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Chinese Tang Poem: Quiet Night Thoughts

In this post, we are going to learn another famous Tang poem ” Quiet Night Thoughts” (静夜思) ( jìng yè sī ) written by the poet Li, Bai (李白) ( lǐ bái).

If you wish to learn more Tang poems, please search on this website with keyword “Tang poem” or check out Tang poem play list on WenJunior Education YouTube Channel.

Li, Bai is one of the best poets during Tang dynasty. He wrote many well known poems. ” Quiet Night Thoughts”  is one of them.

It was said that Li, Bai was at a hotel when he wrote this beautiful poem.

In this poem, the poet expressed his homesick feeling when he traveled outside.

From this poem, we seem see a lonely traveler at a tranquil night. He was sleepless. He walked around. He looked so lonely. To some people who had similar experiences, they will have connection with this poem right away.

Now let’s take a look at this poem.


床前明月光 ( chuáng qián míng yuè guāng ) : There was the moonlight in front of my bed. 床: bed; 前: in front of; 明: bright; 月: moon; 光: light.

By the way, there are some different explanations for the word “床”. Besides the explanation of “bed”, some people believe “床” should be a kind of sit furniture like “chair”.

Some people believe “床” should mean the window. Some people think it should be the well.

In my explanation, I used the explanation “bed”. After all, nowadays when we say “床”, it means “bed”.

疑是地上霜 ( yí shì dì shàng shuāng ): I thought it was the hoarfrost on the ground. 疑: suspect; 是: is, 地: floor, ground; 上: on; 霜: hoarfrost.

举头望明月 ( jǔ tóu wàng míng yuè  ): I looked up at the moon. 举: lift, raise up; 头: head; 望: look; 明: bright; 月: moon.

低头思故乡 ( dī tóu sī gù xiāng ): I looked down at the ground thinking of my hometown. 低: lower; 头: head; 思: miss, think of; 故乡: hometown.

Now you know the meaning of this poem. Let’s watch this video to read this poem together.

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