The Cicada

The Cicada

High on the bough, sustenance is scarce to find,
Ears deaf to cries, no solace to the mind.
As dawn doth break, the cicadas’ song doth cease,
The tree stands tall, unyielding, with no release.

An official adrift, a branch on the tide,
Home now forsaken, a desolate pride.
I thank thee for the warning,
As I too, live a life austere, yet adorning.




Li ShangYin

Li Shangyin, courtesy name Yishan, nicknamed Yuxisheng and Fan Nansheng, was a famous poet in the Tang Dynasty. His ancestral home was in Qinyang, Hanoi (now Jiaozuo City, Henan Province), and he was born in Xingyang, Zhengzhou. He is good at writing poetry, and the value of parallel prose is also very high. He is one of the most outstanding poets in the late Tang Dynasty. His style and Wen Tingyun’s style are similar, and all three of them are the sixteenth in the family, so they are called “thirty-six styles”. His poems are novel in conception and beautiful in style, especially some love poems and untitled poems, which are lingering, beautiful and moving, and are widely read. However, some poems are too obscure and confusing to understand, so there is a saying that “poets always love Xikun, but only hate that no one writes Zheng Jian”. Because of being in the cracks of the party struggle between Niu and Li, he was very frustrated in his life. After his death, he was buried in his hometown Qinyang (now the junction of Qinyang and Boai County, Jiaozuo City, Henan Province). The works are collected as “Li Yishan Poetry Collection”.


Image: MidJourney/DALL-E 2