Black beauty in chinese writing and meanings

In Astrology On October 24, at 9: We are also completely under the influence of Venus as she rules Taurus but remember she is feeling confused, lost, and reflective as she is retrograde.

Black beauty in chinese writing and meanings

A Personal View Frederick Turner From about the middle of the seventh century to the end of the tenth, one of the most remarkable bodies of poetry in the world was composed in China.

black beauty in chinese writing and meanings

It is at once achingly fresh and evocative, and classically sophisticated; perhaps the only Western analogy might be the work of the early Greek lyric poets—now mostly lost—and their great Roman followers, Horace and Virgil.

The poems from the period in this anthology are for the most part tiny in physical length and astonishingly uniform in structure and meter—but each one is a unique gem of profound water and unplumbed depth.

These poems were selected from the huge body of classical Tang poetry by my collaborator, a Chinese scholar of distinction who chooses, against my wishes but with characteristic Chinese modesty, to remain anonymous. I do not read or speak more than a few Chinese words; during our work on these poems I avoided using other translations, such as those of Witter Bynner, Ezra Pound, and Kenneth Rexroth, though I was familiar with them before.

Thus I must acknowledge my great debt to my nameless colleague, for he was, with the exception of some useful comments and advice from the Chinese philologist Baomei Lin, my only language informant. These poems roughly overlap the period of the Tang Dynasty, which until its later decline provided an era of peace and prosperity in the heartland of China.

The poems in this anthology do not represent the entire range of genre, form and subject in Tang poetry, but they are a fair sample. This introduction will address only the poems here, and should not be taken as applying to all of Tang poetry, still less to Chinese poetry as a whole.

We can compare their purity and sweetness of sensibility to such Western figures as Giotto, Ronsard, Saint-Colombe, and Dowland in their respective cultures and artforms. Here the objective and subjective are perfectly balanced, as in the work of such Western figures as Shakespeare, Michelangelo, and Mozart.

Passionate, turbulent, romantic, mystical, fantastical, but with a strange self-deprecating sense of humor, he explores the strange world of Chinese folklore and the darker and wilder passages of the soul—but always with poetic mastery and dignified grace. Perhaps we can compare him with Caravaggio, Beethoven, Milton.

Here we must turn to the great Romantic novelists, like Balzac, Tolstoy, and Dickens, or to painters like Millet and Van Gogh, or dramatists like Berthold Brecht, for comparisons.

Li he, who like Li Bai explores the Chinese fantasyland, the passions, and the surreal mode, but with a quirkier and gentler charm; Du Mu, with his lovely introspective musings; and the last great flowering in Li Shangyin, lover and philosopher, one of the most exquisite poets of retrospection and delicate feeling.

The imperial administrator could be as humble as a clerk or as grand as a provincial governor or imperial envoy to the frontier armies; if he remained in the Capital in a position of national responsibility he would have little time or incentive to write, but if his position was that of a minor official he would often be inspired to poetry.

More usually he would be sent to the provinces. Wise imperial policy tended to appoint local administrators whose family and childhood home were far away, so as to avoid nepotism and an inter-generational accumulation of local power and wealth that could challenge the distant central government.

To recruit local authorities from distant prefectures was, I believe, the Chinese way of solving the same problem that faced the medieval Christian Church—how to prevent the formation of local dynasties.

black beauty in chinese writing and meanings

Celibacy was the price a priest paid for his power; exile was the price paid by a mandarin. Louis XIV of France solved it by bringing his nobles to Versailles where he could keep an eye on them. One of the great themes of Tang poetry is exile; family, friends, and the sounds, smells and sights of home became achingly dear, and letters very important.

The occasional visit by an old fellow-student would be the occasion of bitter-sweet reminiscence, feastings, late night drinking parties, and sad farewells. Many poems are parting gifts to a friend.

The poetry examination, with its intense period of prior study under professional tutors, was the rite of passage by which a scholar entered imperial service.

It is a remarkable reflection that perhaps the longest-lasting regime in the world setting aside the dynastic struggles of the emperors, and the invasion and swift assimilation of foreign rulers was the Chinese civil service—and its major qualification was the passing of an examination in poetry!

Perhaps this is one reason why China is the only surviving ancient civilization that still uses the same writing system, and the written language of Confucius still remains vivid for modern Chinese. Ernest Fenollosa, like some Chinese scholars, traces the decline after the Tang period to a change of emphasis in the examination system from the composition of original poetry to memorization of Confucian texts—in Chinese terms, a loss of the Yang element in the certification process.

For the Tang writer the examinations served as a common ordeal, cementing together in a bond of mutual understanding poets from a hundred corners of China and centuries of Chinese history. A pure and refined poetic vocabulary was hammered out, which was capable of an extraordinary range of delicate nuance, detailed observation, and emotional power.

The ethics and religion of the scholar-poet-administrator were fundamentally Confucian. But such a life was recognized by most poets to be incomplete without a more meditative and even mystical dimension. Daoist communion with nature and Buddhist retreat for the refreshment of the soul were necessary counterbalances for the worldly cares, vanities, and corruptions of court or command.

It was always risky to tell truth to power in China as anywhere else, and such truth-telling was a Confucian duty. He would relinquish ego in search of the secrets of nature and of the soul. Or looking at the moon over the sea he thinks of distant friends doing the same thing. Then there is the Horatian poem about the rustic wine-party with an old friend and colleague.

There is the farewell or parting poem, usually to a friend but sometimes to the beloved wife; and the poem of political exile written to distant friends, yearning for a role in the just reform of government. In retirement there is the peace or the grief of an old age that is either serene and wealthy, or lonely and penurious.Meanings of Names.

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Yahoo Lifestyle is your source for style, beauty, and wellness, including health, inspiring stories, and the latest fashion trends. Writing and literature form an integral part in societies all across the World of four nations use a common system of characters borrowed from the Chinese system for daily purposes.

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