Cui Hao Poem: Yellow Crane Tower – 崔颢《黄鹤楼》













[1] 黄鹤楼:因为处在汉水与长江交接处的武昌黄鹤山(又名蛇山)而得名。黄鹤山,《齐谐志》中记载,仙人王子安乘黄鹤路过此地而得名。

[2] 晴川:晴天中的汉水。川,河道。

[3] 鹦鹉洲:在汉水水滨,鄂州城南。李白《鹦鹉洲诗》中有“鹦鹉东过吴江水,江上洲传鹦鹉名”。

[4] 烟波:朦胧得看不清的江波,像烟雾笼罩着一样。

Yellow Crane Tower

Cui Hao
The sage on yellow crane was gone amid clouds white.
To what avail is Yellow Crane Tower left here?
Once gone, the yellow crane will not on earth alight;
Only white clouds still float in vain from year to year.
By sunlit river trees can be counted one by one;
On Parrot Islet sweet green grass grows fast and thick.
Where is my native land beyond the setting sun?
The mist-veiled waves of River Han makes me homesick
The legend goes that the Yellow Crane Tower was built in memory of a sage who, riding on a yellow crane, flew to Heaven and became an immortal.


“Yellow Crane Tower” is a seven-line poem written by the poet Cui Hao in the Tang Dynasty. The poem depicts a beautiful view from the Yellow Crane Tower, and is a great piece of nostalgia for the past. The first couplet of the poem uses allusions to the return of the immortal by crane to introduce the Yellow Crane Tower; the jaw line follows the first line, saying that the Yellow Crane Tower has been standing for thousands of years since the departure of the immortal; the neck line turns to the description of the scenery, writing about the scenery seen at the Yellow Crane Tower on a clear day; the last line concludes by writing about the feeling of returning at sunset on the smoky river, bringing the poem back to the realm of the invisible at the beginning. Although the poem is not rhythmic, the syllables are loud and clear but not awkward, and it is written in a single breath; the scenes are blended and the meaning is far-reaching.

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