Monday, July 2, 2018

The Tin Maidservant

The Tin Maidservant is a name for a pot (汤婆子) that could be filled with hot water, wrapped in a quilt, and placed in a bed to keep it warm. Like the Clay Daughter-in-Law, this poem simultaneously talks about a woman and a household article. Maybe it is a riddle, intended to make the listener think of a woman, while the answer is a household article. Or maybe the household article is a thin disguise and it really is about the woman.

toholon nehū [錫奴],    The Tin Maidservant
Staatsbibliothek 11.87 (View Online)
gebu fusihūn,    Of humble reputation,
saikan banin,    but beautiful appearance,
banjinjiha wenjehun,    is the warmth that has come to live here.
adanjici icangga,    Pleasant when accompanying one,
5abai duyen,    never indifferent,
dembei nesuken,    very gentle,
haji halhūn,    amorous.
beye ufuhi ujen,    Body partly heavy,
ume foihori tuwara,    do not treat her carelessly,
10urui ginggun.    be always respectful.

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