《醉詠詩Zui Yong Shi》is a multi-media artwork, authored by Ren Yang, that generates Chinese WuYan JueJu poetry and pentatonic melody to pair with the poetry. The poetry matches most of the strict rules of WuYan JueJu poetry and the melody follows the Chinese pentatonic scale.
Some key navigation points should be paid attention to. First is Wuyan jueju, also known as the five-line stanza, is a genre of traditional Chinese poetry, which refers to a small poem in five lines and four stanzas that conforms to the rules of rhythm, meaning that a poem is composed of four lines, each line consisting of five words, for a total of twenty words.
In terms of literary traditions, influences, and another artistic context, Wuyan jueju originated in the Han Dynasty, was influenced by the folk songs of the Six Dynasties, and matured in the Tang Dynasty. With only twenty words, the five-line stanza can show a fresh picture and convey a variety of realistic moods. It is the greatest characteristic of the poem that it contains rich content in a short chapter.
However, due to the limitation of word count, the five-line stanzas required more concise and general language and expression than other poetic genres, making them more difficult to compose. Zhang Qianyi, a Chinese litterateur once summed it up with the words “short but long in flavor, especially difficult to enter into the subtlety”. Therefore, the five-line stanza naturally became the most brilliant pearl in Tang poetry, the essence of Tang poetry. Since the Tang dynasty, there have been many famous poems and stanzas, chanting history, and nostalgia, discussing political affairs, expressing ambitions, complaining of grievances, and speaking of friendships, with a wide variety of subjects and wonderfully diverse styles.
Also, the author said he was inspired by the article The Preface to the Spring Night Banquet in the Peach Garden《春夜宴桃李園序》 by famous Chinese poet, which is a parallel text written by Li Bai, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. It is a vivid account of a gathering of all the friends on a spring night, drinking wine, and writing poems. The author laments that heaven and earth are vast, time is fleeting, life is short, and joy is scarce, and he also supports this with the ancient saying “traveling by candlelight at night”, expressing the author’s joyful mood of loving life and nature, and showing his broad-mindedness of looking up to the past and the present. The poem is written in a dashing and natural way, with a resounding tone, and the wonderful parallelism of the sentences adds color to it.
Here is an excerpt from the work:
Face each other with, night, midnight
Watch while drunk, tilting moon, before
Left alone the feelings, in the morning, rare
Drunk, send, worry, endless mist.
From a personal perspective, there are many interpretations.
Here is one possible situation: in ancient China, there were constant wars and the common people lived in deep water for a long time. This may depict the image of the husband on the eve of parting from his family when he must go away as a soldier for the sake of the country. Assuming tomorrow the husband will be away on a long journey, so the wife is very sad to part with him. In the middle of the night, two people look at each other face to face, drinking wine and getting drunk, hoping to remember each other forever. Since the war is in cruelty, not knowing when the next meeting will be, or if there will be another meeting. When the early morning comes, the husband is far away, embarking on a journey with no return. Remarkably, in ancient Chinese literature, Sand and smoke are generally related to the battlefield. Also, the climate of northwest China is very arid, all the deserts and Gobi Desert, and war also occurred in these places.
Above all, this piece combines traditional Chinese poetry with computer technology. When we mouse over the Chinese, the corresponding English translation appears, facilitating the reading habits of native English readers, and the individual translation of individual words rather than the full text shows the textual arrangement of the ancient poem in a more original way, avoiding the problem of switching the order of words when translating.
Discuss in groups:
Order the words in the given poems according to English language grammar, then describe the picture in the poem in your own words.
What emotions do you think the poem contains?