Saturday, September 13, 2008

A sad but excellent Tang poem by Wangwei

This semester, environment 111 is taught by a team. There are total five sections that are taught by fiver professor respectively. I think it is a good idea because every professor will teach our on his or her most good at fields. Also, there are five exams and five quizzes in the whole semester. Each professor will give one quiz during his or her section and one exam after the section. Yesterday, we had the first exam. Although I spent much time to prepare, I still missed a few questions. I felt bad about that because I do not take too many courses this semester and I want good grades. I value quality far more than quantity. However, this is only the first exam; I am sure that I will learn experiences from it and do well on the next.

Today while I am working the Media Center, I arrange the class notes of history 103. I feel warm when my co-wokers who correct my misspellings. I am not familiar with American history, but our young professor is well-organized. In the beginning of each class, he writes down the outlines of this class on blackboard; then, he explains and expends ideas based on them. Although I am still unable understand the lecture completely due to the language problem, based on the outlines, I can study after class and get the main ideas of each class.

Yesterday night I cried when I explained a Tang poem by Wangwei to my husband. We studied the poem in Sukhu’s class a few days ago. I knew that poem long time ago, but I have been touched whenever I reread it.

The poem is based on two stories. In the ancient time, perhaps, in the Warring States period, a weak state was conquered by Chu, a strong state. This lost king was killed and the queen became a concubine of the king of Chu. The queen lived with the king of Chu many years and even born two children. However, she never spoke anymore. This store is retold by people thousands years. During the Tang dynasty, Wangwei, the author of the poem I loved, is a high ranking official and a famous poet. One day, he was in a prince house and witnessed another real story. There was a cake seller living next to the prince. When the prince found the wife of the cake seller was extremely beautiful, he forced the cake seller giving up his wife to him. The prince kept the beautiful women in his house a few years. One day, he suddenly wanted to know what would happen if the couple see each other again. Thus, in the prince’s great hall, the woman saw her ex-husband, she said nothing but only her tears dropped. The prince asked the elites here to write poems about that. Wangwei wrote one like this: Can I forget the old kindness because of today’s special favor? Facing the flowers, there are tears on her face. She doesn’t speak to the king of Chu. After read the poem, the prince let the woman back to his husband.

Suhku said this is called indirect criticism. He thought the prince was not such bad since he realized his wrong deed and made a correction. I am sorry that my English translation can never compare with the excellent of Wangwei’s original one. There are only twenty words in the poem, but it tells a complex story and expresses such a deep emotion. I feel so sad about this story but in the same time I am fond about it very much.


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