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Chinese poem illustration: 小雅 鸿雁/ Xiaoya – Geese by Anonymous

小雅 鸿雁

Full video also available at Bilibili: 小雅 鸿雁

Starting from this poem, writing about or mentioning goose is everywhere in Chinese literature. In Zhou dynasty, besides the literature image given by this poem, goose has a very practical usage as a gift. By the history record, when a Zhou people is about visiting another person, he need prepare a gift for the host. people with different social levels need to prepare the gift accordingly. For example, the lord should prepare a piece of jade as his gift, an officer should use a goose as his gift(挚 or 鸷, 凡摯,天子鬯,諸侯圭,卿羔,大夫鴈,士雉,庶人之摯匹).

The traditional explanation of this poem consider it a story of reunion and restoration: A Zhou king gathered his people from exile, rebuild the town and city, restored his kingdom and capital. While this decipherment can not explain the last paragraph and some key words. Thus a new explanation is discussed and developed in this video.

小雅 鸿雁
佚名

鸿雁于飞,肃肃其羽。
之子于征,劬劳于野。
爰及矜人,哀此鳏寡。

鸿雁于飞,集于中泽。
之子于垣,百堵皆作。
虽则劬劳,其究安宅?

鸿雁于飞,哀鸣嗷嗷。
维此哲人,谓我劬劳。
维彼愚人,谓我宣骄。

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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