more Joseon dynasty classical Chinese.

In the poetry he had written, in the end, there was no attitude of poverty. How was it he never became well-known?


Does this make sense? Can it be more loosely translated as this person's poetry was really good, or something like that?

1 Answer 1


穷 shouldn't be taken literally as poverty, instead, it is figurative exhaustion of one's talent; reaching the limit of one's capability. Also I am not sure 振 necessarily means becoming well-known, it could be simply hanging on steadily.

Without further context I would interpret the sentence as

The poetry he wrote showed no sign of exhaustion, why didn't he keep going?

  • Thank you! This is in a 詩話 so something along those lines make sense, except it is preceded by a senior minister putting his name in the Hongmunrok, which was the list of the most virtuous literati in Joseon. Therewith, he noted him in the Hongmunrok. But after a while he fell ill and died. 遂與於弘文錄。未幾病逝。 That's why I thought 振 must be well-known or related to the fact that he never got promoted.
    – jeongin
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 11:10

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