Wang Wei Poem: Out of the Frontier – 王维《出塞作》

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[1] 居延:汉居延属国。汉末设县,属张掖郡,今甘肃古额济纳旗东南。

[2] 天骄:匈奴自称。此指吐蕃。

[3] 白草:西域所产牧草。《汉书·西域传》颜师古注:“白草,似莠而细,其干熟时正白色,牛马所嗜也。”

[4] 碛:沙漠。

[5] 射雕:雕剽疾难射,匈奴人因以之称善射者。

[6] 护羌校尉:“护羌校尉,武帝置,秩比二千石,持节以护西羌。”(《后汉书·光武帝纪》)此指唐将领。

[7] 破虏将军:“袁术表孙坚行破虏将军。”(《三国志·魏志》)此指唐将领。

[8] 霍嫖姚:汉霍去病曾任嫖姚校尉,此代战功显赫的崔希逸。

Out of the Frontier

Wang Wei

The proud Tartar sons are hunting out of the town;

White grass spreads to the sky, wild fire bums up and down.

They ride on the desert when evening clouds hang low;

In autumn days on the vast plain they bend their bow.

Our officers strengthen the defense by daylight;

Our victorious generals cross the river at night.

The swords, bows and bridles mounted with gems and jade

Are awarded generals and their brave cavalcade.

This poem describes the Tartar forces and glorifies the Han generals defeating them.



The poem “Out of the Frontier” is a poem about the frontier made by the poet Wang Wei in the Tang Dynasty. The first two lines are about the great noise of the hunting, rendering the border crossing point in a state of tension. The third and fourth lines show the bravery and strength of the Tufan soldiers, implying the urgency of the border situation, which paves the way for the second half of the poem. The fifth and sixth lines highlight the urgency of the military situation, the speed of the march, showing the high morale of the Tang army, the style of thunder and lightning. The last two lines point out the theme of rewarding and comforting the army, and the ending is quite appropriate. The poem reflects the current battle situation and uses two contrasting styles of writing, first writing about the strength of the Tubo, which caused psychological tension, and then writing about the calmness of the Tang army, which handled the battle with ease, attacked and defended, and won the final victory with an overwhelming momentum, implying that the poet praised the victory of the Tang army against the Tubo, showing the strength of the country during the Tang Dynasty and the poet’s pride and joy. The poet praises the victory of the Tang army against the Tuban, expressing the strength of the country during the Tang Dynasty and the pride and joy of the poet.

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