Chinese poem illustration: 小雅 节南山/ Xiaoya – Sighing for South Mountain by Father Jia
Around late term of West Zhou(西周), Father Jia(家父), the poet is furious to those misbehaving governors(尹氏大师) who brought huge disasters to people, thus he wrote this blaming poem to record the guilts and his own feelings. The poem implied a period of ruling without king, which very likely correspond to the King Li(周厉王)’s period, the king been exiled for 14 years.
Misfortunate country creates fortunate poets(国家不幸诗家兴), Father Jia was, so did Qu Yuan(屈原) who was 500 years after. for sure Qu Yuan inherit a lot from this poem.
In the first part, the poet concluded that Senior official(尹氏大师) worsened the disasters of famines and pandemic by pinpoint their duties and their behaviors.
In second part of this poem, the poet concluded the King did not behave properly neither. The poet further describes a meetup with that senior official which further reflecting his ugly and mean personality. With unease and fury, the poet explained why he was writing this poem, which is to record the situation and feelings(诗言志), he even unusually attached his name in the poem: 家父作诵 to stand by his political concerns, his duty and consequence.
Attaching poet name also indicated the poetry is much more advanced compare to those written earlier, it was of more personal interests and feelings rather than common interests. This poem is also one of the very original ancestor of those patriotism poems in later dynasties, normally considered starting from Qu Yuan(屈原).
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