Bai Juyi Poem: Buying Flowers – 白居易《买花》

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买花

白居易

帝城[1]春欲暮,喧喧车马度。

共道牡丹时,相随买花去。

贵贱无常价,酬直[2]看花数。

灼灼[3]百朵红,戋戋五束素[4]

上张幄幕[5][6],旁织笆篱护。

水洒复泥封[7],移来色如故。

家家习为俗,人人迷不悟。

有一田舍翁[8],偶来买花处。

低头独长叹,此叹无人谕。

一丛深色花,十户中人赋[9]

注释:

[1] 帝城:指京城长安。

[2] 酬直:酬值。

[3] 灼灼(zhuó):形容花鲜艳有光彩的样子。

[4] “戋戋(jiān)”句:戋戋,众多的样子。束,量词,古时帛五匹为一束。素,白绸子。

[5] 幄幕:帐篷。

[6] 庇(bì):庇护。

[7] 泥封:用土培植。

[8] 田舍翁:老农。

[9] 中人赋:中等人家一年缴的赋税。唐时赋税,按户口征收,分为上户、中户、下户。(《旧唐书·食货志》)

Buying Flowers

Bai Juyi

The capital’s in parting spring,

Steeds run and neigh and cab bells ring.

Peonies are at their best hours

And people rush to buy the flowers.

They do not care about the price,

Just count and buy those which seem nice.

For hundred blossoms dazzling red,

Twenty-five rolls of silk they spread.

Sheltered above by curtains wide,

Protected with fences by the side,

Roots sealed with mud, with water sprayed,

Removed, their beauty does not fade.

Accustomed to this way for long,

No family e’er thinks it wrong.

What’s the old peasant doing there?

Why should he come to Flower Fair?

Head bowed, he utters sigh on sigh

And nobody understands why.

A bunch of deep-red peonies

Costs taxes of ten families.

The poet compares the rich who buy flowers and the poor who pay taxes.

《买花》是唐代诗人白居易的诗作,为组诗《秦中吟十首》的最后一首。此诗通过叙写长安贵族买牡丹花的场面,揭露了当时上层统治者奢侈豪华、挥金如土的腐朽生活,深刻反映了剥削与被剥削之间的矛盾。诗分两部分,前十四句,写京城贵族买花;后六句,写田舍翁感叹买花。全诗行文晓畅,对比鲜明,讽刺辛辣,具有较深的社会意义。

“Buying Flowers” is a poem written by Bai Juyi, a poet of the Tang Dynasty, and is the last poem of the group “Ten Poems of Qinzhong Yin”. The poem exposes the corrupt life of the upper class rulers at that time, who lived in luxury and squandered money like dirt, and deeply reflects the conflict between the exploited and the exploiting through the scene of the nobles buying peonies in Chang’an. The poem is divided into two parts: the first fourteen lines are about the nobles buying flowers in the capital city; the second six lines are about the Tianshuang people lamenting the purchase of flowers. The whole poem is well written, with sharp contrasts and pungent satire, and has deep social significance.

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