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Chinese Classical Poem 163 & Shirley Created Painting, Articel, Music & Poem Songs 163 for: Guan Ju - Jan 21, 2014 in USA /in Sep 9, 2005 in China


Listen to Shirley Singing the Poem in Chinese Jan 20, 2014 in the USA
Listen to Shirley Singing the Poem in Chinese & English Jan 20,2014 in the USA
Listen to Shirley Singing the Poem in English Jan 20,2014 in USA
Listen to Shirley Singing the Poem in English & in Chinese Jan 20, 2014 in the USA

Listen to Shirley Explaining the Poem
Follow Shirley to Read the Poem & New Words
Learn the Meaning of the Poem with Shirley Together

See Shirley created Painting for the Poem Jan 3 & 21, in the USA

See Shirley Painted Picture for the Poem April 19, 2008 in China

Because of the Culture Revolution in China ( 1966 - 1976) and its influence until the earlier phase of 80's, the word "Love" was a taboo and the topic about Love was a forbidden zone in the art field and the public occasions . If someone talked anything about love publicly, she or he was considered as a bad woman or a bad man. So, about one generation who were born in the last half time of the 50's, whole of 60's, many of them have never spoken the work "Love" to their family members and even spouses face to face for whole of their lives. They have no the encourage to touch the former taboo until today. Some of them have an empty point or room in their love life sill, even though they have families, have children and spouses, there is no lovely language among them for the influence from the culture revolution still.

Can you imagine? After the culture revolution was finished for 2 years, in 1978, people just re-started to use the word "Dear" in the public occasions. I remembered clear, that was at the National Education, Science and Technology Conference in Beijing, a groups of students went up the stage with flowers to said : "Dear Teachers...  ̄ almost of all of the teachers wept´ Just since then, China really re-started to go to the opening, Chinese people just re-covered our normal lives.

Anyway, the terrible 10 years and its bad influence in the world has been keeping for a long time, so that many foreigners think Chinese a nation there is no love. Then, that is wrong.

In fact, since about 3,000 years ago, in the Western Zhou Dynasty (11th century B.C. -256B.C.), the first poem of the earliest collection of poetry Shi Jing C Book of Songs or Classic of Poetry is just a love poem. It has expressed how a gentleman liked and then loved a girl, missed her in the day and night, wanted to show her his love with his music, and then he decided to get marry in the sounds of bell and the drums with her...

Here is it:

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 Painting Column, to see more paintings and art notes that I wrote for the poem.

購購宅 C Gu─n gu─n   j┗ ji┗
壓采岻巖 -- z┐i   h└ zh┤ zh┃u ,
餾饂募溺 -- Y┌o ti┌o   sh┗n┠,
埴徨挫縅 -- j┗n z┼ h┌o qi┣。

歌餓橙暇 C C┘n c┤ x━ng c━,
恣嘔送岻 C zu┓ y┛u   li┣ zh┤。
餾饂募溺 C Y┌o ti┌o   sh┗ n┠,
綮誕箔岻 C w┳ m┬i qi┣ zh┤。
箔岻音誼 C Qi┣ zh┤ b┫ d└,
房捲 C w┳ m┬i sh┤ f┣。
啼壞啼壞 -- Y┃u z─i   y┃u z─i,
娵廬郡迦 -- zh┌n   zhu┌n   f┌n c┬。

歌餓橙暇 -- C┘n c┤ x━ng c━,
-- Zu┓ y┛u c┌i zh┤。
餾饂募溺 -- Y┌o ti┌o   sh┗ n┠,
肺肘嗔岻 -- Q┴ns┬ y┓u zh┤。
歌餓橙暇 -- C┘n c┤ x━ng c━,
d -- Zu┓ y┛u m┐o zh┤。
餾饂募溺 -- Y┌o ti┌o   sh┗ n┠,
嶝皇赤岻 C Zh┃ng g┳ yu┬ zh┤。

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

Guan! Guan! Singing ospreys
On the sandbar in the River,
The beautiful girl,
The gentleman¨s ideal spouse.

The ragged cresses,
Are flowing on the left and right.
The beautiful girl,
I' am seeking her day and night.
Seek but fail to get,
I miss her for day and night.
What a long night it is!
I toss and turn, have a sleepless night.

The ragged cresses,
Are picked up from the left and the right.
The beautiful girl,
I show my friendship by playing music for her.
The ragged cresses,
Are chosen from left and right.
The beautiful girl,
I will pleasure her by marry with her in the bells and drums.   

About the Original Source of the Poem   

Guan Ju is the first poem of Shi Jing ( 鮒将 - Sh┤j┤ng) C Classic of Poetry, Book of Songs, Book of Odes, Poetry or 300 Poems.

