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

金铜仙人辞汉歌

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.

金铜仙人辞汉歌
李贺

魏明帝青龙元年八月,诏宫官牵车西取汉孝武捧露盘仙人,欲立置前殿。宫官既拆盘,仙人临载,乃潸然泪下。唐诸王孙李长吉遂作《金铜仙人辞汉歌》。

茂陵刘郎秋风客,
夜闻马嘶晓无迹。
画栏桂树悬秋香,
三十六宫土花碧。

魏官牵车指千里,
东关酸风射眸子。
空将汉月出宫门,
忆君清泪如铅水。

衰兰送客咸阳道,
天若有情天亦老。
携盘独出月荒凉,
渭城已远波声小。

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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