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