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The Tang of Poetry
with Kedou... Savour the rich imagery
of poems from the best of the Chinese poets in this fortnightly
series. Our little bear
really enjoys learning all sorts of languages, so join Kedou as
he shares some of his favourite poems in Mandarin. Go on, say
them along with him!
Our little bear thought it'd be nice to
end this season of poems with one about the moon, just like how
he started this series. And as an exclusive treat, he's made
another movie out of the poem.
One may be far away and separated from your loved ones and
friends. But as long as the moon shines, you'll be sharing that
same moment in time with each other, in your dreams and
thoughts. Kedou hopes that you've enjoyed The Tang of Poetry -
he'll be thinking of other fun stuff to practise his mandarin,
so join him again very soon, okie?
As you know, our little bear's happiest
when he's home with his Meme, Fefe and friends. Here he has
picked a poem that describes someone going home after having
travelled the world. The traveller had left his country when he
was young and now his hair has turned white. His manner of
speech has not changed, but the children he meets in his village
streets don't know him, and ask where he has come from. He's a
stranger in his homeland.
Kedou has gone south for a short winter
sojourn but his thoughts are always with his friends - Hami
dozing on the branch; TT with his acrobatics, and
Shelley-Welley, the prettiest little dog around. But as winter
approaches, it's inevitable that our little bear turns a teeny
bit wistful. In this poem, the moon hangs low in the sky and
frost fills the air. The scene is beautiful but brings no solace
to the lonely traveller, who, unable to sleep, listens to the
chiming of midnight from the monastery bell.
enjoys making his little movies, so as a very, very special
treat, here's a videocast to accompany this week's poem! A
mountain horse runs through the desolate valleys of the northern
mountains. All alone, it appears lost, neighing in despair, as
it gallops through the plains that stretch into infinity towards
the setting sun.
TT and Shelley-Welley reunite for a spin through the autumnal
forest. Du Mu's poem describes a journey up the chilly mountain,
climbing the slippery stone paths to visit the houses hidden
amongst the low-lying clouds. The maple trees are in full autumn
colours, their leaves redder than flowers in spring.
little poem from Kedou and TT. We are old friends, you and I.
We've shared many meals and stories, in this humble farmhouse
among the hills and forest. We raise our cups to each other and
pledge to return to this same spot when the chrysanthemums bloom
again at the next Chongyang Festival.
Deep in the
bamboo forest, I play a song which no one hears. I call into the
night and no one hears. Only the moon shares the solitude with
me. Our little bear chose this poem in celebration of the
Mid-Autumn Festival. Join him in sipping tea and reciting
beautiful Chinese poems by the light of the graceful moon.
Li Bai is
our little bear's favourite poet. He's famous for the words he
uses, which are simple yet capture the essence of each poem in
vivid colour and spirit. In this poem, the traveller sets off on
a journey down the winding river on a fair, beautiful morning.
The boat sails swiftly past forested mountains which resound
with the booming calls of gibbons.
traveller seeks the wise old man. His young apprentice points to
the distant hills where his master has gone in search of
medicinal herbs, but no one knows exactly which path the old man
has taken. Such is the unfettered life of a recluse -- free to
wander where he chooses.
flickering light of the candle shines coldly through the painted
screen, and constellations cast their brittle starlight from the
sky. All around, the pulsing light of the dancing fireflies
brings a glow to the cool autumn night.
