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Title: Shirley's Art Works 1093- Integrated Art 107: Ting Zhu- Bamboos in the Courtyard - April 24,2016
Artist: Shirley Yiping Zhang
Size: 71cm x 180.00cm( 27.95 inches x 70.86inches)
Completed Time: April 24, 2016
Remarks:
Listen to Shirley Singing the Poem in Chinese in the USA Feb 16, 2014
Listen to Shirley Singing the Poem in English in the USA Feb 16, 2014

Listen to Shirley Singing the Poem in Chinese & English in the USA Feb 16,2014
Listen to Shirley Singing the Poem in English & Chinese in the USA Feb 16, 2014


Listen to Shirley Explaining the Poem & Follow Me to Read It (2012)
Follow Shirley to Read the New Words & the Poem in Chinese (2012)

Learn the Meaning of the Poem & Yong Wu Poem

See Shirley Created Paintings for the Poem April 25, 2016
See Shirley Created Paintings for the Poem in the USA, Feb 15, 2014
See Shirley Created Paintings for the Poem March 22-23, 2012
See Shirley Created Picture for the Poem Jan 09, 2010

This is my 1093rd painting since 2003 , and my 106th Picture that I have created / painted for Chinese Classical Poems.

This is the 7th time I created /painted a painting for the poem below. I completed the last painting in Chinese National Academy of Arts in July, 2015, but I had no time to complete the poem in Beijing. So, I took it with me to go to the USA in August, 2015, then I carried it without the poem with me back to China in Feb,2016. Always I thought I would have time to match the poem for it in the future, until this Monday, suddenly I knew the mother of one of my work partners has passed a way for 1 years, and she was the one whom I have been wishing to have met and invited to have a meal since 1996 for she often said I treated and "used" her son just like my own son; then on Wednesday, I was told that one of my best friends whom I wished to visit but have not done yet is hospitalized now…

Suddenly I felt I myself is just like a guilty person who has made some mistakes that cannot be forgiven … with a guilty heart and sorrowed heart, at once, I opened my suitcase and took out of the painting, now I have completed all of the things for it for matching the poem...


The Main Meaning of the Poem and the Lyrics of the Song in English

Ting Zhu

Tang Dynasty (618- 907)

By Liu Yuxi (772 -842)

The dew has cleaned the bamboo nodes,
The wind sways the green branches.
Naturally graceful you are like a gentleman,
Everywhere you are welcome.

The dew has cleaned the bamboo nodes,
The wind sways the green branches.
Naturally graceful you are like a gentleman,
Everywhere you are welcome,
Everywhere you are welcome.

Everywhere you are welcome,
Everywhere you are welcome.



Original Poem, Lyrics of the Song in Chinese and Pronunciations

You can click on any Chinese Character to open the New Character Board and see its Chinese pinyin, meaning, pronunciation and follow me to read it; you can also click on the links to enter the Vocal, Bilingual Poetry & Painting Series of Painting Column, or to enter the Classical Column of Chinese Language column.

庭竹 -- Tíng Zhú
-- Táng

刘禹锡 -- Líu Yǔxī

露涤铅华节-- Lù dí qiānhuá jié,
风摇青玉枝-- Fēngyáo qīngyù zhī。
依依似夫子-- Yīyī sì fūzǐ,
无地不相宜-- wú dì bù xiāngyí。

露涤铅华节-- Lù dí qiānhuá jié,
风摇青玉枝-- Fēngyáo qīngyù zhī。
依依似夫子-- Yīyī sì fūzǐ,
无地不相宜-- wú dì bù xiāngyí,
无地不相宜-- wú dì bù xiāngyí。

无地不相宜-- wú dì bù xiāngyí,
无地不相宜-- wú dì bù xiāngyí。


About the Poet

Liu Yuxi (772 -842) was a writer, poet, politician and philosopher in the metaphase of Tang Dynasty (618 - 907).

Liu's ancestral home was in Luoyang, today’s capital of Hebei Province. However, his family moved to the South of the Yangtze River during the Rebellion of An and Shi(755 - 763), and he was born in to the scholar-official family in Jiaxing, today's Jiangsu Province.

When he was 19 years old, he went to the capital - Changan, modern day Xian and gained the title of Jinshi as a successful candidate in the highest imperial examination at the age of 21. He then passed another two imperial examinations and was given an official position -- Tai Zi Jiao Shu, his job was to check and to order the books in the Chong Wen Guan, which served the prince.

