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Sitting Alone on Jingtingshan – Li Bai

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In the distance, a flock of birds flying high
Above, a lonely cloud drifts idly by
Fondly looking (相看) at each other, neither one growing tired,
And all there is, is Jingtingshan.

Beauty is its own reward

Have we not all experienced the glory of nature, a mesmerizing view of the Grand Canyon, the spectacular Yosemite, a moment when the breath is taken away watching Mt. Hood or Mt. Bachelor?

The world contains many such splendid spots.

Li Bai and Jingting

Li Bai made many trips to Jingting Mountain in Anhui Province, west of Shanghai. The area is known for its low-hanging clouds, ancient granite rocks, and twisted pines that have been the subject of many painters and poets. In this poem, Li Bai expresses the opinion that the beauty of Jingtingshan (敬亭山) would never bore.

The title, 獨坐敬亭山, translates as sitting alone on Jingting Mountain. Jingting (敬亭) is a compound and place name. 山 (shan) is the Chinese character for mountain. I prefer Jingtingshan rather than Jingting Mountain, though it appears in translations both ways. Within the poem I inserted the original characters 相看, another compound word which expresses the sentiment of gazing or looking at each other. I added the adverb fondly, but that is pure fancy.

This poem came late in Li Bai’s career when he was on the wrong side of the political fence. Sentenced to death for treason, then reprieved and exiled, Li Bai was on his way down the Yangtze when he stopped to visit for the final time Jingtingshan (Jingting mountain). Fortunately, for Li Bai, his uncle Li Yangbing was governor of Anhui province and so could provide him refuge.

Death of Li Bai

I imagine that Li Bai saw himself in the poem as the lonely cloud drifting off while the world, represented by the flock of birds, moved on.

In fact, Li Bai was ill and near death when he wrote this poem. Legend has it that Li Bai drowned in the Yangtze River after falling from his boat when he tried to embrace the moon’s reflection.

Original Chinese characters

獨坐敬亭山

衆鳥高飛盡
孤雲獨去閒
相看兩不厭
只有敬亭山

Pinyin and rhyme scheme

Zhòng niǎo gāofēi jǐn
gūyún dú qù xián
xiāng kàn liǎng bùyàn
zhǐyǒu jìngtíng shān

jingtingshan
jingtingshan

独坐敬亭山

李白 〔唐代〕

众鸟高飞尽,孤云独去闲。
相看两不厌,只有敬亭山。(只有 一作:唯有)

译文及注释

译文
山中群鸟一只只高飞远去,天空中的最后一片白云也悠然飘走。
敬亭山和我对视着,谁都看不够,看不厌,看来理解我的只有这敬亭山了。

注释
敬亭山:在今安徽宣城市北。
尽:没有了。
孤云:陶渊明《咏贫士诗》中有“孤云独无依”的句子。
独去闲:独去,独自去。
闲:形容云彩飘来飘去,悠闲自在的样子。孤单的云彩飘来飘去。
两不厌:指诗人和敬亭山而言。
厌:满足。

赏析

  这首诗是诗人表现自己精神世界的佳作。此诗表面是写独游敬亭山的情趣,而其深含之意则是诗人生命历程中旷世的孤独感。诗人以奇特的想象力和巧妙的构思,赋予山水景物以生命,将敬亭山拟人化,写得十分生动。作者写的是自己的孤独和自己的怀才不遇,但更是自己的坚定,在大自然中寻求安慰和寄托。

  “众鸟高飞尽,孤云独去闲。”这首五绝的前两句是说,群鸟高飞无影无踪,孤云独去自在悠闲。

  前两句看似写眼前之景,其实,把孤独之感写尽了:天上几只鸟儿高飞远去,直至无影无踪;寥廓的长空还有一片白云,却也不愿停留,慢慢的越飘越远,似乎世间万物都在厌弃诗人。“尽”、“闲”两个字,把读者引入一个静的境界:仿佛是在一群山鸟的喧闹声消除之后格外感到清静;在翻滚的厚云消失之后感到特别的清幽平静。因此这两句是写“动”见“静”,以“动”衬“静”,正烘托出诗人心灵的孤独寂寞。这种生动形象的写法,能给读者以联想,并且暗示了诗人在敬亭山游览观望之久,勾画出他独坐出神的形象,为下联作了铺垫。

