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  • 水调歌头 (The name of a tune, used for title of poems and prose)

  • The Chinese Mid-Autmun day comes on the fifteenth of July in Lunar Calendar. On this day in 1076 A.D., one of the greatest

  • poet, artist, writer, calligrapher and statesmen in Chinese history, Su Shi(Yeah I know it sounds like sushi) wrote the following poem.

  • At this moment, his cousin just left him after a visit for his government job. Su had been exiled from the center of politics and he was drinking and...

  • Su Shi was exiled because he wrote poems that contained words that were ruled out to be provocative. The question to the appearance of

  • bright moon reflected that he anticipated a just bureaucracy and hoped the supernatural power would direct the system towards justice. This

  • stereotypical passion towards a political status is the result of the thousand year old tradition of feudalistic Chinese society: if you have talent,

  • then you should go and become a politician.

  • Su Shi was involved in confronting bureaucracies who ruled in favor of government monopoly in the salt business. And confined by the old thinking

  • that a political career is more deserving than all other careers, Su Shi came into a complicated situation where his door into politics is closed

  • because of his own political stance. Therefore with the effect of alcohol, he fantasized dancing in a world without constraint.

  • Red chambers, curtained door, the sleepless, if you can feel it, are rhymes, and they describe the motion of the moonlight. He then blamed the moon

  • for being round at this moment when he and his cousin could not gather together. Some historians concluded that he had the capacity for being

  • arrogant, and this sentence in this poem might give a hint on his unjust feeling over his hardship.

  • The metaphor of moon’s waxing and waning is a very good illustration of his artistic beauty. In the end of this poem, he relieved himself by admitting

  • that sometimes things just don’t work out for himself. And his wishes at the end might refer to him and his cousin, but also could be extended to

  • a broader sense of self-relief to his hardship, thus showing his optimism at the very end.

水调歌头 (The name of a tune, used for title of poems and prose)

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B1 shi cousin poem exiled hardship moon

Su Shi "Shui Diao Ge Tou"

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    阿多賓 posted on 2014/01/20
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