During his life, he was given at least twelve positions, such as the official imperial supervisor of inspection, and he was also demoted from the capital several times and appointed to the position of provincial or prefectural governor at least 7 times.

Liu Yuxi made four major contributions to Chinese culture:

As a philosopher, his representative work Tian Lun indicated the corporality of heaven, the relationship between heaven and human beings, nature and human beings and so on. It is one of the most important works in the Chinese classical philosophical system.

As a politician, Li Yuxi was one of the main supporters of the Yongzhen Reform that mainly opposed the eunuchs grabbing political power, and the military governors’ separatist regimes. The reform failed and as a result he was demoted again and again....

However, the many demotions and position changes gave him the opportunity to study society and the common people.

As a writer, he thought that literature should reflect the social reality and learn from the tradition of "Yue Fu -- folk song/ folk poetry" from the Qin dynasty (221 B. C. - 206B.C.) and popular in the Han Dynasty(206 B.C. - 220 A.D.), to learn from the first great poet in China -- Qu Yuan (about 340 B.C. - 278 B.C), and to get spiritual nutrition from folk literature, art and music.
His representative essay -- Lou Shi Ming, has become one of the most famous ancient articles and has been read and recited by Chinese students to the present day.

As a poet, he introduced many innovations not only in poetic style but also in the way he introduced fresh ideas and topics into his poems. His poems covered a wide range of subjects, mainly reflecting people's lives and folk customs and are full of emotion realism and folk breath.
Some of his political poems lashed out at the influential officials who ordered the suppression of Yongzhen Reform and he thus brought many troubles on himself.

His accomplishments in philosophy and literature gave him the same reputation to that of Liu Zongyuan(773―819) and became called "Liu Liu". Also, because of his success in poetry, he was called "Liu Bai" together with Bai Juyi (772―846) in his own time.

About Yong Wu Shi

The poem, Ting Zhu, is a Yǒng Wù Shī - Yǒng means chant; Wù means thing or matter; Shī means poem. Yǒng Wù Shī is a poem that expresses people’s aspirations, emotions or humanity through chanting about a thing / object.

In a Yǒng Wù Shī, anything in nature, such as a mountain, a river, a flower or a tree can be written about, described and chanted. To compare to the poet himself, both of the thing and the author are integrated together totally. Usually, the author writes his Yǒng Wù Shīto express his attitude towards life, beautiful wishes, philosophy of life and sentiment.

Yǒng Wù Shī is a wonderful poem in Chinese traditional poetry. The ancient Chinese enjoyed chanting things, to describe things via poems. According to statistics, in the Quan Tang Shi -- Complete Tang Poems, there are 6021 Yǒng Wù Shī in all of the 49,403 (in another version there are 42863) Tang poems, it makes 8.2% of the total. The interesting thing is that 3556 of them were written in later Tang. Therefore, I think that maybe people enjoyed writing Yong Wu Shi, because they would like to express their true thoughts and feelings indirectly in complex situations.

Enjoy the Poem

First of all, let us consider the title Ting Zhu: 庭竹tíng zhú. tíng means courtyard, law court or court; zhú means bamboo. On the surface, we can think of the meaning of the title as just chant " bamboo in the courtyard ." However, after we recall the life and career experience of Liu Yuxi, after we have learned something about Yong Wu Shi, then, I guess, maybe you will have some new idea. In my opinion, it has perhaps three meanings:

-- ( Chant ) the bamboo in the courtyard;
-- ( Chant ) the gentleman as a bamboo in the court;
-- ( Chant ) the poet himself as a bamboo.

The first line 露涤铅华节 lù dí qiānhuá jié -- the dew has cleaned the bamboo nodes.

lù, means dew; dí means cleanse, wash; 铅华 qiānhuá (another version is 铅粉qiān fěn) means a cosmetic or something used in makeup; jié means the nodes of the bamboo. Here the poet compares the bamboo to a girl. The morning's dew has made her natural quality appeared. So, when I sang it, I just simply translated into "The dew has cleaned the bamboo nodes."

This line indicates the first characteristic of the bamboo -- What the bamboo could accept to clean his body is just the dew in the early morning, because the dew is the cleanese and natural water in the world. It makes me think of the lines by the first Chinese poet Qu Yuan n his long poem Li Sao:

The first great Chinese poet Qu Yuan ( 340 / 239 B.C. ? 278 B. C.) wrote in his long poem Li Sao -- Zhao yin mu lan zhi zhui lu xi, xi can qiu ju zhi luo yin -- what he ate in the morning was the dew that dropped from the flower of the magnolia, what he had in the night was the petals of the chrysanthemum in the autumn.

