Li Bai Poem: Song on the River – 李白《江上吟》

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Li Bai was a physically-impressive man of supreme intelligence, passion and sheer love of life, whose poems were known in China to high and low alike, and whose capacity for drinking was legendary.











[1] 木兰之枻(yì)沙棠舟:木兰,又名玉兰,落叶乔木,高丈余。枻,船桨。沙棠,树名,古代传说,人吃了它的果实,可入水不溺。木兰枻、沙棠舟,形容船和桨的名贵。

[2] 玉箫金管:指吹箫、笛等乐器的人。

[3] 斛(hú):旧量器,方形,口小底大。十斗为一斛。

[4] “仙人”句:有待,语出《庄子·逍遥游》,意谓等待外力的帮助。黄鹤,湖北武汉武昌西有武昌山,山西北有黄鹤矶,峭立江中。传说仙人王子安乘黄鹤过此。本句是说:仙人骑黄鹤而飞行.还必须依靠外力(黄鹤)的帮助,并未得到真正的自由。

[5] “海客”句:《列子·黄帝篇》中有则寓言说,古时海边有一个人非常喜欢鸥鸟,每天清晨到海边,与鸥鸟游戏,常有成百白鸥飞集他身旁。这里诗人以海客自比。

[6] “屈平”句:屈平,即屈原,平是名,原是字。悬日月,如日月高悬,光辉四照。

[7] 楚王台榭(xiè):指战国时楚王游憩的台榭。榭,建筑在台上的房屋。

[8] 五岳:指东岳泰山、西岳华山、南岳衡山、北岳恒山、中岳嵩山,此处泛指山岳。

[9] 凌:凌驾的意思。

[10] 沧洲:泛指江海之地。

[11] 汉水:汉江,源出陕西宁强,东流到襄阳与白河汇合,南流由汉阳入长江。

Song on the River

Li Bai

In a ship of spice-wood with unsinkable oars,

Musicians at both ends, we drift along the shores.

We have sweet wine with singing girls to drink our fill,

And so the waves may carry us wherever they will.

Immortals could not fly without their yellow crane;

Unselfish men might follow white gulls to the main.

The verse of Qu Yuan shines as bright as sun and moon,

While palaces of Chu vanish like dreams at noon.

Seeing my pen in verve, even mountains shake;

Hearing my laughter proud, the seaside hermits wake.

If worldly fame and wealth were things to last forever,

Then northwestward would turn the eastward flowing river.

The romantic poet thinks himself as happy as immortals while roaming on the river.


《江上吟 》是唐代诗人李白创作的一首七言古诗。此诗以江上的遨游起兴,表现了诗人对庸俗、局促的现实的蔑弃和对自由、美好的生活理想的追求。开头四句以夸饰的、理想化的具体描写,展示江上之游的即景画面,有一种超世绝尘的气氛;中间四句两联,两两对比,前联承上,对江上泛舟行乐,加以肯定赞扬,后联启下,揭示出理想生活的历史意义;结尾四句,承前发挥,回应开头的江上泛舟,活画出诗人藐视一切,傲岸不羁的神态,又从反面说明功名富贵不会长在,并带着尖锐的嘲弄的意味。全诗形象鲜明,感情激扬,气势豪放,音调浏亮,无论在思想上还是艺术上,都能充分显示出李白诗歌的特色。

A poem in seven lines written by Li Bai, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. The poem starts with a trip on the river, expressing the poet’s disdain for the vulgar and constrained reality and his pursuit of the ideal of a free and beautiful life. The first four lines of the poem show an exaggerated and idealized description of the immediate scene of the trip on the river, with an atmosphere of transcendence; the middle four lines of the poem are in two contrasting lines, the first line carrying on the above, praising and affirming the pleasure of boating on the river, and the second line revealing the historical significance of the ideal life; the last four lines, carrying on the previous play, responding to the beginning of the river boating, and living out the poet’s contempt for everything and his proud and unrestrained attitude, and The final four stanzas of the poem are a response to the poet’s opening line about rafting on the river. The poem is full of distinctive images, exciting emotions, boldness and bright tones, which fully demonstrate the characteristics of Li Bai’s poetry, both ideologically and artistically.

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