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Chinese poem illustration: 小雅 雨无正/ Xiaoya – Tilted Rain by Anonymous

小雅 雨無正

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An epic poem about the chaos and miserables during the end of West Zhou(西周), when the king was killed, captital city invaded and destroyed, mountian flattened by gigantic earth quake, famine spreaded all over. At the meanwhile, the poet was summoned by the authority which probably would cost him everything.

The key to undersatnd this poem is the concepts: spring heaven(昊天) vs autunm heaven(旻天), right(正) or center(中): to be in the center and right place. This could also be the reason that this poem is with irregular number of sentences in each paragraph, with very unusal 7 paragraphs a poem. Normally each paragraph have same amont of sentences for symetry, with an even number paragraphs of 4,6, 8 etc. when going beyond the very primitive 3 paragraphs peom. The poet tried all kinds of methods to express the status of Not Right(无正).

小雅 雨无正
佚名

浩浩昊天,不骏其德。降丧饥馑,斩伐四国。
旻天疾威,弗虑弗图。舍彼有罪,既伏其辜。若此无罪,沦胥以铺。

周宗既灭,靡所止戾。正大夫离居,莫知我勚。
三事大夫,莫肯夙夜。邦君诸侯,莫肯朝夕。庶曰式臧,覆出为恶。

如何昊天,辟言不信。如彼行迈,则靡所臻。
凡百君子,各敬尔身。胡不相畏,不畏于天?

戎成不退,饥成不遂。曾我暬御,憯憯日瘁。
凡百君子,莫肯用讯。听言则答,谮言则退。

哀哉不能言,匪舌是出,维躬是瘁。
哿矣能言,巧言如流,俾躬处休!

维曰予仕,孔棘且殆。
云不何使,得罪于天子;亦云可使,怨及朋友。

谓尔迁于王都。曰予未有室家。
鼠思泣血,无言不疾。昔尔出居,谁从作尔室?

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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