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登鹳雀楼(Dēng guàn què lóu)- On the Stork Tower

Apr. 2, 2015
bái rì yī shān jìn
白  日 依 山   尽


登鹳雀楼 (Dēnɡ ɡuàn què lóu)
On the Stork Tower
by 王之涣 (Wánɡ zhī huàn)  Wang Zhihuan (Tang)

Bái  rì yī shān jìn
白  日 依  山   尽
Along the mountains sink the last rays of sun,

Huánɡ hé rù hǎi liú
黄        河 入 海  流
Towards the sea the Yellow River does forward go.

Yù qiónɡ qiān lǐ mù
欲    穷     千  里 目
If you would fain command a thousand miles in view,

Gènɡ shànɡ yì cénɡ lóu
更        上    一  层    楼
To a higher storey you are expected to go.

Comment

This poem shows what the poet sees and feels about as he attends the high tower. In the first two lines, he turns his eyes from the setting sun beyond the high mountains in the distance to the Yellow River at his feet, which flows out of sight eastward into the sea. What a sublime, panoramic picture of the vast land! Then he comes up with the masterful line “欲() 穷(qióng) 千(qiān) 里(lĭ) 目(),更(gèng) 上(shàng) 一() 层(céng) 楼(lóu) – If you would fain command a thousand miles in view, to a higher storey you are expected to go” and its allegorical meaning by blending landscape, emotion and philosophical thinking in the short verse.

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Author Brief

Wang Zhihuan (688-742), a distinguished poet of the frontier in the heyday of the Tang Dynasty.

Learn 诗仙 (shīxiān) the God of poetry in Chinese history.

Learn more ancient poems:

咏鹅 (yǒng’ é ) To Ganders

春 晓 (Chūn xiăo) A Spring Morning

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