Chinese Symbols, Phrases, and Poems for Strength and Power

Chinese Symbols for Strength and Power:

  • Strength: 力量

  • Power: 权力

  • Force: 力

  • Physical strength: 力气

  • Ability: 能力

  • Influence: 影响力

 

Chinese Phrases about Strength and Power:

 

  • 力大无穷: With strength that cannot be used up.   

  • 孔武有力: Extremely strong, brave, and powerful.

  • 身强力壮: Strong body and robust strength.

  • 天生神力: Born with extraordinary strength.

  • 力拔山河: Have the strength to pull down mountains and rivers. 

  • 回天之力: Power of turning a severe situation into a positive one.

  • 力挽狂澜: Turning a dangerous situation to a beneficial one, changing failure to success. 

  • 拔山举鼎: Have the strength to pull out a mountain or hold up a big bronze tripod.

Bronze Tripod (Ding) of the Western Zhou Dynasty

Bronze Tripod (Ding) of the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046 BC — 771 BC) — Shanghai Museum (Photo by Dongmaiying)

  • 排山倒海: Subvert mountains and topple seas, symbolizes extraordinary strength.

  • 势不可当: Irresistible strong forces.   

  • 攻无不克: There's nothing that cannot be defeated.  

  • 摧枯拉朽: Defeating hostile forces easily as crushing dry grass and rotten trees.  

  • 雷霆万钧: Extremely strong forces like thunderbolts. 

  • 擎天撼地: Strength to lift up the sky and shake the earth. 

  • 众志成城: United wills could form strong fortresses, which symbolizes unity is capable of overcoming all difficulties. 

  • 健步如飞: Walking fast like flying. 

  • 所向披靡: Wherever the force arrives all obstacles would be eliminated, which now represents invincibility.

  • 生龙活虎: Vigorous like dragon and tiger. 

Unearthed Bronze Tiger with Inlaying Gold and Silver of the Spring and Autumn Period

Bronze Tiger with Inlaying Gold and Silver of the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC — 403 BC) — British Museum (Photo by Dongmaiying)

Chinese Poems about Strength and Power:

 

  • 力拔山兮气盖世。Xiang Yu (232 BC — 202 BC)

 

Unprecedentedly strong and mighty and could pull mountains.

 

Great general Xiang Yu wrote the poem when he was surrounded by Liu Bang (founding emperor of Han Dynasty), to describe his mighty strength and glorious military achievements in the past. Then, he lost the final battle and committed suicide. 

  • 宝剑锋从磨砺出,梅花香自苦寒来。

 

Hone produces sharp swords, frigid winter grows out fragrant plum blossoms. 

 

Grass' firmness is shown in strong wind, officials' loyalty is identified in chaotic era; reckless man won't know the sincere dedication, true and benevolent heroes would love their people and country.

Sculpture Stone Horses in Tang Tai Zong's Mausoleum (Zhao Ling), War Horses of His Six Important Wars.

Sculpture Stone Horses in Tang Tai Zong's Mausoleum (Zhao Ling), War Horses of His Six Important Wars.
Their Names Are Te Le Biao, Qing Zhui, Shi Fa Chi, Bai Ti Wu, Quan Mao Guan, Sa Lu Zi.
The Last Two Are In Penn Museum, The Rest Are in the Forest of Stone Steles Museum of Xi'an.

  • 咬定青山不放松,立根原在破岩中。Zheng Banqiao (1693 — 1766)

Firmly standing on mountains, bamboos deeply rooted inside rocks.

 

  • 男儿何不带吴钩,收取关山五十州。Li He (790 — 816)

 

Why not take weapons and join the army, to take back our lost land.

  • 天地英雄气,千秋尚凛然。Liu Yuxi (772 — 842)

 

Heroic spirit (of Liu Bei the Emperor Zhaolie of Han) filled amid heaven and earth, has been respectful and impressive throughout history.

  • 提三尺之剑,立不世之功。General Taishi Ci (166 — 206)

 

Hero should carry a sword and obtain unparalleled victories on battlefields (during chaotic wartimes). 

Unearthed Bronze Sword of the Spring and Autumn Period

Bronze Sword of the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC — 403 BC) — Hebei Provincial Institute of Archaeology (Photo by Dongmaiying)

  • 天行健,君子以自强不息。The Book of Changes or I Ching, also named Yi Jing or Zhou Yi, finished in the early Zhou Dynasty (1046 BC — 256 BC).

 

The universe is in motion, hence humans should keep moving forward constantly.

  • 知我罪我,其惟春秋。Confucius (551 BC  — 479 BC)

 

People will criticize or praise me for things that I have done, but I will insist and history will tell. 

 

  • 富贵不能淫,贫贱不能移,威武不能屈。Meng Ke or Mencius  (372 BC — 289 BC)

Wealth and honor yet abstinence, impoverished and humble but determined, facing power and authority still unbend.

strong and vigorous flowers
  • 不飞则已,一飞冲天;不鸣则已,一鸣惊人。Sima Qian (about 145 BC — ?)

 

(The bird) either stay motionless or soars high in the sky; either stay quiet or tweet astonishingly. 

Represent normal people with sudden but impressive success. 

 

  • 老骥伏枥,志在千里。烈士暮年,壮心不已。Cao Cao (155 — 220)

 

An old steed in the stable is still ambitious to gallop for thousands of miles, a hero in his later years is still eager to establish a great career. 

 

  • 弄潮儿向涛头立,手把红旗旗不湿。Pan Lang (? — 1009) 

 

Young men are performing in the thrilling tide, red flags they hold yet remain dry.

Performing in the thrilling tide
  • 笔落惊风雨,诗成泣鬼神。Du Fu (712 — 770)

 

His (Li Bai) articles impress the wind and rain, his poems move immortals and ghosts. 

 

  • 长风破浪会有时,直挂云帆济沧海。Li Bai (701 — 762)

 

A time will come to ride the wind and cleave the waves, I'll set my cloud-white sail and cross the sea which raves.(Translated by Xu Yuanchong)

 

  • 银鞍照白马,飒沓如流星。Li Bai (701 — 762)

 

Riding a white horse wearing a shining silver saddle, galloping dashingly like a meteor.

  • 大鹏一日同风起,扶摇直上九万里。Li Bai (701 — 762)

Mythical bird Peng will take off with wind someday, soaring to tens of thousands of miles away.

Mythical Bird Peng in Chinese Mythology.

Mythical Bird Peng in Chinese Mythology

  • 会挽雕弓如满月,西北望,射天狼。Su Shi(1037 — 1101)

I will draw a bow like the full moon, and shot down the Sirius (represents enemies on the border) on the northwest.

 

  • 三十功名尘与土,八千里路云和月。Yue Fei (1103 — 1142)

 

Three decades of fights and wins are insignificant like dust, more difficult and long battles are required to take back our lost lands. 

  • 看试手,补天裂。Xin Qiji (1140 — 1207)

 

Wait and see, we will patch the broken sky. 

 

To show the poet's strong will to recover the lost land of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127 — 1279), like deity Nv Wa patched the broken sky in ancient Chinese Mythology.

 

  • 壮岁旌旗拥万夫,锦襜突骑渡江初。Xin Qiji (1140 — 1207)

 

Used to lead thousands of elite cavalrymen across the river and fight, in my young age that has gone by.

Xin Qiji's Calligraphy Work "Qu Guo Tie"

Xin Qiji's Calligraphy Work "Qu Guo Tie" — Palace Museum