Blog Culture

My Favorite Chinese Love Poem (1) The Yangtze Love

Valentine’s day (情人节) (qing2 ren2 jie2) is around. I smell the love in the air.

In this post, I will share one of my favorite Chinese love poems with you, at the same time, as usual, we will learn some Chinese characters.

In my another post, we will appreciate another beautiful Chinese classic love poem: The Pledge.

This beautiful love poem “the Yangtze Love”  touches my heart every time when I read it.

It was written by a poet named 李之仪 (li3 zhi1 yi2) from Song dynasty about 1000 years ago.

It was said, the poet wrote this poem for his close female friend who was a famous singing girl.

By the way, the Chinese title of this poem is:  卜算子·我住长江头. The English title “the Yangtze Love” is given based on the main meaning of this poem.

卜算子 (bǔ suàn zǐ) is a name of a type of melody. It later becomes a fixed form for the poem writing.

我住长江头 ( wǒ zhù zhǎng jiāng tóu ) is the title of this poem. It means: I live close to the headtream of the Yangtze river.

Let’s take a look at this poem.


At the beginning of the poem, the poet wrote: 我住长江头 (wo3 zhu4 chang1 jiang1 tou2) :I live close to the headstream of the Yangtze river.

君住长江尾 (jun1 zhu4 chang2 jiang1 wei3) : You live close to the downstream of the Yangtze river.

Note: 君 is a respectful way to call someone. It also has other meanings like “king”, “noble”, “title” etc.

The poet kept writing: 日日思君不见君 (ri4 ri4 si1 jun1 bu2 jian4 jun1): I miss you every day but I can’t meet you.

However the poet felt a bit relived because 共饮长江水 (gong4 yin3 chang2 jiang1 shui3) : we drink the same Yangtze river water.

But the poet still felt bad about this long-distance situation. So he asked emotionally: 此水几时休 (ci3 shui3 ji3 shi2 xiu1): When the Yangtze river water will stop flowing?

此恨何时已 (ci3 hen4 he2 shi2 yi3) : When my hatred for the long distance situation will end?

At the end of the poem, the poet just hoped: 只愿君心似我心 (zhi3 yuan4 jun1 xin1 si4 wo3 xin1): I just hope your love is like mine.

定不负相思意 (ding4 bu2 fu4 xiang1 si1 yi4) : you must not disappoint me.

This poet had a wish that his lover would have faith in their long distance relationship just as he did.

What is your feeling when you understand this poem? Do you feel touched as well?

Since this love poem is so touching, it became a popular subject of singing, even today many singers still sing this song.

On the below video, let’s appreciate this song based on this love poem.

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