Chinese poem illustration: 忆秦娥 箫声咽/ Recall the Qin Princess | The Chinese Flute Cry by Li bai


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Treated as the pillar and foundation of Ci(词, “百代词曲之祖”), not only for Li Bai created this writing pattern Recall the Qin Princess(忆秦娥), but more for the words and feelings.

The first glance of this poem turns out to be a Woman Complaining poetry(闺怨诗:思妇怀人) which consist a big chunk of Tang poetry. Normally It describe the feeling of missing and complaining to her lover or husband. In most cases this feeling was a metaphor/parallel to the feeling of a dejected poet to his poor political career life or his lord- the emperor of the time. The wife and the poet share a lot of commons, the loyalty to the husband or emperor, the dejected family or political life. The emperor and the husband also share a lot commons, they dominate their subordinate.

The second paragraph turns away from the sadness spring parting with willow branch(灞陵柳色), turns out to be a Climb up and Look far peotry(登高望远) which is normally positively about fate and pursuit. Not a word about it, Li Bai just concluded with the scene he saw, the huge mausoleum in a windy autumn dusk. If you have been to Leyou platuae(乐游原), you would know what does it mean by youself.

The scene of spring in first half with the scene of autumn in second half make the whole poem a chinese word Sping and Autumn(春秋), which is a synonym of history.

忆秦娥 箫声咽



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