Wednesday, October 18, 2017

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Tang Poem - Farewell My Friend

唐诗-送友人
青山横北郭,白水绕东城。
此地一为别,孤蓬万里征。
浮云游子意,落日故人情。
挥手自兹去,萧萧班马鸣
-- 李白


Tang Poem - Farewell My Friend
Green Mountains face the outer wall to the North,
White Water flow to the City’s lake by the East.
From this spot where we shall part,
For ten thousand miles you will travel alone.
The fleeting clouds are like your thoughts now,
The setting sun is like the affection of our friendship.
We will be right apart the moment I wave farewell,
Even the horse give out a sadden neigh.
-- By Li Bai (Translated by www.eChinaExpat.Com)

Portrait of Li Bai
Portrait of Li Bai

Farewell My Friend is one of the over 1,000 poems passed down by Li Bai, a famous Chinese poet who lived during the most prosperous time of the Tang Dynasty (i.e. AD 701 - 762). Li Bai came from a well to do family, his wealth and status enabled him to make extensive travels in China, and to meet up with famous characters of his time, including the Xuanzong Emperor. He adored Taoism, friendship and wine. This poem was composed for a friend who was leaving to undertake a long distance travel. In the old days, this would usually meant many years on the road, and it was unlikely that friends separated would ever meet again. In the poem, he utilised the enduring natural landscape to contrast the transitory nature of human encounters; One moment he was bidding farewell to his friend, and the next instance, they were to be permanently apart, never to meet again.


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