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Chinese poem illustration: 郑风 叔于田/ Zheng Wind – Junior Brother at Hunting by Anonymous

郑风 叔于田

By analysing a lord’s family, especially the importance of senior and junior brothers in a family(伯仲叔季), an arguement is raised about this poem: what exactly does this simple poem talk about? a tongue-twister of nothing important? a poem reflect some real concern and favor of the time which is unfamiliar to nowaday people? An intereting history story(郑伯克段于鄢) is shared which might be related to this poem.

Traditional or first round explanation to Shijing were develpoed in Han dynasty(汉朝), most poems in Shijing were related to a story in the East Zhou dynasty(东周), which finally was approved wrong. While King Wind(王风), Zheng Wind(郑风) and Qin Wind(秦风) were basically written during East Zhou dynasty which was well recorded by a chronicle book (春秋左传), thus some poems could be possibly related. Grand Junior Brother at Hunting of Zheng Wind(郑风 大叔于田) might be about the same person, same event of this poem.

The writing technique employed is amazing: hyperbole about his consciousness to a level of denying the real facts, not to say rhetorical question. Is it the earlist stream of consciousness?

郑风 叔于田
佚名

叔于田,巷无居人。
岂无居人?不如叔也,洵美且仁。

叔于狩,巷无饮酒。
岂无饮酒?不如叔也,洵美且好。

叔适野,巷无服马。
岂无服马?不如叔也,洵美且武

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