Year: 
2018

Seeing Off Guo Liangfu As He Journeys East

Li Duan (743-782?)
 
I’d offer you advice but nothing comes,
Your carriage quickly heads back east to Qin;
These twilight years you drive a thousand miles—
As sun sets on ten thousand homes in spring.
 
 
Chinese
 
送郭良輔下第東歸
李端
 
獻策不得意
馳車東出秦
暮年千裏客
落日萬家春
Pronunciation
 
Sòng Guō Liángfǔ Xià Dì Dōng Guī
Lǐ Duān
 
Xiàn cè bù dé yì
Chí chē dōng chū qín
Mù nián qiān lǐ kè
Luò rì wàn jiā chūn
 
 
Transliteration and Notes
 
See-Off Guo Liang Fu After Eastern Return
 
Offer plan no get idea
Quickly carriage east go Qin-State
Evening years thousand miles traveler
Falling sun ten-thousand homes spring
 
     “Offer plan” means to offer advice or a suggestion. “Get idea” could mean “proud of oneself.” “Evening years” means one’s declining years, old age. “Falling sun” means “setting sun” and symbolizes old age. “Spring” symbolizes youth. “Qin” is pronounced like “cheen.”
     This poem ends by noting that though his friend is in his declining years, but can watch his numerous offspring: “ten thousand homes in spring.” Note also the comparison between “twilight years” and “sun sets,”   “thousand miles” and “ten thousand homes,” and the slowness to come up with ideas vs. the quickness of the carrage.
     Li Duan lived in Shaoshan, modern Hebei, and worked as a provincial secretary. He wrote three volumes of poetry and one of his poems was selected for the 300 Tang Poems anthology.

Author of original: 
Li Duan
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