06Aug/20

Chinese poem illustration/小雅 十月之交/佚名 Eclipse

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Chinese poem illustration: 小雅 十月之交/ Xiaoya – Edge of October by Anonymous

小雅 十月之交1

Full video also available at Bilibili:小雅 十月之交1/ 小雅 十月之交2

One of the several poems written at the end of the West Zhou dynasty(西周), reflected this very critical period in Chinese history: country was splitting into many small states by joint devastation of nature disasters and bad governance.

At the time being, the poet sensed the huge danger of the country when watching the eclipse. Yet I bet no one at the time could imagine the outcome is a wartime of 500 years, in Confucius words: the rule of law had gone, the music was damaged(礼崩乐坏), I had reached the dead end(吾道穷).

A new argument is put forward toward the very confusing sentence “醘妻煽方处”. Beyond the video, 妻 could be a loan character of 器 as well.

The background picture of this video was taken in July 2020 at the foot of Li mountain(骊山), where the last king of West Zhou(幽王) was killed.

小雅 十月之交2

Part1 is about eclipse and foregoing disasters, while the poet wondered what kind of disasters ahead of the suffered people and country.

Starting from 4th paragraph, the poet talked about the reality, the most prominent group of officials in the capital, he even wrote down their names one by one in this poem which reflected his utmost fury: the disasters were not only by the heaven which is the common sense of Zhou society, but by these worst officials.

The poet expressed his own situation and loneliness in this huge chaos, a contrast to majoraty people. By analysis, the poet’s job as a fortuneteller(卜人) or an official historian(史官) is drafted. Just compare the words of the history book(竹书纪年): 冬十月辛卯朔,日有食之 with the first two pairs of sentence. The name/title list in 4th paragraph is also a proof which is very likely the working habit of a historian. So many real names with job titles make this poem the only kind in Shijing.

The background picture of this video was taken in July 2020 at the foot of Li mountain(骊山), where the last king of West Zhou(幽王) was killed.

小雅 十月之交
佚名

十月之交,朔月辛卯。日有食之,亦孔之丑。
彼月而微,此日而微;今此下民,亦孔之哀。

日月告凶,不用其行。四国无政,不用其良。
彼月而食,则维其常;此日而食,于何不臧。

烨烨震电,不宁不令。百川沸腾,山冢崒崩。
高岸为谷,深谷为陵。哀今之人,胡憯莫惩?

皇父卿士,番维司徒。家伯维宰,仲允膳夫。
棸子内史,蹶维趣马。楀维师氏,醘妻煽方处。

抑此皇父,岂曰不时?胡为我作,不即我谋?
彻我墙屋,田卒污莱。曰予不戕,礼则然矣。

皇父孔圣,作都于向。择三有事,亶侯多藏。
不慭遗一老,俾守我王。择有车马,以居徂向。

黾勉从事,不敢告劳。无罪无辜,谗口嚣嚣。
下民之孽,匪降自天。噂沓背憎,职竞由人。

悠悠我里,亦孔之痗。四方有羡,我独居忧。
民莫不逸,我独不敢休。天命不彻,我不敢效我友自逸。

04Aug/20

Chinese poem illustration/小雅 节南山/家父 Bad politician

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Chinese poem illustration: 小雅 节南山/ Xiaoya – Sighing for South Mountain by Uncle Jia

小雅 节南山 Part1

Full video also available at Bilibili: 小雅 节南山 Part1 / 小雅 节南山Part2

Around late term of West Zhou(西周), Uncle Jia(Pinyin: Jia1fu3), the poet is furious to one misbehaving governor(尹氏大师) who brought huge disasters to people, thus he wrote this blaming poem to record the guilts and his own feelings.

Misfortunate country creates fortunate poets(国家不幸诗家兴), Uncle Jia was, so did Qu Yuan(屈原) who was 500 years after. For sure Qu Yuan inherit a lot from this poem.

小雅 节南山 part2

In the first part, the poet concluded that the senior official(师尹) worsened the disasters of famines and pandemic by pinpoint their duties and their behaviors.

In second part of this poem, the poet concluded the King did not behave properly neither. The poet further describes a meetup with that senior official which further reflecting his ugly and mean personality. With unease and fury, the poet explained why he was writing this poem, which is to record the situation and feelings(诗言志), he even unusually attached his name in the poem: 家父作诵 to stand by his political concerns, his duty and consequence by his name.

Attaching poet name also indicated the poetry is much more advanced compare to those written earlier, it was of more personal interests and feelings rather than common interests. This poem is also one of the very original ancestor of those patriotism poems in later dynasties, normally considered starting from Qu Yuan(屈原).