Shi Jing is the earliest and first collection of Chinese poetry of various authors that has collected 305 poems (and another 6 titles but there are no content) from the initial phase of the Western Zhou Dynasty ( 11th century B.C.-771 B.C.) to the middle of the Chunqiu ( 770 B.C. C 476 B.C) . It records the Chinese history between 1,100 B.C to 600 B.C., for about 500 years, it has had a history for about 3,000 years.   

Originally, Shi Jing (Book of Songs, Book of Odes) was just called Shi (Poetry) or 300 Poems, just a Collection of Poems. Since Han Dynasty (206 B.C.- A.D. 220), it was regarded as No. 1 of the Five Classes of Confucianism --   ゞ鮒将〃 Shi Jing: The Book of Songs; ゞ慕将 / 賓慕〃   The Book of History; ゞ叟将〃 The Book of Changes; ゞ撰芝〃 the Book of Rites; ゞ敢拍〃 The Spring and Autumn Annals. Then it was called Shi ^ Jing  ̄ C Classic of Poetry, and be listed the No. 1.

The 7th emperor of Hai Dynasty, Emperor Wu of Han - Liu Che (156 B. C87 B.C.) chose the principles of Confucianism as the national philosophy and code of ethics for his empire, established ^ Wu Jing Bo Shi  ̄ C five kinds of court academician of 5 of Confucian classics to teach the classics of Confucianism. Shi Jing C Classic of Poetry became one of the required readings books of officers and literatures.

In Song Dynasty (960-1279), the other 4 books   (ゞ寄僥〃 Da Xue: The Great Learning; ゞ嶄唸〃 Zhong Yong: The Doctrine of the Mean; ゞ胎囂〃 Lun Yu: The Analects of Confucius; ゞ地徨〃 Meng Zi: Mencius ware listed to be the classics of Confucianism by Zhu Xi (1130- 1200), since then, the Four Books and the Five Classes have been the classics of Chinese intelligentsia until now.

Existent Shi Jing was handed down by Mao Heng, therefore, it is also called Poetry of Mao.

The poems in Shi Jing originally were the lyrics with music. According to the quality of the music, they were divided into 3 sorts: Feng, Ya and Song and their expression styles was divided into be Fu, Bi and Xing, all of them to be called Liu Yi.

-- Feng is the folks songs and balladry, there are 160 pieces. They are the local original music from 15 small kingdoms, a small part of them were reworked by the nobles.
-- Ya is the formal classical court music, there are 105 pieces, be sorted to Da Ya 31 and Xiao Ya 74.
  The Da Ya is the big size court hymns, used for the big size banquet and ceremony, they are created and given by the nobles of the upper layer, also there are a few of them form the folk.   

  The Xiao Ya is the secondary court hymns, used for the general banquet. They were created and given by the nobles of under layer.   

-- Song is the ritual music, eulogies poems, used in the palace¨s ancestral temple, to sacrifice the ancestor and the gods. There are 40 pieces. Many of them are dance music.

Because the time is too long since then, all of the authors have not been known and whole of the music has been lost.   

The poems of Shi Jing were collected by the officers who were sent to the folk by the court. The folk songs/ballads are considered most valuable because they reveal a wide social life with a realistic style.

Shi Jing!The Book of Songs marked the beginning of the ancient Chinese realistic poetry, and it has influenced Chinese literature and poetry down the ages.

Shi Jing is the source of Chinese verse and the start point of Chinese poetry.

Its poetry expression form includes epic, pasquinade, epos, love song, martial song, ode, ballad and so on.

Its content relates to labor, farming, love, marriage, war, corvee, crackdown, revolt, custom, ancestor worship, banquet and even weather, geography, animal and plant´ therefore, it is considered as a mirror of the Zhou Dynasty.

In terms of language and poetic form, the poems in Shi Jing!the Book of Songs are Si Yan Shi!Chinese classical poems with four characters per line. The language of   Shi Jing is the most important data to study the ancient Chinese in 11 century B.C to 6 century B.C.   

Guan Ju is just one of the folk song from Feng of Shi Jin.

Enjoy this Poem

This poem is a folk from a kingdom -- Zhou Nan, it is in today¨s Luoyang, Henan Province. It is a love song to write how a noble gentleman fell in love a girl who was picking the cresses in the river, so that he missed her day and night and sought her and wanted to get marry with her.

This poem can be divided into 3 parts or 4 parts. I have divided it into 3 parts. I would like to introduce whole of the poems for you one line by one line and one word by word, but I have just create a piece of music and a painting for the first part. I mean I would sing the first part in Chinese and in English for you.

Let us see the title: j┗ j┤u, it is a kind of water birds. Some people said it is the osprey, fish hawk, this kind birds always a couple of them together and never be apart each other. They are the first words of this poem. There is no special meaning. To take the first 2 words as the title of a poem, is one of the characteristic of Shi Jing.

