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Chinese poem illustration: 秦风 蒹葭/ Qin Wind – Reed by Anonymous

在水一方

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One of the most popular songs in Book of Songs(诗经). In general, The Book of Songs is featured of primitive realism, simple and straight writing, reflects the upper level people of Zhou dynasty with some folk songs of lower level people. Anyhow, Reed is totally different from this mainstream .

It depict That Person(伊人, most probably a male person, taken as a female nowadays) vague and mysterious indirectly with so many uncertainties, while the pursuit of that person is obviously very clear and solid. The physical world looks unreal while the spiritual world is real and solid, turns this poem totally an alternative to Book of Songs.

This poem is recited and re-phrased through the history of China, for example ,one of the famous pop song River Side(在水一方:https://youtu.be/8rqG0n-KARc) is totally a modern translation of this poem.

It is of happiness and joy to have a clear , solid wish , a dream in one’s mind, it is even happy and joy when going for it, no matter achieved or not , having a wish and going for it is the most beautiful and wonderful thing one could ever had.

This poem reflected the mysterious goal, anxious and solid of pursuit, the difficulties, and the untold happiness of this endeavor with such delicacy on writing.

秦风 蒹葭
佚名

蒹葭苍苍,白露为霜。所谓伊人,在水一方。
溯洄从之,道阻且长。溯游从之,宛在水中央。

蒹葭萋萋,白露未晞。所谓伊人,在水之湄。
溯洄从之,道阻且跻。溯游从之,宛在水中坻。

蒹葭采采,白露未已。所谓伊人,在水之涘。
溯洄从之,道阻且右。溯游从之,宛在水中沚。

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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