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Classical Chinese

236 王之渙 登鸛雀樓 translation: Climbing White Stork Tower, by Wang Zhihuan

白日依山盡 (Bái Rì Yī Shān Jǐn)

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).

登鸛雀樓 Dēng Guànquè Lóu [ascend] [stork] [sparrow] [tower] Climbing White Stork Tower

白日依山盡, Bái rì yī shān jìn, [white] [sun] [on] [mountain] [finish] The white sun sets behind the mountains,

黃河入海流; Huánghé rù hǎiliú; [Yellow] [River] [enter] [sea] [flow] and the Yellow River flows into the sea.

欲窮千里目, yù qióng qiānlǐ mù, [want] [furthest] [thousand] [mile] [eye] To see a thousand mile view,

更上一層樓。 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