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Chinese poem illustration: 山行 Hiking by Du Mu

山行

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A new explanation of the famous word ” 坐”. This word used to be hard translated as Because Of, this meaning is only for THIS POEM. My new attempt : this is just a phonetic loan character(通假字, use a different word with same pronunciation) . The Shaanxi dialect today which supposed to be the official language of Tang dynasty, Du Mu’s mother tongue as well spell 坐 and 凑 both as cou4. 凑是的 and 凑爱 is still frequently used in today’s daily talk in Shaanxi dialect(秦腔). As such, the sentence 停车坐爱枫林晚 equals 停车凑爱枫林晚.

This poem most probably was written in Du Mu late years of life, 10 kilometers down south from his home, into the huge mountain of South Mountain(南山). The red leaves could be a metaphor to his life and spirit.

山行
杜牧

远上寒山石径斜,
白云深处有人家。
停车坐爱枫林晚,
霜叶红于二月花。

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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