Chinese poem illustration: 邶风 简兮/ Bei Wind – Bang Bang by Anonymous
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The dancers are bravo, the ceremony is grandiose, the lord is mighty. What a typical grand ceremony of Zhou dynasty! Every detail looks bright, lively and positive, until the 4th paragraph, everything turns into blurred and negative, with a sense of blaming and irony to Zhou people, i.e. the glorious and beautiful westerners.
The crystal clear image of the depicted dance and ceremony versus the negative blaming and irony aroused many deciphers to this poem till today.
A new interpretation is developed in this video: the poet, a Shang people , was an officer of Bei state, he recorded this glory event of Zhou through his sad and irony eyes. Both Zhou and Shang people are vividly and sentimentally reflected through this single event, this single poem, yet the tension in between was revealed softly with his gifted writing.
Chinese poem illustration: 出塞/Out Fortress Gateway by Wang Changling
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One of the masterpiece of Frontier and Fortress Poetry(边塞诗), with the borrowed and concealed title Fortress Mountain Moon(关山月) from Musical Department(汉乐府) of Han dynasty.
The very typical Tang voice: bold, strong with a sense of the past long history, with viewing of ten thousands miles of distance and space featured this poem, especially the first pair of sentence.
Wang Changling is the pioneer of Frontier and Fortress poetry and the top master of Qijue(七绝), this poem do resemble one of his best poems, a result of his real experience in the field of frontier in his late 20s. The different meaning of Lang March(长征) between Tang and today is analysed.
Chinese poem illustration: 邶风 柏舟/ Boat of Cypress Wood by Anonymous
Boat is always a metaphor of fate, fate of a lord, fate of a state. It was further developed by Zhuangzi(庄子) as the ultimate destiny of a hermit: self-sufficient like a touring boat with loose anchor(饱食而遨游，泛若不系之舟，虚而遨游者也). This poem is the very origin of that image, that metaphor, that wording.
This poem depicted the common feeling of worriness in a very impressive and elegant way. The empathy created in turn makes this poem unique and popular.
An argument on the title is raised: The Boat of Cypress Wood implies this poem is about the Bei State and its lord. It use double entendre of 柏(cypress) to indicate 伯(lord), these two characters share the same sound in Zhou dynasty.
Chinese poem illustration: 鄘风 君子偕老/ Yong Wind – Gone with the Lord by Anonymous
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A beauty, a queen, with the most grand attire, the most beautiful woman within the state of Yong. It looks like a most grand ceremony, while the poem was deciphered as a blaming to the queen by Han scholars 2000 years ago. What is more, a background story with real name of the queen and king was proposed against this poem: a promiscuous queen, an ugly history figure to blame of.
More and more people today do not buy in the Han story. The poem is very clear a poem of praising the queen, her outlook, her manner and her virtue, and all these turns to be the huge contrast to her misfortunes, rather than her promiscuity.
A new interpretation is developed in this video: the venue is the funeral of the king. Some evidences are as follows:
象服 is the utmost grand attir, ascending the throne, king’s wedding and death is the circumstance for this attire most probably.
The 2nd and 3rd paragraph are all about the queen, while the first paragraph is hardly to be considered about queen, it is more alike a grand ceremony on march. 委委佗佗 or 委蛇委蛇 in 召南·羔羊 describe the long lines of people in zigzag like snake(委蛇 has 84 writing varieties, the basic form is by 它”、“也”、“蛇, see detail at http://www.chinanews.com/cul/2013/02-04/4544402.shtml). The comparison of 如山如河 is about the long troop with coffin moving steadily like mountain, calmly slowly like river, way to the cemetery(出殡), isn’t it? The image of mountain and river also give enormous energy and power.
胡然而天也？胡然而帝也？This is a typical situation in a Chinese funeral :呼天抢地, shout to sky and knock on the ground with own head. 帝 is a borrowed word of 地, this borrow is very common in ancient Chinese literature. The character 帝 has a great chance which was evolved from 地.
The most grand attire but all in white, this is different than other poems in Book of Songs, those outlook/attire depicting are always colorful. All while is also the Chinese funeral dressing code.
副笄六珈 could be 负梓六驾. This is a bold proposal mainly by the poem writing, the content should be intertextual and antithesis. The first sentence 君子偕老 has no intertextuality and antithesis with jewelry and makeup, which is the current interpretation of 副笄六珈.