The first part of the poem :

First line: 購購宅gu─n gu─n j┗ j┤u -- 購購gu─n gu─n is the sound of the birds¨ tweet; j┗ j┤u osprey, fish hawk. This line means ^ Guan Guan ,^ospreys are singing. Then where are they singing?

The second line: 壓采岻巖 z┐i h└ zh┤zh┃u --   z┐i means in, on, at, h└ means river, here means Yellow River (In ancient Chinese literature and language, when people said River, it pointed Yellow River) zh┤ means of,   zh┃u, means continent, here means islet or sandbar. This line means: on the sandbar in the River. Then, who on the sandbar in the River? Of course, the ospreys.

So, the meanings of the two lines is: ^ Guan, Quan,  ̄ ospreys are singing, on the sandbar in the river. It has written the environment and place, where will the thing or story happen in. : -)

The third line: 餾饂募溺 y┌o ti┌o sh┗n┠. 餾饂y┌o ti┌o means: sylphlike, gentle and graceful. 募sh┗ means : kind and gentle, fair; 溺n┠ means: woman, girl or female. 募溺sh┗ n┠ means: a gentle woman, a fair girl. This line means: A beautiful girl over there.

埴徨挫縅 j┗nz┼ h┌oq┴u. 埴徨j┗nz┼ means: gentleman. h┌o, means: good, kind. q┴u , means:   spouse, mate. h┌oq┴u means: good / kind spouse / mate. This line means: ( she) is the good spouse of the gentleman.

The two lines mean: The beautiful girl, is the gentleman¨s ideal spouse.

The second part, there are 8 lines:

The first two lines: 歌餓橙暇 c┘nc┤ x┴ngca━, 恣嘔送岻 zu┓y┛u li┣zh┤. 歌餓c┘nc┤ means: something is long and short, ragged, 橙暇 x┴ngca━: a kind of plants in the water and can be eaten. Someone said it is cress. zu┓y┛u means: on the left and on the right. zu┓ means left, y┛u means right. li┣zh┤. li┣ means flow, zh┤, here no meaning, it is just auxiliary word. The two lines mean: The ragged cresses, are flowing on the left and the right.

The third and fourth lines: 餾饂募溺Y┌o ti┌o sh┗n┠, 綮誕箔岻 w┳m┬i qi┣zh┤. w┳ means: awake.m┬i means: sleep, asleep. qi┣ means: seek, beg, entreat and request. zh┤ means: her.

** Please pay attention the wordzh┤ has different meaning in different places. Here it is a pron. Means her. The meaning of the two lines is: the beautiful girl, I seek her day and night.

The fifth lines: 箔岻音誼Qi┣ zh┤ b┫ d└. means: seek, beg, entreat and request. zh┤ means: her. b┫, means no, d└ means: get, obtain or gain. This line means: I seek but fail to get.

The sixth line: 房捲 w┳m┬i sh┤ f┣. 房捲sh┤ f┣ means think of, miss. Both of the two words means miss, and think of.
The seventh lines: 啼壞啼壞 Y┃u z─i y┃u z─i, means: What a long night it is ! How long time my miss to her!    啼Y┃u means long, 壞 z─i, interjection and auxiliary word, just helps to express the feelings. Here it is similar: Wow!   Ay!   Ah!

The eighth line: 娵廬郡迦 zh┌n zhu┌n f┌n c┬. 娵廬zh┌n zhu┌n means: toss or flounder. f┌n means: turn over. c┬ means: side. This line means: toss and turn restlessly; have a sleepless night.

The last two lines means: Wow! What a night it is ! I tossed and turned and had a sleepless night!

The third part of the poem:

The first two lines: 歌餓橙暇 C┘nc┤ x┴ngca━, zu┓ y┛u c┌i zh┤. c┌i means: pick. zh┤, here means: it. It is a pron. To point the 橙暇x┴ngca━: cress. So, it is ^ it  ̄, in Chinese should be ^ 万  ̄.
The tow lines mean: The ragged cresses, are picked from the left and the right.

The third and the fourth line: 餾饂募溺 Y┌oti┌o sh┗n┠,肺肘嗔岻q┴n s┬y┓u zh┤. q┴n: a musical instrument, a seven-stringed plucked instrument in some ways similar to the zither s┬: a musical instrument with 25 or 16 strings. y┓u means: friend, make friend. zh┤ means: her. 肺肘嗔岻q┴n s┬y┓u zh┤, means: play my musical instruments to make friend with her, to express my love to her.

The fifth and the sixth lines: 歌餓橙暇 C┘nc┤ x┴ngca━, d zu┓y┛u m┐o zh┤. dm┐o means: pick, touch, here means choose. The two lines mean: The ragged cresses, to pick and choose them from the left and the right.

