Please help me understandI was given this poem by a Chinese lady. I don't know what it means even
when I translate it with Google Translate. Please help me understand.
#1 Very nice Chinese poem by poet Li Sangyin here is the full Chinese version:
The verses you are interested in say more or less:
A spring silkworm may not stop spinning silk until death.
A candle’s tears dry only when it is burned down to ashes.
#2 About the poet:
Li Shangyin (李商隱)(812-858) was a Tang Dynasty poet who wrote some of the most lyrical verses known in Chinese poetry, in particular poems about unconsummated love. Thank you very much. Very helpful.
One more question. What is she saying to me with this poem (in your opinion)? #4
I found a full translation of it as follows:
It is hard to meet; it is hard to part;
The east wind is weak, the flowers die.
With the spring silkworm’s death, the threads end;
When the candle turns to ash, the teardrops dry.
The morning mirror frowns on my newly cloudy hair;
At night reading poetry, feel the moon’s cold stare.
The Magic Mountain is not so far from here;
A busy green bird will keep a careful eye.
#4 That's a difficult question, Li Shangyin was famous for writting in a very "criptical" way. Some say they were love poems, some say they were "sour grapes" poems for hsi failure to gain the favors of the officials in palace.
I took these translations from Professor Chung Kwong, who is a retired computer scicnece professor in Singapore though he was born in Shanghai. #4
This is perhaps the most cited of Li Shangyin’s poems, mainly for its 3rd and 4th lines with their desperate expressions of love to the end. Yet the poem ends optimistically, and the mention of magic mountain and green bird add weight to speculation about Li Shangyin’s possible relationship with a taoist priestess
Source: h t t p :/ /w w w.s e e c h i n a.t v/2 0 1 0/0 3/1 7/li-sh a n g y i n- 1/
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