  这两句的意象以“众星拱月”式并置,前句中心词“鸟”是中心意象,加上“飞”字形成一个复合意象,强化动态表现意义。“众鸟”原可以让读者联想到山中闲静宁谧的场景,群鸟儿在空山中婉转鸣啼,有一种格外的逸趣,而眼前,众鸟高飞,离人越来越远,“高”字起到一个拓展空间的作用,抬头仰望,空阔的蓝天上,鸟儿在远走高飞,直至看不见。一个“尽”字,增强了此句的表现力度,表现出李白此时的万般惆怅。后句“云”为中心词,与“去”复合,默默的云也在渐渐飘走。而云并非满天白云,原本就只是“孤云”无伴,偏偏还悠闲地慢慢地飘离。诗人以“闲”写出了孤云的状态,突出了离去的过程,让读者在品味孤云离去的状态时,感知诗人内心的不忍和无奈。

  三、四两句“相看两不厌,只有敬亭山”用浪漫主义手法,将敬亭山人格化、个性化。尽管鸟飞云去,诗人仍没有回去,也不想回去,他久久地凝望着幽静秀丽的敬亭山,觉得敬亭山似乎也正含情脉脉地看着他自己。他们之间不必说什么话,已达到了感情上的交流。“相看两不厌”表达了诗人与敬亭山之间的深厚感情。“相”、“两”二字同义重复,把诗人与敬亭山紧紧地联系在一起,表现出强烈的感情。同时,“相看”也点出此时此刻唯有“山”和“我”的孤寂情景与“两”字相重,山与人的相依之情油然而生。结句中“只有”两字也是经过锤炼的,更突出诗人对敬亭山的喜爱。“人生得一知己足矣”,鸟飞云去对诗人来说不足挂齿。这两句诗所创造的意境仍然是“静”的,表面看来,是写了诗人与敬亭山相对而视,脉脉含情。实际上,诗人愈是写山的“有情”,愈是表现出人的“无情”;而他那横遭冷遇,寂寞凄凉的处境,也就在这静谧的场面中透露出来了。

  “众鸟”、“孤云”这种动的意象与“敬亭山”这种静的意象相反并置,时间和空间的维度里仅仅出现了量的变化,而心理的维度却产生着质的变化:有理想、有才能而在政治上遭受压抑的士大夫往往对“逝去”,对“消散”有着特殊的敏感,人事短暂,宇宙永恒,常常是他们不遇时发出的慨叹。诗人引恒久的山为知己,可能是“长安不得见”后,不得已而为之的一种方式了。就算长安招引他,他也不知道自己会不会随“众鸟高飞”而去。

  诗人笔下,不见敬亭山秀丽的山色、溪水、小桥,并非敬亭山无物可写,因为敬亭山“东临宛溪,南俯城闉,烟市风帆,极目如画”。从诗中来看,无从知晓诗人相对于山的位置,或许是在山顶,或许在空阔地带,然而这些都不重要了。这首诗的写作目的不是赞美景物,而是借景抒情,借此地无言之景,抒内心无奈之情。诗人在被拟人化了的敬亭山中寻到慰藉,似乎少了一点孤独感。然而,恰恰在这里,诗人内心深处的孤独之情被表现得更加突出。人世间的深重的孤独之情,诗人人生悲剧的气氛充溢在整首诗中。全诗似乎全是景语,无一情语,然而,由于景是情所造,因而,虽句句是景,却句句是情,就像王夫之所说,是“情中景,景中情”。▲

