Li Shangyin Poem: Written on a Rainy Night to My Wife in the North – 李商隐《夜雨寄北》

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夜雨寄北[1]

李商隐

君问归期未有期,

巴山[2]夜雨涨秋池。

何当[3]共剪西窗烛,

却话[4]巴山夜雨时。

注释:

[1] 夜雨寄北:又题作“夜雨寄内”。

[2] 巴山:四川大巴山的简称,这里指四川一带。

[3] 何当:何时。

[4] 却话:再说。

Written on a Rainy Night to My Wife in the North

Li Shangyin

You ask me when I can return, but I don’t know;

It rains in western hills and autumn pools overflow.

When can we trim by window side the candlelight

And talk about the western hills in rainy night?

This poet answers his wife’s question first by a picture and then by another question.

《夜雨寄北》是唐代诗人李商隐的诗作。这是作者身居异乡巴蜀时以诗的形式写给远在长安的妻子(一说友人)的复信。此诗开头两句以问答和对眼前环境的抒写,阐发了孤寂的情怀和对对方的深深思念。后两句设想来日重逢谈心的欢悦,反衬今夜的孤寂。诗即兴写来,写出了作者刹那间情感的曲折变化。语言朴实,在遣词、造句上看不出修饰的痕迹。与李商隐的大部分诗词表现出来的辞藻华美,用典精巧,长于象征、暗示的风格不同,这首诗质朴、自然,同样也具有“寄托深而措辞婉”的艺术特色。全诗构思新巧,跌宕有致,言浅意深,语短情长,具有含蓄的力量,千百年来吸引着无数读者,令人百读不厌。

“Written on a Rainy Night to My Wife in the North” is a poem by Li Shangyin, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. It is a poem written in the form of a reply to his wife (or friend) in Chang’an while he was living in a foreign country, Ba Shu. The first two lines of the poem are devoted to a question-and-answer session and a description of the immediate environment, illustrating the loneliness and deep longing for each other. The second two lines envision the joy of reunion in the future and contrast with the loneliness of this night. The poem is written in an impromptu manner, showing the twists and turns of the author’s emotions in a moment. The language is simple, and there is no trace of embellishment in the wording and phrasing. Unlike most of Li Shangyin’s poems, which are characterized by flamboyant rhetoric, elaborate allusions, and long symbolic and suggestive style, this poem is simple and natural, and also has the artistic characteristic of “deep inspiration but euphemistic in wording”. The poem has a new and ingenious conception, with a good deal of ups and downs, shallow words and deep meaning, short words and long sentiments, and the power of ambiguity, which has attracted countless readers over the centuries and has never been tired of reading.

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