The last two lines: 餾饂募溺 Y┌oti┌o sh┗n┠, 嶝皇赤岻 zh┃ng g┳ y┳e zh┤. zh┃ng means: bell, to sound / ring the bells. g┳ means: drum, play drum. y┳e zh┤ means: to please her. y┳e happy, cheerful, to make her happy. The two lines mean: The beautiful girl, I will marry her and pleasure her in the sounds of the bells and drums.

Ok, now, we have learned the basic meaning of this poem. Let us have a short break by talking something else.

As I have mentioned to something about the 鎗吶li┫ y━ of Shi Jing.

That are: 欠f┘ng囘 y┌,   北 s┛ng験f┫ , 曳 b┼, 佶x━ng.

About Feng, Ya. Song, I have introduced them to you already. Now, I would like to talk something about Fu. Bi and Xing.

-- 験f┫ : To write something directly, to write the process of a thing or to express a feeling directly.   
-- 曳 b┼: To make a metaphor, to compare this thing to that thing.
-- 佶x━ng: To write something at the first, and arouses something else.

Then what kind of the expressions this poem has used most? ^佶 x━ng ̄ . Right?

You see, at the first, when the young man look into the sandbar, he saw some ospreys there, a couple and a couple. They are singing each other, and they are so harmonious. It roused his own loving feeling to a girl who is picking the plants in the water. Maybe the beautiful girl as his mate or spouse.

Then in the second part, when he saw the cresses flowed on the left and right, made him think of the beautiful girl is difficult to get as the Xing Cai (cresses) in the water, so that he could not get sleepy for whole of the night. Fell in the pain of lovesickness.

Then in the third part, once more when he looked at the plants in the water and thought of the girl who were pick the water plants, he started to act: to play music for her and to make friend with her. Then in the last 4 lines, when he looked at the cresses   in the water and the girl was choosing it, he decided to make an offer of marriage, to get marry with her in the beautiful sounds of bells and drums.

This kind of writing style, makes this poem has a special artistic charm. The words: 餾饂募溺 y┌o ti┌o sh┗n┠, 埴徨挫縅 j┗nz┼ h┌oq┴u. have become the wonderful sentences that resounded through the ages.

Except used the expression style of佶x━ng, this poem¨s rhyming words are usually used on the even numbers, it has made the foundation of Chinese poems¨ using of rhyming.

On language, many phrase or words in this poem have used Shuangsheng -- the double initial consonant (of a Chinese syllable) and Dieyun -- double simple or compound vowel (of a Chinese syllable). For example: ^餾饂 ̄y┌o ti┌o is double vowel rhymes, ^ 歌餓 ̄ c┘nc┤ is two characters with the same initial consonant. ^娵廬 ̄ zh┌nzhu┌n is double vowels and two same initial consonants.

This kind of words, help the language quite lively and lifelike.

It is also the first Chinese classical poem with four characters each line. This kind of poetry language using has been kept until the Three Kingdoms times (220-265).


I am thinking, why a love poem was listed No. 1 of the first Chinese Poetry Collection, this Book of Songs about 3,000 years ago; why it was also listed as the No. 1 of the Five Classics of Confucianism in the Han Dynasty206 B.C.- A.D. 220?

Maybe because:

-- An ideal marriage should be a combination between a beautiful girl who has a pretty surface and kind heart inside and a gentleman who is handsome outside and also kind inside.

-- A love feeling could be very deep but it should be able to control. In this poem, the gentleman expresses a very deep love to the girl, but he does not do anything too vehement, his love is warm but decent, it is not like a violent storm, therefore, it can be for a long time.

-- The purpose of a love is marriage, then it is a normal and responsible love.

When I write here, I cannot help thinking of something I have learned in Bible: if the two people love each other, then get marry. A wife should follow her husband and a husband should look after his wife´

I cannot help smiling now, once more. I have felt that in these classics of human being, there are really something so similar. Just because of these classical and reasonable reasons and ideas in them. They can become the classics and be come down until now.   

Do you think so?

Ok, let us summerize this poem and try to remeber something at least:

1. Shi Jing is the first poetry collection of China. It has a history for about 3000 years.

2. The Liu Yi of Shi Jing are: Feng, Ya, Song; Fu, Bi Xing.
   -- What is Feng, Ya Song?
   -- What is Fu, Bu, Xing?

3. How did this poem use the Xing to express the feelings of the poet? Give me an example.   

For helping to understand this poem, I created a piece of music Sep 9, 2005, created a painting for it April, 2008 and now, I have tried to re-do all of the things in the US and I do hope that my effort will be some help with you to learn Chinese culture, art and language.   

If you have any questions, comments and suggestions, please write to ; you are welcome to publish your opinions in Message Board as well.

Shirley Yiping Zhang

Wrote, Painted, Translated, Sang & Recorded the Content Jan 21, 2014, in the USA / Sep 09, 2005 in China