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Chinese poem illustration: 赤壁/ Chibi by Du Mu

赤壁

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Chibi( Red Cliff) is a place of great renown, the battlefield of Battle of Chibi(赤壁之战), the most famous battle in Three Kingdoms(三国) time, the battle resovled into three confronting kingdoms lasting for hundreds of years, which is a really sad situation for Chinese.

As an outstanding erudite person on the art of war and history, Du Mu did not mention a word from that angle. He started the poem like a ordinary tourist, picking up the rotten broken weapon in the sand, staring and studying it carefully, that is the things most people would do either today. The common tour experience shared give the reader a sense of presence, as if watching Du Mu closely on site or even the reader was looking the weapon on their own hand.

The finishing 2 sentences is two bold assumptions, nothing to do with the art of war and history neither. It sounds much more like daily gossip rather than history review from a scholar, yet the gossip wording facilitate an easy access to the boring and complicated history, let the reader rethink the history with vulgar pleasure. A second look on the vulgar wording reveals that the 2 assumptions are quite smart and reasonable, so does Du Mu. With extreme pride and confidence to his talent and knowledge, Du Mu sighed, even the smartest man is still incapable without the East Wind, literally right timing, a single war could totally changed the fate of China for hundreds of years.

赤壁
杜牧

折戟沉沙铁未销,
自将磨洗认前朝。
东风不与周郎便,
铜雀春深锁二乔。

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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