登鹳雀楼 Climb up the Stork Tower

 

This is a poem from the Tsang dynasty. The first two verses describe the view from the Stork Tower, the last two verses express the poet’s great ambition and positive attitude towards life.

If you would like to get to know about Chinese poems, here is Chelsea’s book recommendation:

100 Ancient Chinese Poems

Dēng guàn què lóu                          Wáng zhī huàn

登鹳雀楼    Poet: 王之涣

登: to climb up             鹳雀: stork          楼: storey (in this case, the tower)

Bái rì yī shān jǐn

白 日 依 山 尽

The bright sunset falling back behind the mountain at the furthest end of the poet’s view.

白日: the white sun, which describes the bright colour of the sunset

依:to rely on, to lean on        山:moutain          尽:far end; the end of

Huáng hé rù hǎi  liú

黄  河  入  海  流

The yellow river flows and entering into the sea.

黄河:the Yellow River        入: enter into           海:the sea        流: to flow

Yù qióng qiān lǐ mù

       欲 穷 千 里 目

If you want to broaden your horizon and gain a better view, 

欲     to want to, to desire to     穷  far end, the end of (similar to 尽)

千里  thousands of miles        目  vision

Gèng shàng yī céng lóu

  更 上 一 层 楼

You must climb up to a higher floor of the Stork Tower. 

更  more than, greater      上 to go up

一层 Measure word of floor           楼 floor, storey

 

 

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