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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!



Music played on the guzheng and pipa by Fefe
 

Tang of Poetry:

Poem 1
Poem 2
Poem 3
Poem 4
Poem 5
Poem 6
Poem 7
Poem 8
Poem 9
Poem 10
Poem 11
Poem 12
Poem 13
Poem 14
Poem 15
Poem 16
Poem 17
Poem 18
Poem 19
Poem 20
Poem 21
Poem 22
Poem 23
Poem 24
Poem 25
Poem 26








 
Poem 26.  The Moon -- by Zhang Jiuling

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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?






Get Quicktime for Windows and Mac here to play Kedou's animated poem!
Note for Windows users: Right-click on the movie files and choose "Save Target As", then open with Quicktime.






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Poem 25.  Home -- by He Zhizhang

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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.








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Poem 24.  Winter Thoughts -- by Zhang Ji

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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.








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Poem 23.  A Song of Despair and Courage -- by Wei Yingwu

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Kedou 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.







Get Quicktime for Windows and Mac here to play Kedou's animated poem!
Note for Windows users: Right-click on the movie files and choose "Save Target As", then open with Quicktime.






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Poem 22.  A Mountain Journey -- by Du Mu

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Kedou, Hami, 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.








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Poem 21.  A Pledge to Friendship -- by Meng Haoran

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Here's a 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.







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Poem 20.  Alone in the Bamboo Forest -- by Wang Wei

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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.










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Poem 19.  A River Journey -- by Li Bai

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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.








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Poem 18.  The Recluse -- by Jia Dao

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The 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.







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Poem 17.  Autumn Evening -- by Du Mu

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The 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.








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Poem 16.  View from the Majestic Xilin Mountains -- by Su Shi

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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 joy!"
(PS: did you see that Kedou has developed a different coloured emotipatch? Find out how he's feeling by reading Kedou's mood).








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Poem 15.  A Moment of Happiness -- by Li Shangyin

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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!







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Poem 14.  Tribute to The Farmer -- by Li Shen

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Our little 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 for them.







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Poem 13.  The Southerner -- by Li Xun

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In this 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.






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Poem 12.  The Ascent -- by Wang Zhihuan

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The sun 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?







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Poem 11.  A Summer Stroll -- by Li She

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Our little 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 pleasant conversation.









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Poem 10.  Spring Morning -- by Meng Haoran

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It's Spring 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.






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Poem 9. Song of a Traveller -- by Meng Jiao

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This is 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.






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Poem 8.  Birds -- by Bai Juyi

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Kedou has 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.







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Poem 7. A Fishing Song -- by Zhang Zhihe

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Kedou loves 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.








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Poem 6.  Qing Ming -- by Du Mu

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A sombre 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.







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Poem 5. A Verse -- by Du Fu

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Dufu, a 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.







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Poem 4.  In Celebration of Geese -- by Luo Binwang

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Luo Binwang 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.







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Poem 3. Love - by Wang Wei

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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.







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Poem 2. A Drift of Snow by the River - by Liu Zongyuan

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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!







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Poem 1. Thoughts on a Quiet Night - by Li Bai

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As a shaft of moonlight steals across the bed, it makes a dappled pattern  on the ground, like snow. Gazing at the moon triggers memories of home and loved ones far away...

Say it with Kedou...






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