So says the
poet, "No matter which way I turn, the splendour of the
mountains overwhelms my senses!" It doesn't matter whether
you're at the top of the mountain or deep in the valley, the
feeling is indescribable. And our little bear says, "That's
right, you know... must live each day with a sense of wonder and
(PS: did you see that Kedou has developed a different coloured
emotipatch? Find out how
he's feeling by reading Kedou's
As each day
draws to a close, twilight brings a sense of loneliness. The
poet rides out to the ancient Leyou Plains to savour a moment of
happiness as he watches a beautiful sunset. Kedou says,
"Happiness is fleeting", so he hopes that you'll make every day
a happy day!
bear enjoys eating (especially helado), so he would like to
dedicate this poem to the farmers who toil away to cultivate the
food we eat. Kedou hopes that you'll always spare a kind thought
cheeky poem, a young man sets off on a ferry ride across a
lotus-covered lake. The songs of the boatman disturb the
Mandarin ducks and attract the attention of some beautiful women
gathering lotus leaves. They banter coquettishly with the
travellers, filling the evening air with laughter.
sets behind the mountains and the Yellow River flows into the
sea. If you want to see as far as a thousand miles and
appreciate the beauty of the surroundings, climb the Pagoda of
the Stork and Crane -- a famous landmark in Shanxi, China. Can
you spot our little bear and his best friend enjoying the view?
bear tries very hard to choose poems that match the changing of
the seasons. Poet Li She wakes up from his daydreaming, suddenly realising that spring has changed to summer! He hastily sets off
for a walk in the hills and passes a bamboo grove. There, he
meets a monk and whiles away a lazy, summer afternoon in
and you can feel it in the air! One wakes up eagerly to
melodious bird calls. At night, rain and wind scatter flower
petals on the ground, forming a soft carpet of myriad spring
colours for the senses.
Kedou's little tribute for Mother's Day. A mother's
unconditional love is described in this classic by Meng Jiao. As
her son prepares for a long journey, she spares no effort to
ensure that he's well-provided with clothes. Can a child ever
repay his mother's nurturing and unconditional love? Kedou
dedicates this poem to all mothers, especially his Meme.
chosen this poem about birds to mark Earth Day on 22 April. Poet
Bai Juyi muses that far from being weak and insignificant, birds
are important to nature, as are all creatures. Respect their
needs, for they're made of the same flesh and bone as us, and
they too, have young ones to feed in their nests.
being close to nature and he really likes this poem. It paints
an idyllic pastoral scene and a carefree existence. One enjoys
the beauty of white egrets framed against the backdrop of the
Xisai mountains, peach flowers bloom and the perch roam freely
in the clear rivers. Even if it rains and the wind blows, what
does it matter? There's no rush to go anywhere -- simply enjoy
the moment and savour what's around you.
mood falls like drizzle on Qing Ming. I meet a cowherd, and
tired of travelling, ask the way to the nearest inn, which turns
out to be rather faraway, in a quaint village where apricots
blossom. Kedou has chosen this poem specially to mark Qing Ming
which falls on this weekend. It's a Chinese tradition when we
remember and pay respects to our ancestors and dear ones
who are no longer with us.
famous Sichuan poet, paints this picture postcard in "A Verse".
Yellow orioles sing merrily in the green willows. Against the
blue sky, a flock of white egrets fly towards their destination.
On the west, snow-capped mountains stand guard. On the east, a
tranquil harbour provides a safe berth for ships that have come
from far away.
wrote this rhyme in celebration of geese when he was just 7
years old! The goose stretches its neck high, singing proudly to
the sky. Its white feathers gleam and its red webbed feet propel
it effortlessly through the water. You may think that geese are
noisy creatures, but they're part of nature too -- Kedou hopes
you'll enjoy this tiny foray into goose behaviour.
Red is the symbol of love. In the south, the Saga Seed Tree buds
in Spring. The red seeds spill from the pods, scattering on the
ground. Pick them up, as many as you can, as if gathering
thoughts and memories of those you love.
A thousand hills and not a bird
is in sight. It seems like no one has ever set foot in this
place, and yet, a solitary fisherman sits on his raft on the
still river. The snow drifts against his straw hat and coat,
painting a serene scene of man and nature. Kedou remembers this
poem very well because of the time he went to Jiuzaigou in China
with Meme and Aunty J where he saw almost the exact scene
described in the poem!