20Sep/20

Chinese poem illustration/小雅 车舝/佚名 Swift chariot homeward

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Chinese poem illustration: 小雅 车舝/ Xiaoya – Chariot Plugs by Anonymous

小雅 车舝

Full video also available at Bilibili: 小雅 车舝

One of the few poems with profound feelings that still shared with today’s people, as long as wedding is still part of our life, the bitterness of bride’s father still strong. Very likely this poem is a follower to Bei Wind Swallows(邶风 燕燕), but with more sophisticated writing technique, especially the positive feeling concluded just after a sad farewell.

A totally new explaination is raised in this video: this poem is about his way back from her wedding rather to her wedding. The recall of the wedding and his little girl was mixed with the progress of his back journey, from early morning to a sad night camp. At last, wake up on a bright shining morning with south mountains high around, driving swiftly on the broadway beyond.

The sentence 高山仰止, 景行行止 became the utmost eulogist to a man with virtue and achievment, like Sima Qian(司马迁). I have been to his tomb and temple, would never forget this sentence which was marked on the front gate.

小雅 车舝
佚名

间关车之舝兮,思娈季女逝兮。
匪饥匪渴,德音来括。
虽无好友?式燕且喜。

依彼平林,有集维鷮。
辰彼硕女,令德来教。
式燕且誉,好尔无射。

虽无旨酒?式饮庶几。
虽无嘉肴?式食庶几。
虽无德与女?式歌且舞?

陟彼高冈,析其柞薪。
析其柞薪,其叶湑兮。
鲜我觏尔,我心写兮。

高山仰止,景行行止。
四牡騑騑,六辔如琴。
觏尔新婚,以慰我心。

17Sep/20

Chinese poem illustration/小雅 桑扈/佚名 Bird or mulberry tree?

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Chinese poem illustration: 小雅 桑扈/ Xiaoya – Mulberry Tree and Door by Anonymous

小雅 桑扈

A typical Shijing poem about a happy dinner and praying for fortune, where the details aroused many arguments only becuase the arbitory explanation to a few characters in this poem.

In the introduction part, the title 桑(mulberry)扈(door) is explored in detail, especially the signaficance of mulberry forrest(桑林): a place to offer sacrifice to heaven, a place later became the routine place of making love.

小雅 桑扈
佚名

交交桑扈,有莺其羽。
君子乐胥,受天之祜。

交交桑扈,有莺其领。
君子乐胥,万邦之屏。

之屏之翰,百辟为宪。
不戢不难,受福不那。

兕觥其觩,旨酒思柔。
彼交匪敖,万福来求。

15Sep/20

Chinese poem illustration/月夜忆舍弟 and 月夜/杜甫 Full moon’s night

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Chinese poem illustration: 月夜忆舍弟 and 月夜// Thinking of My Brothers in the Full Moon’s Night by Du Fu

月夜忆舍弟 杜甫

Full video also available at Bilibili: 月夜忆舍弟 & 月夜

This video explored two poems of Du Fu written in two consecutive Mid-Autumn Festival(中秋节), the exact year and date are pin pointed to Sept. 2nd, 757 C.E. and Sept. 13th, 756 C.E. respectively. It is a festival in August 15th lunar calender, or in Oct. 1st, 2020.

Full moon’s day in classic literature is almost identcial to Mid-Autumn Festival especially when the context is about famliy, hometown or friends. By comparing this two poems, we can see how fundamentally Du Fu had changed by war in a year: family and frendship were the last few things he could rely on in a chaos of war.

月夜忆舍弟
杜甫

戍鼓断人行,
边秋一雁声。
露从今夜白,
月是故乡明。

有弟皆分散,
无家问死生。
寄书长不达,
况乃未休兵。

月夜
杜甫

今夜鄜州月,
闺中只独看。
遥怜小儿女,
未解忆长安。

香雾云鬟湿,
清辉玉臂寒。
何时倚虚幌,
双照泪痕干

12Sep/20

Chinese poem illustration/小雅 大田/佚名 The good earth

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Chinese poem illustration: 小雅 大田/ Xiaoya – Grand Farmland by Anonymous

小雅 大田

Full video also available at Bilibili: 小雅 大田

Grand ceromony to heaven and ancestors, grand dining parties, happy wedding or blaming to king/war, that could easily become the general impression of Book of Songs, a bit controversy and contradiction to typical Chinese character: pragmatism, a character deeply rooted in the good earth. This poem is a good start to understand it. The key is to understand the uttermost significance of farmland to Chinese, to Zhou people. The Good Earth(大地) by Pearl S. Buck(赛珍珠), White Deer Plain(白鹿原, I would rather call it White Deer Plateau) a noval by Chen Zhongshi(陈忠实) are all about farmland, deeply rooted in this natute of Chinese. The movie and TV series based on White Deer Plain are also great to view.

When writing about farmland and harvest, the poems in Shijing oftently appear quite different: ignorance to Shijing’s formulas of rhyme, sentence pattern and character/paragraph counts, tirelessly listing every detail of their farmland, crops, weather and people that anything related, looking totally relaxed with joy, satisfactoriness and inner peace.

小雅 甫田/信南山, 豳风 七月 are very good reference to this poem.

小雅 大田
佚名

大田多稼,既种既戒,既备乃事。
以我覃耜,俶载南亩,播厥百谷。

既庭且硕,曾孙是若。

既方既皁,既坚既好,不稂不莠。
去其螟螣,及其蟊贼,无害我田稚。
田祖有神,秉畀炎火。

有渰萋萋,兴雨祈祈。
雨我公田,遂及我私。
彼有不获稚,此有不敛穧,
彼有遗秉,此有滞穗,伊寡妇之利。

曾孙来止,以其妇子。
馌彼南亩,田畯至喜。
来方禋祀,以其骍黑,与其黍稷。
以享以祀,以介景福。