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Chinese poem illustration: 暮秋独游曲江/ Alone to Qujiang in Late Autumn by Li Shangyin

暮秋独游曲江

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Alone to the Qujiang(曲江) ruin in Chang’an city in late autumn in the very last 2 or 3 years of his life, Li wrote this poem. The Qujiang ruin , used to be a magnificent public park with royal gardens, a huge lake, crowded with citizens and celebrities , even the royal society, is the sign of decaying Tang dynasty , as well as Li’s life.

It is a poem of very unusual writing compared his other poems, with simple wording, without sophisticated illusions and historical allusions, yet with a lot overlapping characters , which normally considered bad in poetry writing. The content and style of writing revealed the poet is expecting to his death unbearablely.

The words , 荷叶生时春恨生- the lotus leaves grows vividly in the spring while for Li Shangyin, spring is just a time that new sorrow and hate grow. 深知身在情长在-as far as his flesh exists, the sad feeling would stay with the flesh. When I read to this line, It is crystal clear that Li Shangyin got nothing but sorrow and hate in this life, which was totally unbearable.

暮秋独游曲江
李商隐

荷叶生时春恨生,
荷叶枯时秋恨成。
深知身在情长在,
怅望江头江水声。

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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