Poem

First Day of New Year by Wang AnShi

爆竹声中一岁除, 春风送暖入屠苏。 千门万户瞳瞳日, 总把新桃换旧符。

This is a famous poem [First Day of New Year or 元日] by Wang AnShi [王安石] (1021-1086) in the North Song Dynasty describing the New Year’s Eve translated as following:

The year passes with the ring of firecracker, wind of spring warms up the TuSu wine;

When the morning sun shines ten of thousand houses, the door gods are always renewed.

Missing In The Spring (春思)

春思

李白

燕草如碧丝,秦桑低绿枝。

当君怀归日,是妾断肠时。

春风不相识,何事入罗帏?

Translated in English as follows:-

Missing In The Spring

Li Bai

Grass start to turn green in the far border, mulberry trees in the land of Qing have grown out long limbs;

The day when you are coming back, it is the time of heart breaking for me;

The wing of unknown, why are you here in my bed?

 

This poem describes how the wife misses the husband who has gone to the border to safeguard the country. Therefore when the grasses just turn green in the border, green trees are normal in the Qing land which the wife sees by her eyes. The thinking of women who are waiting for her husband is complicated as she considers the day of reunion as the time of heart breaking instead of time of excitement. But it implies that the wife has missed the husband too much that she would still feel the heart breaking even when the husband comes back. When she asks the wing of spring, actually she asks the wing to get out. This hints that the wife is determined to wait for her husband who is the only one that should appear in her bed. In Chinese language in particular under the background of the poem (thousands of years ago), intensions are usually expressed in an indirect way rather than a direct manner. Even today, the Chinese culture also exhibit this feature to some degree.

Pondering in the silent night (静夜思)

jingyesi

床前明月光,疑是地上霜,举头望明月,低头思故乡。

This is one of the most famous poems named 静夜思(Pondering in the silent night) written by Li Bai in the Tang Dynasty about his missing home, the whole poem could be translated by meaning as following:

The moonlight paves the front of bed, as if the ice on ground;

Staring at the moon, or thinking about hometown far, far away.

This poem is simple, yet directly expresses a Chinese thinking:
The moon changes as like departure and reunion among people which seems to be normal yet make people feel sad. On the day of full moon, it always remind those distant from home or lovers the sadness of departure.

Some westerners may not be able to fully understand this sentiment very well due to the cultural difference. One needs to know that agriculture had been the most important industry for thousands of years leading to the result that family tie must be very strong in order to live a life of richness. Thus with the modernization and urbanization such family tie has witnessed a trend of weakening resulting in the increasing trend of westernization.

More Posts:

Goodbye, My Friend 

The Love of Lotus

First Day of New Year by Wang AnShi

Missing In The Spring (春思)

Pondering in the silent night (静夜思)

 

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