Chinese poem illustration: 十五从军征/Enrolled in the Army at 15 by Anonymous


YouTube above not applicable? watch full video at Bilibili: 十五从军征

A simple plain straightforward narrative folk poem in Han dynasty. It was believed to be created in the 汉武帝(AD157-AD87) period, when Han dynasty in its utmost glory. This folk poem definitely is one of the most popular folk songs on this topic, and was collected by the official Musical Department (乐府), and music was written per this folk poem Thus we can have this poem till today. The musical part was lost due to the changes of dynasty, just like the Music for the Book of Songs was lost before Han dynasty.

This masterpiece looks straightforward and extremely simple at first glance, the words almost has no difficulty to today’s Chinese. When you read more over, or review it when you aged, the strong sorrow and sadness shows up a bit by a bit, finally overwhelming.

No surprise, a poem written based on 80 years lifetime and many deaths , a very familiar situation for Han people, or anyone have been through wars, anyone parted from their dearest would make you weeping silently. Could you smell it very similar sadness in this irish song Danny Boy played as background music.

阿(e1) is interpreted with Shaanxi dialect.







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

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.