Thinking of My Brothers on Mountain-Climbing Day by Wang Wei 九月九日忆山东兄弟 (王维)

Alone, a lonely stranger in a foreign land,

I doubly pine for my kinsfolk on holiday.

I know my brothers would, with dogwood spray in hand,

Climb up the mountain and miss me so far away.

独在异乡为异客,

每逢佳节倍思亲。

遥知兄弟登高处,

遍插莱萸少一人。

t is said that this poem was composed when Wang Wei was only 17. Its plain language and the poet’s true feelings vividly expressed a man’s thinking of his family members when he was far away from home and his kindred feelings which couldn’t be forgotten even if he traveled far to the remotest corners of the earth. The first line of the poem describes the poet’s lonely feelings when he was in a foreign  land. The characters “alone”. “foreign” and “stranger” ” fully portray the poet’s lonely and depressed mood when he was away from home and lay a deep emotional foundation for the “pine for my kinsfolk”. The second line is the core and subject of the poem and is known to everyone through the ages. It points out that one becomes even more homesick on holidays. The third and fourth lines are his imagination of what was happening in his hometown and depict a warm and happy scene of family reunion. The last two lines change the grieved style of the first two lines and make one very emotional. They tell us that his family members were missing the poet. One may well say that the poem combines imagination with the actual situation with its language echoing to the theme throughout the poem.

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