Thursday, May 20, 2010

When Lu you Meets Tang Wan

Poem By Lu You

Poem By Tang Wan

Visited the scene of my Chinese literature again.

Amazed. While stones are worn out by the hands of Time, words, as fluid as they are, withstood the testament, to be remembered many centuries after. Such as the works of the ancient philosophers, the lines of literati.......

Emotions are universal and timeless.

Chanced upon Shen's Garden in Shaoxing, just like how Lu You (1125–1210) chanced upon Tang Wan, his former wife in the same Shen's Garden (well, may not be the exact spot. The garden may have shifted locations after all this time) that I visited.
A well-camouflaged speaker, in the form of a "rock", that plays Chinese music in the garden.

Lu You, under the pressure from his mother, divorced his first wife, Tang Wan, whom he grew up together with. He met her again after some years in Shen Garden when she was already wife of someone else, and he himself had remarried. Emotions were thick when Tang Wan brought him a toast. After the brief encounter, he wrote a poem (to be exact, lyrics) on the walls of the garden. Tang Wan wrote a poem in response to his. She passed away a year later. Today, visitors could see the encravings of their works on the walls, reminiscing in the pain of these ill-fated lovers.

Pheonix Hairpin

红酥手,黄縢酒, With your rosy, soft hands, a toast of good wine was brought to me.
满城春色宫墙柳。 The town was adorned with Spring and willows swayed by the walls
东风恶,欢情薄, The East wind bit mercilessly on our thin happiness,
一怀愁绪,几年离索,A heart full of sorrow for these years of living asunder.

错,错,错。 All but a mistake! A mistake! A mistake!

春如旧,人空瘦, While spring seemed untouched by time; lovesickness caused one to grow empty and thin.
泪痕红浥鲛绡透。 Traces of tears drenched the handkerchief.
桃花落,闲池阁, Withering peach blossoms left the garden in solitude.,
山盟虽在,锦书难托,The oath of yesterday remains but no longer can we converse through letters.

莫,莫,莫。 Forget it! Forget it! Forget it!

Poetry was a common tool of expression in ancient China, thus the tradition of writing poems. Emotions, thoughts, ideals are captured within the scope of a poem. The Book of poems was compiled as early as 1046BC - 771BC. It is not without regret that none of these ancient Chinese poets could hold a candle to the international fame that Shakespeare enjoys.