20Jan/20

Chinese poem/游子吟/孟郊/ Xiao, the core value

Hits: 0

Chinese poem illustration: 游子吟/ Chant of a Wandering Son by Meng Jiao

游子吟

YouTube above not applicable? watch full video at Bilibili: 游子吟

The ABC classic poem for a Chinese kid. It vividly expressed the core value of Xiao(孝), in English, filial piety. It compare the relation between mother and son to that of Sun and grass.

游子吟
孟郊

慈母手中线,游子身上衣。
临行密密缝,意恐迟迟归。
谁言寸草心,报得三春晖。

Correction: Meng Jiao’s mother dead when he is 60. In the video, it is wrongly marked as 54. It is code of conduct for Tang officials to Mourning for 3 years after parent death. During the time, he should quit position, go back home/hometown. Even with 3 years mourning fact, it does not change the facts that Meng Jiao follows his mother , rather than his own will.

20Jan/20

Chinese Poem Illustration/独坐敬亭山/李白 Alone at peak

Hits: 1

Chinese poem illustration 独坐敬亭山/ Sitting Alone at Jingting Mount by Li Bai

独坐敬亭山

Youtube above not applicable? watch full video at Bilibili: 独坐敬亭山

A poem written in the last few years of Li Bai’s life. The loneliness is even reinforced when we know this mount and small town 5 miles away is the where Xie Tiao(谢朓) lived, the only ex-poet that Li Bai admired.

Li Bai had been to this small town Xuancheng(宣城) times, wrote many famous poems here. This poem is very likely written in his last visiting. Another poem written in this town: 宣州谢眺楼饯别校书叔云(https://youtu.be/8xukn05oxZk)

独坐敬亭山
李白

众鸟高飞尽,
孤云独去闲。
相看两不厌,
唯有敬亭山。

19Jan/20

Chinese poem illustration/邶风 式微/佚名 Life is not easy

Hits: 1

Chinese poem illustration: 邶风/式微 Bei Wind/Nightfall by Anonymous

邶风 式微

YouTube above not applicable? watch full video at Bilibili: 邶风 式微

Going home(归) is a daily and simple routine for everyone, while this song of Book of Songs(诗经) endows going home with a much profound significance for Chinese. It became an indirect way of referring to marriage as to woman, life goal, death, or being hermit, all in all the life long destination for a person. The action and time of going home also imply that going to the destination is joyful while not an easy job, It needs considerable determination, energy and time, of course with a bit of luck.

As Confucius said: Poetry could be used as complaining(诗可以怨), this poem is one of these, a simple straightforward complaining poem, without any implication other than the real going home. Through the later generations after this poem, many poets, many essays and poems cited this poem, as the same time endows new significance to this poem and its vocabulary. This is how the Chinese literature, its imagery and vocabulary evolves.

Why Not Going Home(胡不归) today is an alternative saying of hermit. Coincidentally, Chunyun(春运, Spring Festival Travel Season) started in Jan. 10th, 2020, the biggest periodic human migration events in the world yearly. Is Chunyun deeply rooted in this poem?

邶风 式微
佚名

式微,式微,胡不归?
微君之故,胡为乎中露!

式微,式微,胡不归?
微君之躬,胡为乎泥中!

18Jan/20

Chinese poem illustration/邶风 绿衣/佚名 Her remnant

Hits: 0

Chinese poem illustration: 邶风/绿衣 Bei Wind/Green Suits by Anonymous

邶风 绿衣

Youtube above not applicable? watch full video at Bilibili: 邶风 绿衣

Poetry for the Passed Away(悼亡诗) starts from this poem, it also employed the typical writing of Seeing the Remnant thus Reminding of the Passed Away(睹物思人). This type of poem does not count many in the classic Chinese poetry, but it contributed some of the best breed poems which was so popular and so familiar to average Chinese, for example 离思 by 元稹, 十年生死两茫茫 by 苏轼.

Everyone might encounter similar situation as the poem described, it hurts so much at the time that you have to let it out, let your feeling expressed and relieved. This poem came from such a situation/feeling, and it helped out of the situation/feeling by itself.

This video and poem is also my personal memorial to my father who passed away in November 27th, 2019.

邶风 绿衣
佚名

绿兮衣兮,绿衣黄里。心之忧矣,曷维其已?

绿兮衣兮,绿衣黄裳。心之忧矣,曷维其亡?

绿兮丝兮,女所治兮。我思古人,俾无訧兮。

絺兮绤兮,凄其以风。我思古人,实获我心。