Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Plum Blossoms, to the tune Journey of Youth

[Note--I have updated this post since discovering that references to “harmonious tripods” and “harmonious stew” have long been allusions to the fruit of the plum tree.]

In addition to the Poem on White Plum Blossoms and Jakdan’s Song on Plum Blossoms, there is another plum blossom poem in the Staatsbibliothek material that mentions “harmonizing stew.”

This shorter poem is set to a  style double tune. The poem ends with a reference to a Táng dynasty official named Sòng Guǎngpíng (宋廣平), who was famously described as having “iron intestines and stone heart” (鐵腸石心), but despite this “hard heartedness” once wrote a rhapsody on plum blossoms (梅花賦). This seems to echo the reference to sele gu-i duha do “iron and jade internal organs” of the first poem.

nenden ilha [梅花],    Plum Blossoms
Staatsbibliothek 14.22 (View Online)
tumen wanggai da uju,    Principal among the myriad fragrances,
i esi encu,    of course it stands apart.
juhe canggi,    There is nothing but ice,
gecen niša,    the frost is hard,

nememe luku,

    not only that, but thick.

šasigan hūwaliyambure,    At harmonizing stew
dzaisiyang ben fulu,    the zǎixiàng [宰相] was clever and excellent.
selei niyaman,    An iron heart,
gu-i dere,    and a jade face:
10 sung guwang ping [宋廣平] agu.    Mister Song Guangping

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