Chinese poem illustration: 水调歌头 明月几时有 When Could We Share the Bright Moon by Su Shi


YouTube above not applicable? watch full video at Bilibili: 水调歌头 明月几时有

One of the most popular Looking to the Moon and Thinking Other poems(望月怀人诗), a masterpiece on Mid-autumn festival. Looking to the moon and think of people or distance(望月怀人/望月怀远), is a big topic of classic Chinese poetry, this one is the ultimate song among the kind, a consolidation of past songs and reached a new height of expression not paired till today. In the ancient time, when people parted, very possibly they could never see each other in life time but few letters/poems, thus this type of poetry became pop and touching.

Hundreds and thousands miles parted with dearest family members, the best friends, the only way of thinking each other is by looking to the full moon. Not a message about the beloved for years, but one thing the two could share with as always: the full moon, it is also the time the parted two knowing perfectly: he/she was thinking of me under the same moon, the same time.

When this poem was written, Su Shi was under big political pressure and possible changes of his position. This dark mood and uncertainty of future enhanced the feeling of thinking of his dear brother Su Zhe(苏辙).

A very famous pop song, 但愿人长久, is attached the the end of this video, which used this poem as its lyric.The song would give you a little idea how this poem played the old way, as Song Ci(宋词) used to be sung with predefined music which was totally lost today. The pre-title 水调歌头 is about the predefined music and sentence pattern.

The MTV:但愿人长久





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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