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Chinese poem illustration: 邶风 北门/ Bei Wind – North City Gate by Anonymous

邶风 北门

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A simple blaming poem without much argument through the history.

With today’s history and archaeology study, I do believe the poet is one of the Bei state lords, at least a very senior officer of Bei state. He was busied out by his assignments, warfares mostly probably, from king of Zhou. His negligence to his own state brought him many blames and curses from his state men, who were getting into poverty and embarrassed as the poet himself.

The poet, the lord of Bei carried both duties to his King and his state men. He is faithful, while helpless of being in a dead end without even a single person’s understanding. At this circumstance, he had to carry on: getting out of the north gate, go for the far side, the battle field once more.

The poem from the Book of Songs basically served as a record to Zhou people, they has no idea what a poem is as poem to today’s people. The Zhou people just wrote down their life and feeling simply straightforward, like Confucius put it: 思无邪. This poem is a very good example.

邶风 北门
佚名

出自北门,忧心殷殷。
终窭且贫,莫知我艰。
已焉哉!天实为之,谓之何哉!

王事适我,政事一埤益我。
我入自外,室人交徧谪我。
已焉哉!天实为之,谓之何哉!

王事敦我,政事一埤遗我。
我入自外,室人交徧摧我。
已焉哉!天实为之,谓之何哉!

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