I am thinking, maybe here, Liu Yuxi would like to tell us is that what the person who is like the bamboo has learned and absorbed is the cleanest and noblest thing in the world. Just as the bamboo has used cleanest dew to clean his body, there is nothing that is unnatural or affected, but keeps his natural personality.

The second line: 风摇青玉枝 fēngyáo qīngyù zhī -- the wind is swaying its green jade branches.

fēng means wind; yáo means sway; 青玉枝 qīngyù means the color of the bamboo is just like green jade; zhī means branch.

This line praises the good features of the bamboo, just like a beautiful girl in a long green dress, waving her beautiful branches.

The third line: 依依似夫子 yīyī sì fūzǐ― with natural and graceful features and manners, you are just like a gentleman.

依依 yīyīmeans the supple (twigs) and tender (leaves), the branches are swaying in the light wind, and hints how gentle and tender are the characteristics of the person who has similar quality to a bamboos. sìmeans like; 夫子 fūzǐis an ancient respectful form address to a Confucian scholar or to a master by his disciples, here means gentleman and points the poet himself.

This line admires the good surface of the bamboo and helps people make a connection between the good features of the bamboo and the character of a gentleman.

Last line: 无地不相宜 wú dì bù xiāngyí -- Everywhere you are welcome. No place is inappropriate; everywhere is appropriate.

wú means no, not; dìmeans place; wúdìmeans nowhere, no place; bù means do not, not ; xiāngyí means suitable, appropriate. This line states the feeling frankly, to admire the bamboo for its strong vitality and ability to live in every environment, it can live in any place, just like a gentleman is welcome everywhere.

As we have learned, on surface, a Yong Wu Shi chants about a thing, but, its purpose is to express the emotions, ideas, or thoughts of the author. In this poem, when it praises the bamboo as being just like a gentleman, welcome everywhere, in fact it says:

Just like the bamboo, the gentleman who has absorbed the prime and best knowledge and thoughts of the world, has a natural and clean personality; he is beautiful inside, and as with the bamboo, he has also the graceful features outside and especially has a strong vitality and can flourish anywhere.

Let us think, since Liu Yuxi had been demoted many times for his political ideas, but was used by the court again and again as an official in many important positions in many places, meant he did have the ability to adapt himself to the different circumstances and to be welcome everywhere. Also, it hints at his determination that would never give up in any bad situation.

Now, maybe, you will understand why Chinese people so love bamboo and why bamboo is an important part of Chinese culture.

Inspiration

Like most Chinese people, I love bamboos, not only for it being a symbol of straightness, honesty and modesty like a gentleman, but I also, I enjoy its features as a beautiful girl. After reading this poem, I do feel:

1. True beauty things should be beautiful inside and outside, we should not just emphasize onw and ignore the other. No matter whether a man or a woman, we should improve ourselves inside by studying something classical and holy every day, to maintain a beautiful heart and soul. Meanwhile, we should also pay attention to our own appearance, to keep a beautiful surface as well.

2. The more knowledgeable and cultured a person is, the more he or she is gentle, kind, friendly and modest. Just like the bamboo, it is empty inside, always wants to learn from the others. Therefore, he or she is welcome everywhere.

3. A person who is soft and tender outside does not mean he or she soft inside. Usually, someone with an iron hand in a velvet glove, is just the strongest one.

So, even though I have read this poem many times, every time, when I re-read it, there is some new feeling in my heart.

With so much appreciation, I translated it into English, wrote an article to introduce it, created a piece of music and sang it in Chinese for first time in June 2006; then I created 3 paintings to go with the music, and sang it in Chinese and in English in 2010; then in 2012, I painted the 4th painting for it at the Chinese National Academy of Arts in Beijing. Then, in my travel in the USA in 2014, I painted the 5th painting for it, re-translated it and re-sang it in English and in Chinese, re-wrote the articles and corrected the new word board.

During I worked on it, Mr. Mike Jeyce from England, Mrs. Zhang Xiaogang from China corrected my translation and this article in 2014 and in 2015.

Now, I have re-done all of the things once more.

I really hope our effort will be of some help to you to learn Chinese culture, art and language.

If you have any questions, comments and suggestions, please write to shirley@ebridge.cn ; you are welcome to publish your opinions on the Message Board as well.

Shirley Yiping Zhang

Wrote, Painted, Translated, Sang & Recorded the Content on April 24, 2016/ Feb 15 - 16, 2014, in the USA / Jun 10, 2006