小雅 节南山
家父

节彼南山,维石岩岩。赫赫师尹,民具尔瞻。
忧心如惔,不敢戏谈。国既卒斩,何用不监!

节彼南山,有实其猗。赫赫师尹,不平谓何。
天方荐瘥,丧乱弘多。民言无嘉,憯莫惩嗟。

尹氏大师,维周之氐;秉国之钧,四方是维。
天子是毗,俾民不迷。不吊昊天,不宜空我师。

弗躬弗亲,庶民弗信。弗问弗仕,勿罔君子。
式夷式已,无小人殆。琐琐姻亚,则无膴仕。

昊天不佣,降此鞠訩。昊天不惠,降此大戾。
君子如届,俾民心阕。君子如夷,恶怒是违。

不吊昊天,乱靡有定。式月斯生,俾民不宁。
忧心如酲,谁秉国成?不自为政,卒劳百姓。

驾彼四牡,四牡项领。我瞻四方,蹙蹙靡所骋。
方茂尔恶,相尔矛矣。既夷既怿,如相酬矣。

昊天不平,我王不宁。不惩其心,覆怨其正。
家父作诵,以究王訩。式讹尔心,以畜万邦。

31Jul/20

Chinese poem illustration/小雅 斯干/佚名 New town and new baby

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Chinese poem illustration: 小雅 斯干/ Xiaoya – The Main Peak by Anonymous

小雅 斯干

Full video also available at Bilibili: 小雅 斯干

Build a new town(house), get married and have a new baby is still the standard life formula to today’s Chinese, a formula full of joy and happiness. This tradition at least started since Zhou dynasty by solid record of this poem. It give us so many details of the normally life of a lord’s new town and his family, it also created the vocabularies of Playing Jade(弄璋, refering a baby boy) and Playing Tile(弄瓦, refering a baby girl) still used today.

Two other poems about building new town are good references to this poem. With the same joy and happiness, the three poems have different focus and feelings. The other two poem is Yong Wind Decision at Noon(鄘风 定之方中) and Daya Endless(大雅 绵)

小雅 斯干
佚名

秩秩斯干,幽幽南山。如竹苞矣,如松茂矣。
兄及弟矣,式相好矣,无相犹矣。
似续妣祖,筑室百堵,西南其户。爰居爰处,爰笑爰语。

约之阁阁,椓之橐橐。风雨攸除,鸟鼠攸去,君子攸芋。
如跂斯翼,如矢斯棘,如鸟斯革,如翚斯飞,君子攸跻。
殖殖其庭,有觉其楹。哙哙其正,哕哕其冥。君子攸宁。

下莞上簟,乃安斯寝。乃寝乃兴,乃占我梦。
吉梦维何?维熊维罴,维虺维蛇。
大人占之:维熊维罴,男子之祥;维虺维蛇,女子之祥。

乃生男子,载寝之床。载衣之裳,载弄之璋。
其泣喤喤,朱芾斯皇,室家君王。
乃生女子,载寝之地。载衣之裼,载弄之瓦。
无非无仪,唯酒食是议,无父母诒罹。

29Jul/20

Chinese poem illustration/小雅 白驹/佚名 That guy

Hits: 5

Chinese poem illustration: 小雅 白驹/ Xiaoya – White Colt by Anonymous

小雅 白驹

Full video also available at Bilibili: 小雅 白驹

Poems of Shijing crossed a time span of some 400 years, this poem is very likely a mid-term one. The writing is very smooth and fluid, the 3 pairs in each paragraph is well connected either per its meaning/implication as well as the story, thus the White Colt(白驹) and That Guy(伊人) confirm each other and both scenarios developed mutually. Keelping in mind the character 白(white) always has a strong metaphor of 伯(lord)

The mysterious atmosphere and wording created in this poem That Guy(所谓伊人) was inherited by the most popular Shijing poem Reeds(蒹葭): 所谓伊人, 在水一方. A very popular metaphor on time(白驹过隙) was created per this poem by Zhuangzi(庄子). That is the way the Chinese literature continued till today: inheriting some from classic and make new stuff upon.

Two general deciphers toward this poem were briefed as a comparison to the new explanation developed in this video.

小雅 白驹
佚名

皎皎白驹,食我场苗。
絷之维之,以永今朝。
所谓伊人,于焉逍遥?

皎皎白驹,食我场藿。
絷之维之,以永今夕。
所谓伊人,于焉嘉客?

皎皎白驹,贲然来思。
尔公尔侯,逸豫无期?
慎尔优游,勉尔遁思。

皎皎白驹,在彼空谷。
生刍一束,其人如玉。
毋金玉尔音,而有遐心。