Climbing Jinling's Phoenix Terrace


 
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Phoenix Terrace in Nanjing (See below for details)

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李白















使

Climbing Jinling's Phoenix Terrace
        Li Bo 699-762

Once Phoenix nested 
        on Phoenix Tower,
Now they're gone
        the tower is empty
                the river flows on alone.
In the Wu Palace
        wild vegetation smothers the paths,
Jin Dynasty pomp
        morphed to ancient grave mounds.
Three mountains
        dangle from clear skies,
White Heron Sandspit
        splits two rivers.
As always floating clouds
        darken the sun,
Changan can't be seen
        causing gloomy thoughts
 
Dēng Jīnlíng Fènghuángtái
Lǐ Bó 699-762

Fènghuángtái shàng fènghuáng yóu,
Fèng qù tái kōng jiāng zìliú.
Wúgōng huācǎo máiyōu jìng,
Jìndài yīguān chéng gǔ qiū.
Sān shān bàn luò qīngtiān wài,
Èr shuǐ zōngfēn Báimùzhōu.
Zōng wèi fúyún néng bìrì.
Chángān bùjiàn shǐrén chóu.
 
Translator: Dongbo 東波

Notes:
Jinling is the old name for Nanjing.

This poem is Li Bo's complementary imitation of Cui Hao's poem, "Huanghelou, Yellow Crane Tower. That Li Bai was great poet is clear from this poem where he made a soaring mountain of a poem out of a molehill! Fenghuangshan is just a small bump in Nanjing, hardly tall enough to be called a hill. And yet Li Bai's poem has made it immortal site!

李白懷才不遇,離京南遊,在金陵遊了鳳凰台,大發對朝庭的牢騷,作了這首名詩。他顯然以天下賢才(包括他自己)比作鳳凰;賢才不被重用,剩個空台伴著寂寞的東流水了。三四句歎息三國吳宮只剩野草閑花,已經難覓舊徑,晉朝的貴族則都埋在古墓裏了。五六句寫臺上看到的景物;三山遠隔雲煙,如在天外;白鷺洲被大江沖割爲濛濛沙洲。最後歎息報國無門,愁悶萬端,是美麗的金陵風物爲李白暫時解說了苦惱。

 
 
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