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Chinese poem illustration: 小雅 大田/ Xiaoya – Grand Farmland by Anonymous

小雅 大田

Full video also available at Bilibili: 小雅 大田

Grand ceromony to heaven and ancestors, grand dining parties, happy wedding or blaming to king/war, that could easily become the general impression of Book of Songs, a bit controversy and contradiction to typical Chinese character: pragmatism, a character deeply rooted in the good earth. This poem is a good start to understand it. The key is to understand the uttermost significance of farmland to Chinese, to Zhou people. The Good Earth(大地) by Pearl S. Buck(赛珍珠), White Deer Plain(白鹿原, I would rather call it White Deer Plateau) a noval by Chen Zhongshi(陈忠实) are all about farmland, deeply rooted in this natute of Chinese. The movie and TV series based on White Deer Plain are also great to view.

When writing about farmland and harvest, the poems in Shijing oftently appear quite different: ignorance to Shijing’s formulas of rhyme, sentence pattern and character/paragraph counts, tirelessly listing every detail of their farmland, crops, weather and people that anything related, looking totally relaxed with joy, satisfactoriness and inner peace.

小雅 甫田/信南山, 豳风 七月 are very good reference to this poem.

小雅 大田
佚名

大田多稼,既种既戒,既备乃事。
以我覃耜,俶载南亩,播厥百谷。

既庭且硕,曾孙是若。

既方既皁,既坚既好,不稂不莠。
去其螟螣,及其蟊贼,无害我田稚。
田祖有神,秉畀炎火。

有渰萋萋,兴雨祈祈。
雨我公田,遂及我私。
彼有不获稚,此有不敛穧,
彼有遗秉,此有滞穗,伊寡妇之利。

曾孙来止,以其妇子。
馌彼南亩,田畯至喜。
来方禋祀,以其骍黑,与其黍稷。
以享以祀,以介景福。

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