Seeing Li off to Zizhou
The trees in your valley scrape the sky,
You’ll hear in your hills cuckoo’s cry.
If it rained at night in your mountain,
You’d see your tree tips hung like fountain.
Your women weave to make a suit;
You’d try to solve people’s dispute.
The sage before you opened schools;
Like him you should carry out rules.
The poet describes Zizhou and advises his friend to be a good magistrate there.
The poem “Seeing Li off to Zizhou” is a poem written by Wang Wei, a poet of the Tang Dynasty, to send Li to his post in Shu. The poet imagines the magnificent scenery of the mountains and forests of Zizhou, where his friend was an official, as well as the customs and people’s feelings, and encourages his friend to create achievements in Zizhou and surpass his predecessors. The poem selects the scenery that best expresses the characteristics of the Shu region and depicts it with exaggerated techniques, so that the weather is spectacular and open. It is one of the most famous poems in Tang poetry about farewell, with a positive and cheerful mood and a high and bright tone.