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Classical Chinese

271 杜甫 江南逢李龜年 translation: Encountering Li Guinian in Jiangnan, by Du Fu


This is a translation and annotation of the poem 江南逢李龜年 (Jiāngnán Féng Lǐ Guīnián), “Encountering Li Guinian in Jiangnan”, by the Tang dynasty poet 杜甫 (Du Fu). The poem is #271 in the collection 300 Tang Poems, and is also known by its first line: 岐王宅里尋常見 (Qí Wáng Zhái Lǐ Xún Cháng Jiàn).


江南逢李龜年 Jiāngnán Féng Lǐ Guīnián [river] [south] [encounter] [_Li_] [_Gui_] [_Nian_] Encountering Li Guinian in Jiangnan

岐王宅里尋常見, Qí wáng zhái lǐ xún cháng jiàn, [_Qi_] [duke] [residence] [in] [often] [often] [see] One often saw you in Duke Qi's residence,

崔九堂前幾度聞。 cuī jiǔ táng qián jǐ dù wén. [_Cui_] [_Jiu_] [hall] [before] [several] [times] [hear] and heard you at Cui Jiu's hall several times.

正是江南好風景, Zhèng shì jiāngnán hǎo fēngjǐng, [now] [is] [river] [south] [good] [wind] [scenery] Right now the scenery of Jiangnan is beautiful,

落花時節又逢君。 luò huā shíjié yòu féng jūn. [fall] [flower] [season [section] [again] [encounter] [sir] and in the season of falling petals I encounter you again, sir.

If you notice a mistake or disagree with the translation, please comment below to improve this resource.


I’ve translated 江南 as a simple place name here (‘Jiangnan’), but it could also be “south of the river” or “south of the Yangtze”. In any case, it refers to the area that is now the intersection of Jiangsu, Anhui and Zhejiang.

李龟年 (Li Guinian) was a famous musician in the Tang dynasty. The poem doesn’t express this directly, but the poet is referring to seeing his performances.

岐王 (Duke Qi) was the younger brother of the Tang Emperor Xuanzong; his full name was 李隆范.

崔九 (Cui Jiu) refers to the ninth son of the 崔 family, who were of some significance during the reign of Xuanzong.

Source: 江南逢李龟年 - 百度百科

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