This is a translation and annotation of the poem 登鸛雀樓 (Dēng Guànquè Lóu), by the Tang dynasty poet 王之渙 (Wang Zhihuan). The poem is #236 in the collection 300 Tang Poems, and is also known by its first line: 白日依山盡 (Bái Rì Yī Shān Jǐn).
Dēng Guànquè Lóu
[ascend] [stork] [sparrow] [tower]
Climbing White Stork Tower
Bái rì yī shān jìn,
[white] [sun] [on] [mountain] [finish]
The white sun sets behind the mountains,
Huánghé rù hǎiliú;
[Yellow] [River] [enter] [sea] [flow]
and the Yellow River flows into the sea.
yù qióng qiānlǐ mù,
[want] [furthest] [thousand] [mile] [eye]
To see a thousand mile view,
gèng shàng yì céng lóu.
[more] [ascend] [one] [floor] [tower]
go up another floor.
If you notice a mistake or disagree with the translation, please comment below to improve this resource. You might want to have a read of this, as well.
鸛雀樓 is a tower in Shanxi province, with three floors, situated between mountains and the Yellow River.
窮 in the third line is like 盡 here, meaning “furthest”. 里 has been translated as ‘mile’ above, although more accurately one 里 is a third of a mile.
The last line, 更上一層樓, is now a general idiom for taking things up a level, a bit like the colloquial 加油.
Source: 登鹳雀楼 – 百度百科
- 300 Tang Poems (Waters, Farman, Lunde)
- Fifty Five T’ang Poems (Hugh M. Stimson)
- Poems of the Late T’ang (A. C. Graham)
- Translation of 登鸛雀樓 into English by 曾培慈
- Translation of 登鸛雀樓 into English by Ying Sun
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