Yellow Crane Tower Poem

the Yellow Crane Tower Poem

The poem “Yellow Crane Tower” is a masterpiece of Chinese poetry composed by the Tang Dynasty poet Cui Hao. It is a seven-character regulated poem (七言律詩) that beautifully describes the magnificent scenery observed from the Yellow Crane Tower, conveying a sense of nostalgia for one’s hometown.

In this poem, Cui Hao cleverly introduces the Yellow Crane Tower by alluding to the departure of an immortal riding a crane, connecting it to the tower’s legendary origins. The second couplet seamlessly continues this theme by emphasizing the tower’s enduring history since the immortal’s departure, spanning countless centuries.

The poem then transitions into a vivid depiction of the scenic beauty visible on a clear day from the Yellow Crane Tower. The third couplet paints a picturesque scene, highlighting the landscapes bathed in sunlight from the tower’s vantage point.

The concluding couplet elegantly returns to the poet’s feelings, as he watches the sun set over the misty river, imbued with a deep sense of longing and the desire to return to his homeland. This brings the poem full circle, evoking the same sense of ethereal and unattainable beauty as in the opening lines.

Although the poem doesn’t strictly adhere to a regulated structure, its verses are melodious and flow effortlessly, with a harmonious rhythm. “Yellow Crane Tower” is a remarkable piece of Chinese literature that skillfully blends rich imagery and profound emotions, leaving a lasting impression on readers and resonating with the theme of homesickness.

Chinese Version:





English Translation:

Immortal in the past flew away on yellow crane’s back.
Now only an empty Yellow Crane Tower is left behind.

The yellow crane, once went away, has not come back.
For a thousand years, clouds drift around without a care.

On sunny day, trees at Hanyang plain are clearly visible.
Aromatic grass is grown luxuriantly all over Parrot Isle.

As sundown darkness descends, where’s my hometown?
Mist and ripples on river trigger a melancholy sentiment.

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