诗的开头两句,写登城时所见的月下景色。如霜的月光和月下雪一般的沙漠,正是触发征人乡思的典型环境。环境的描写之中现出人物的感受。在这万籁俱寂的静夜里,夜风送来了凄凉幽怨的芦笛声,更加唤起了征人望乡之情。“一夜征人尽望乡”,不说思乡,不说盼归,而是以人物的情态行为展现其心理,写出了人物不尽的乡愁。

The poem “On Hearing a Flute at Night atop the Victor’s Wall” is a seven-line poem written by Li Yi, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. The most characteristic feature of this poem is that it is subtle and implicit, and the feelings to be expressed are embedded in the description of scenery and emotions. The first two lines of the poem are about the view under the moon while climbing the city. The frosty moonlight and the snowy desert under the moon are the typical environment that triggers the homesickness of the conqueror. The description of the environment reveals the feelings of the characters. In the silent night, the night breeze sends the bleak and sorrowful sound of the reed flute, which further arouses the conqueror’s homesickness. “The character’s feelings are not about homesickness, but rather about the character’s behavior, which shows his psychological state and his endless nostalgia.

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