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Observations placeholder

Li Po - The Difficulty of the Shu Road



Type of Spiritual Experience


translation from the East Asian student net

A description of the experience

The Difficulty of the Shu Road

噫吁戲,  Ooh ah etc.

危乎高哉!  So dangerous, so high!

蜀道之難,  The difficulty of the Shu Road,

難於上青天!  as difficult as climbing to the blue sky!

蠶叢及魚鳧, Can Cong and Yu Fu;

開國何茫然。 their founding of a state - how hazily distant!

爾來四萬八千歲, Up to today it has been forty-eight thousand years,

不與秦塞通人煙。  yet on this path to Qin there has not been sign of people.

西當太白有鳥道, To the west, on Mt Taibai, is a way only for birds,

可以橫絕峨眉巔。  that crosses to the summit of Mt. E'Mei.

地崩山摧壯士死,  The ground collapsed and the mountain crumbled - warrior heroes died,

然後天梯石棧相鉤連。  and only then was this road in the sky linked with a plank road.

上有六龍回日之高標,  Above, where the Six Dragons returned to the sun, is a height marker;

下有衝波逆折之回川。 below are surging torrents twisting and breaking back in spirals.

黃鶴之飛尚不得過,  Even the flight of a yellow crane cannot cross here;

猿猱欲度愁攀援。  monkeys want to cross but fear the climb.

青泥何盤盤,  Mt. Qingni - how it twists and turns,

百步九折縈巖巒。  in a hundred steps it bends nine times to wind around the peak.

捫參歷井仰脅息, One can touch the Three Stars and pass through the Well; looking up, one is afraid to breathe; [參 and 井 are both names of constellations].

以手撫膺坐長嘆。 one puts a hand on one's chest, sits and sighs deeply.

問君西遊何時還, I ask you when you will return from your travels to the west;

畏途躔岩不可攀。 One fears the high cliffs cannot be climbed.

但見悲鳥號古木,  One only hears the sorrowful cry of birds in ancient trees,

雄飛雌從繞林間。 the males flying and females following around within the forest.

又聞子規啼, One also hears the call of a cuckoo

夜月愁空山。  and under the night moon fears the empty mountains.

蜀道之難, The difficulty of the Shu Road,

難於上青天!  as difficult as climbing to the blue sky!

使人聽此凋朱顏。 Make a person hear this and the colour drains from their face.

連峰去天不盈尺,  A chain of peaks less than a foot away from Heaven;

枯松倒掛倚絕壁。  withered pine trees hang inverted on the precipice.

飛湍瀑流爭喧豗,  Rushing torrents and waterfalls clash and clamour,

砯崖轉石萬壑雷。  powering into cliffs and shifting ten thousand stones into gullies like thunder.

其險也如此,  Such is its danger;

嗟爾遠道之人胡為乎哉! ah, people from this distant road, why is it so?

劍閣崢嶸而崔嵬,  A path between swords, high, lofty, towering and rocky;

一夫當關, just one man guards it,

萬夫莫開。 yet of ten thousand men not one can get past.

所守或匪親,  If the guard is not trustworthy,

化為狼與豺。  then he will cause disaster.

朝避猛虎,  In the morning one flees a fierce tiger;

夕避長蛇,  in the evening one flees a long snake;

磨牙吮血,  they grind their teeth and suck one's blood,

殺人如麻。  killing people like [scything] flax.

錦城雖云樂,  Although they say Jin City is joyous,

不如早還家。  it is better to go home sooner.

蜀道之難,  The difficulty of the Shu Road,

難於上青天!  as difficult as climbing to the blue sky!

側身西望長咨嗟。  Leaning out and looking to west makes one sigh deeply.

The source of the experience

Li Po

Concepts, symbols and science items

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps