10Sep/21

Chinese poem illustration/召南 江有汜/佚名 Elegy to his lord

Chinese poem illustration: 召南 江有汜/Shao Wind – Dead in Yangtze River by Anonymous

召南 江有汜

Full video also available at Bilibili: 召南 江有汜

An elegy to his lord who passed away somewhere in Yangtze river. This poem used to be interpreted as a woman complaining poem(闺怨诗) which aroused a lot of arguments and ambiguities.

The key words of three rivers 祀, 渚, 沱 all strongly imply someone dead in the branch river of Yangtze by its homophony and radicals. By the last sentence He Sings Solemnly(其啸也歌), this poem turns out to be an evocation song(招魂歌) for the sake to settle down the ghost of his lord in peace. The evocation song is normaly for a dead of mishap whose ghost tend to be wandering in the wild. The song is to calm the ghost and summon the ghost back to where he should rest, normally the ancestor temple and cemetery.

召南 江有汜
佚名

江有汜,之子归,不我以。
不我以,其后也悔。

江有渚,之子归,不我与。
不我与,其后也处。

江有沱,之子归,不我过。
不我过,其啸也歌。

06Sep/21

Chinese poem illustration/召南 小星/佚名 Stars resemble King and War

Chinese poem illustration: 召南 小星/Shao Wind – Little Stars by Anonymous

召南 小星

Full video also available at Bilibili: 召南 小星

Stellars and stars being believed as the mandate of heaven, a King would know his fate: the mandate of heaven by observing the movement of stars especially Sun(太阳), Moon(太阴) and five planets(五行). This poem is mainly about stars which aroused huge arguments through the history. The believing in stellars faded as well as bewildered since Spring and Autumn Period(春秋), this might be the main reason why the explainations to this poem vary in later generations.

When oberserving the stellars, the position of stellars is drawn at the moment just after the sunset, the key indicating stellar of the day is the stellar just rise up the east horizon or the stellar at the dead south at its peak of the orbit. In this poem, both paragraph most probabaly indicate the stars just rise up in the east. The Tristars(参宿) indicates the statutory season to open war. In the video, the second paragraph being deciphered as at its orbit peak in south is of less possiblility. A good reference to Tristars(参宿) at its orbit peak is the words in 唐风 绸缪: 三星在天, the Tristars is high up in the heaven which indicates the time of spring festival.

召南 小星
佚名

嘒彼小星,三五在东。
肃肃宵征,夙夜在公。寔命不同。

嘒彼小星,维参与昴。
肃肃宵征,抱衾与裯。寔命不犹。

04Sep/21

Chinese poem illustration/召南 行露/佚名 A lawsuit

Chinese poem illustration: 召南 行露/Shao Wind – Road Dew by Anonymous

召南 行露

Full video also available at Bilibili: 召南 行露

A strange and mysterious lawsuit made the poet outrages, while it was widely argued about who launched the lawsuit against the poet, what for this laswsuit was made? who was the poet? a male or a female? These questions further complicate another question: this poem appeared to be written in the early stage of Zhou dynasty which was described as one of the few prosperous period(成康盛世) in Chinese history with a unqiue imprint: no lawsuit happened during the whole period.

A new arguement is raised in this video, yet, there are still too many unknowns. The character 女 and 汝 are discussed.

召南 行露
佚名

厌浥行露,岂不夙夜,谓行多露。

谁谓雀无角?何以穿我屋?
谁谓女无家?何以速我狱?
虽速我狱,室家不足!

谁谓鼠无牙?何以穿我墉?
谁谓女无家?何以速我讼?
虽速我讼,亦不女从!