Tí Xīlín Bì
Sū Shì(Sòng )
Héng kàn chéng lǐng cè chéng fēng,
yuǎnjìn gāodī gè bù tóng.
Bù shí Lúshān zhēn miànmù,
zhǐ yuán shēn zài cǐ shān zhōng.
“西林” refers to Xilin Temple of Lushan Mountain. “题”means “writing; inscription”. “题西林壁” means “writing an inscription on the wall of Xilin Temple”. “横看” means “looking at the mountain from the front”, and “侧” means “looking at the mountain from the side”. Lushan Mountain is a famous mountain in the south of Jiujiang, Jiangxi Province. “缘” is similar to the conjunction “because” or “since” in English.
Seen from the front, Lushan Mountain is a continuous and rolling range, while seen from the side, it turns into a single towering peak. It takes on different shapes as you see it from different perspectives – far or near, high or low. The reason why I can’t tell the true shape of Lushan Mountain is that I myself am standing on the mountain; I can’t see it as a whole.
Su Shi wrote his feelings after he visited Lushan Mountain. He didn’t portray any specific scenery; instead, he wrote about his general impressions of the mountain. The poem aims not at depicting scenery or expressing the poet’s feelings;rather, it attempts to enlighten people with a philosophy on life – since people come from different backgrounds , it is inevitable that they see things from different viewpoints; therefore, their opinions are often one-sided and subjective. If we want to see things as they are, we should get rid of parochial opinions so that our judgments are untainted by personal prejudices. This is an edifying and thought-provoking poem, which leaves the reader with a lasting impression.
连绵起伏 (liánmián qǐfú) adj. (mountain ranges) continuous and rolling
高耸 (gāosǒng) adj. towering
俯视 (fǔshì) v. to look down at
仰望 (yǎngwàng) v. to look up at
哲理 (zhélǐ) n. philosophic theory
片面 (piànmiàn) adj. one-sided
摆脱 (bǎituō) v. get rid of
主观 (zhǔguān) n./adj. subjective
成见 (chéngjiàn) n. prejudice
智慧 (zhìhuì) n. wisdom
领悟 (lǐngwù) n. understanding
回味无穷（huíwèi wúqióng） v.to lead a person to endless aftertastes