appreciation

This poem is a masterpiece of the poet to express his spiritual world. The surface of this poem is to describe the taste of traveling Jingting Mountain alone, while its deep meaning is the poet’s sense of loneliness in his life. With his unique imagination and ingenious conception, the poet gave life to the landscape and made Jingting Mountain personified and vivid. The author writes about his loneliness and his lack of talent, but also his determination to seek comfort and sustenance in nature.
“All the birds fly high, and the solitary cloud goes to leisure alone.” The first two sentences of this song say that birds fly without a trace, and solitary clouds go free and leisurely alone.
The first two sentences seem to describe the scene in front of us, but in fact, they completely describe the feeling of loneliness: a few birds fly away in the sky until there is no trace; There is still a white cloud in the vast sky, but they do not want to stay. They slowly drift farther and farther away. It seems that everything in the world is rejecting poets. The words “end” and “leisure” lead the reader to a realm of tranquility: it seems that the noise of a group of mountain birds has been eliminated, and the reader feels especially quiet; After the billowing thick clouds disappeared, I felt very quiet and peaceful. Therefore, these two sentences are about “moving” and “static”, and “moving” is used to contrast “static”, which is setting off the loneliness of the poet’s mind. This vivid and vivid way of writing can give readers association, and it also implies that the poet has been visiting Jingting Mountain for a long time, sketching the image of him sitting alone in trance, which paves the way for the next couplet.
The images of these two sentences are juxtaposed in the form of “stars arched the moon”. The central word “bird” in the preceding sentence is the central image, and the word “fly” forms a compound image, strengthening the dynamic expression of meaning. “Birds” can remind readers of the quiet and peaceful scene in the mountains. Birds are singing gently in the empty mountains, which has an extra sense of fun. At present, birds are flying higher and higher away from people. The word “high” plays a role in expanding space, looking up at the empty blue sky. Birds are flying far away until they can’t see. The word “end” strengthens the expression of this sentence and shows Li Bai’s melancholy at this time. The latter sentence, “cloud” as the central word, is compounded with “go”, and the silent cloud is gradually drifting away. The cloud is not a cloud all over the sky. It was just a “solitary cloud” without company, but it drifted away slowly and leisurely. The poet writes about the state of solitary clouds with “leisure”, highlighting the process of leaving, so that readers can feel the poet’s inner intolerance and helplessness when tasting the state of solitary clouds leaving.
3、 Four or two sentences, “Look at each other and you will never be tired of looking at each other, only Jingting Mountain”, personify and personalize Jingting Mountain with romanticism. Although the bird flew away, the poet did not go back, nor did he want to go back. He gazed at Jingting Mountain for a long time, and felt that Jingting Mountain seemed to be looking at himself affectionately. They don’t need to say anything, they have reached an emotional exchange. “Never tire of looking at each other” expresses the deep feelings between the poet and Jingting Mountain. The words “Xiang” and “Liang” are synonymous and repeated, closely linking the poet and Jingting Mountain, showing strong feelings. At the same time, “Xiangkan” also points out that at this moment, only the lonely scenes of “mountain” and “me” are the same as “two” words, and the interdependence between mountains and people arises spontaneously. The word “only” in the final sentence has also been tempered, which highlights the poet’s love for Jingting Mountain. “It is enough to have a bosom friend in life”. It is not worth mentioning that the poet should fly away. The artistic conception created by these two poems is still “quiet”. On the surface, it is written that the poet and Jingting Mountain look at each other with tenderness. In fact, the more the poet writes about mountains, the more he shows people’s ruthlessness; And his lonely and desolate situation, which was treated coldly, was revealed in the quiet scene.
The dynamic images of “birds” and “solitary clouds” are juxtaposed with the static images of “Jingting Mountain”. There are only quantitative changes in the dimensions of time and space, but qualitative changes in the dimensions of psychology: Shifu, who are idealistic, talented and politically repressed, often has a special sensitivity to “passing away” and “dissipation”. Personnel are short and the universe is eternal, which is often a sigh of regret when they do not meet. The poet used the everlasting mountain as his confidante, which may be a way of doing what he had to do after “Chang’an cannot be seen”. Even if Chang’an enticed him, he did not know whether he would go with the “birds flying high”.
In the poet’s writing, the beautiful scenery, streams and bridges of Jingting Mountain are not visible. It is not that Jingting Mountain has nothing to write about, because Jingting Mountain “faces Wanxi River in the east, overlooks the city in the south, and has a picturesque view”. From the poem, there is no way to know the poet’s position relative to the mountain, perhaps on the top of the mountain, or in the open area, but these are not important. The purpose of this poem is not to praise the scenery, but to express feelings by the scenery, so as to express the helpless feelings of the heart. The poet finds solace in the personified Jingting Mountain, which seems less lonely. However, it is here that the poet’s deep feelings of loneliness are more prominent. The profound loneliness in the world and the tragic atmosphere of the poet’s life permeate the whole poem. The whole poem seems to be full of scene language, without any emotion language. However, because the scene is created by emotion, every sentence is emotion, even though it is scene, just like Wang Fuzhi said, it is “scene in emotion, scene in emotion”. ▲

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