Chinese poem illustration: 金铜仙人辞汉歌/ Farewell song by the Han Bronze Immortal by Li He


Full video also available at Bilibili: 金铜仙人辞汉歌

A lyrical poem about the story happened in Three Kingdoms time. The emperor of Wei sent a troop to move the gigantic bronze statue from Chang’an city to Luoyang city, the new capital.600 years later, The poet set his foot on the same route from Chang’an to Luoyang, with similar sadness as he just quit his position in the central government, ended up his life long political pursuit.

This poem reflects the true flavor of Li He, creative wording, wild and magic imagination to history and celestial being, strong voice with extreme pride, yet the real meaning of his poem could hardly be interpreted, in other words, could be interpreted in many ways.

In this poem, I do think there are 4 dimensions of time recalled and mutually progressed. The early 2 time frame is Han and Wei dynasty, which is the time in the story written in this poem, the later 2 time frame is the counterparts in Tang dynasty, which is the Prosperous Tang and the time being of the poet himself. With such interpretation, one time of writing the story and feeling, results many resonances through the different time frame, not to say the figures of the personalised immortal statue, with its celestial root, the 2 emperors depicted in the poem and 2 other counterpart emperors in Tang dynasty. Finally, with the last sentence, Li He connected himself to all the figures and situation above.

His strong and magic and extremely refined wording make many of his phrases and sentences as today’s idiom. Chairman Mao has quoted one sentence in this poem, it is introduced at the end of this video.






CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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