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Pao Zhuan Yin Yu

 

抛砖引玉 (pāo zhuān yǐn yù)

Pao Zhuan Yin Yu

 

During the Tang dynasty (táng cháo 唐朝), there lived a man named Jau Gu, who was a very talented poet. Jau Gu’s poems were so well-written that even famous poets of his time enjoyed reading them. At that time, in a place called Wu, there lived a man named Chang Jian, who also liked to write poems. Chang Jian greatly admired Jau Gu’s literary talent, and longed to know him personally. One day, Chang Jian heard that Jau Gu would be travelling to Wu. He knew that Jau Gu would definitely go visit Ling Yan Temple during his trip, because this was a very famous place which everyone who came to Wu went to see. So Chang Jian went first to the temple, and on the wall which was set aside for guests’ comments and ideas, wrote two lines of poem.

When Jau Gu saw the two lines of poetry on the temple wall, he could not help adding another two lines, because Chinese poems are always composed of at least four lines. And so Chang Jian achieved his goal. He said, “My poem is a brick, and Jau Gu’s poem is jade, I layed a brick, and attracted jade!” This idiom is now a polite expression often used when giving an opinion or delivering a speech. It means that what one is offering is somehow lacking, and one is in hopes that others will, seeing it, offer something that is better.

唐朝时有一个叫赵嘏的人,他的诗写的很好。曾因为一句“长笛一声人倚楼”得到一个“赵倚楼”的称号。那个时候还有一个叫常建的人,他的诗写的也很好,但是他总认为自己没有赵嘏写的好。有一次,常建听说赵嘏要到苏州游玩,他十分的高兴。心想,“这是一个向他学习的好机会,千万不能错过。用什么办法才能让他留下诗句呢?”他想,“赵嘏既然到苏州,肯定会去灵岩寺的,如果我先在寺庙里留下半首诗,他看到以后会补全的。”于是他就在墙上题下了半首诗。赵嘏后来真的来到了灵岩寺,在他看见墙上的那半首诗后,便提笔在后面补上了两句。常建的目的也就达到了。他用自己不是很好的诗,换来了赵嘏的精彩的诗。后来人们说,常建的这个办法,真可谓“抛砖引玉”了。这个成语的意思是说,先把自己的不是很好的观点或文章介绍给大家,目的是为了引出别人的高论或佳作。是一个表示自谦的说法。