Friday, December 18, 2009

曹植: 七步詩


煮豆燃豆萁, 豆在釜中泣
本是同根生, 相煎何太急?


zhu dou ran dou qi, dou zai fu zhong qi
ben shi tong gen sheng, xiang jian he tai ji

     豆萁:豆的莖幹。 釜:鍋。 煎:熬,這裡指折磨。

[譯文]豆秸在鍋底下燃燒,豆子卻在熱鍋中哭泣。 我倆本是同一條根上長出來的,何必這樣相互折磨和相互殘殺呢?

This poem was made by the third son of Cao Cao, Cao Zhi, in only seven steps.
Cao Zhi’s elder brother, Cao Pi, became a king. He had always envied his brother for being cleverer than him. One day, he forced Cao Zhi to make a poem in seven steps. If he failed to make one, he would be sentenced to death. Thus, he made this poem.

The meaning of the poem is:
Cooking bean by burning the stalk of the bean,
The bean in the cauldron sobs in misery.
The bean and the stalk are actually produced by the same root,
Why do they burn and force each other?

If translated based on the situation at that time, it means:
Bean and its stalk are actually produced by the same root, just like brothers.
The stalk burns and cooks the bean inside the cauldron, making it sob in misery – implies the elder brother who kept forcing him.



  1. I've actually seen it!:) It's quite popular, makes me cry though.

  2. thanks for the translation. don't know why, these days they have other versons (you can check Wiki), which i don;t think is better than this, especially read in Cantonese.

  3. It's very trouble-free to find out any topic on net as compared to textbooks, as I found this piece of writing at this site.

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  4. all the time i used to read smaller content which as well clear their motive,
    and that is also happening with this article which I am reading

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