Du Fu: Winter Solstice

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Winter Solstice

年 年 至 日 长 为 客
忽 忽 穷 愁 泥 杀 人。
江 上 形 容 吾 独 老
天 边 风 俗 自 相 亲。
杖 藜 雪 后 临 丹 壑
鸣 玉 朝 来 散 紫 宸。
心 折 此 时 无 一 寸
路 迷 何 处 见 三 秦?
Dong Zhi

Nian nian zhi ri chang wei ke
Hu hu qiong chou ni sha ren.
Jiang shang xing rong wu du lao
Tian bian feng su zi xiang qin.

Zhang li xue hou lin dan he
Ming yu zhao lai san zi chen.
Xin she ci shi wu yi cun
Lu mi he chu jian san qin?

 

Winter Solstice

Every winter solstice I am a visitor somewhere
Poverty and sorrows quickly harden and adhere to people.
Old and alone, my lonely and old appearance upon the river water
Being far away, naturally local customs bring relatives together.

Bramble cane, late snow upon the red cliffs
Remember jade pieces rattling at dawn inside the imperial palace.
This season my heart-mind broken with no one left
Who became lost on the highway back to the region of Chang’an?

 

Notes:

Jade pieces rattling:  These words speak of the early morning audience that the emperor holds for his advisors, and Du Fu’s walk to attend.

 

Commentary:

Last line is of course a rhetorical question.

 

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