Chán

虞世南(唐)

Chuí ruí yǐn qīnglù,
垂緌饮清露,
liú xiǎng chū shūtóng.
流响出疏桐。
Jū gāo shēng zì yuǎn,
居高声自远,
fēi shì jiè qiūfēng.
非是藉秋风。

Evaluation

这首诗的作者是初唐的诗人虞世南。“緌”是古代中国人结在颔下的帽带下垂的部分,诗中用它来比喻蝉头部伸出的触须。“藉”是“借助”的意思。
The poem was written by a poet named Yu Shinan in the early Tang Dynasty. “緌(ruí)” refers to the pendent part of the hat ribbons tied below the chin. It is used as a metaphor for the cicada's whisker sticking out of its head. “藉jí”means "have the aid of" or "draw strength from”.

蝉垂下帽带一样的触须,吸食着清新的露水,在梧桐上发出悠长的鸣叫。它们站在树的高处,所以声音传得很远,这可不是借助了秋风的力量。
The cicada, with whisker dangling like the hat ribbons, sings long chirps in the phoenix tree, sucking the fresh dews. The sound spreads far because it has drawn support from the autumn wind.

这首诗表面上写的是蝉,其实是借写蝉表达出一个道理:具有高尚品格的人,他的好名声自然会传播很远,并不需要凭借权势、地位这些外在的东西来让自己留名。这首诗表达了诗人对高尚品格的赞美。
Seemingly, the poem is about the cicada, but in fact it extends in meaning to tell a truth that a lofty man will naturally have his good reputation spread far and wide, and there is no need to establish himself with the help of the outer factors like power and status. The poem expresses the poet’s admiration for noble characters.

Words
(chán):n. cicada
触须(chùxū):n.tentacles
借助(jièzhù):v.uesing
吸食(xīshí):v. smoking
梧桐(wútóng):n. Chinese parasol
高尚(gāoshàng):adj. noble
品格(pǐngé):n. character
权势(quánshì):n.power

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