Monday, May 16, 2011

Spring in Wu Ling, Qing Zhao Li, 1135

The wind blowing has ceased.
Fragrant flowers have fallen,
Withered and mixed with mud.
Getting up late in the morning,
I have no mood to comb my hair.
Things still remain the same,
While men are no more them.
So that nothing can be done.
Tears running down my cheek,
Before I am going to speak.
Shuangxi is beautiful in spring,
I would like to have a boating.
What I am merely afraid is that
                  The boat is too small to carry
            So much my gloomy mood and worry!

The poem "Spring in Wu Ling" is composed by the female poet Qizhao Li by the age of 53 (Ming). Qizhao Li married Mingcheng Zhao in 1101 and lived in present-day Shandong. Qingzhao Li and her husband shared interests in art collection and epigraphy and often wrote poems for each other (Qiang). Unfortunately, in 1126, the northern Song capital of Kaifeng fell to the Jurchens. Fighting took place in Shandong and the house of Qingzhao Li and Mingcheng Zhao was burned. The couple brought many of their possessions when they fled to Nanjing, where they lived for a year. Zhao died in 1129 en route to an official post. The death of her husband was a cruel stroke for Qingzhao Li, and she never managed to recover (Ming). Qingzhao Li created "Spring in Wu Ling" after the loss of her husband. The poem reflects her sorrow and the suffering that the war brought.
In the first paragraph, Qingzhao Li describes the withered environment the lifeless morning to set the gloomy tone of the poem. In the second sentence, Qingzhao says: “Fragrant flowers have fallen, withered and mixed with mud”. The gloomy description of the lifeless environment, the fallen flowers and mud, indicates that Qi Zhao Li is in a dark mood. The next two sentences soon prove it, as it says, “Getting up late in the morning, I have no mood to comb my hair.” In ancient China, women always got up early and combed their hair, because women with hair as smooth as silk were considered the most beautiful ones (Jing). However, Qi Zhao not only woke up late in the morning but also had no mood to comb her hair. Her unusual behavior show that she was in such great sorrow of losing home and husbands that she did not have the energy to take care of her beauty.
In the second paragraph, Qing Zhao Li says: “Things still remain the same, while men are no more them.” In this line, Qing Zhao Li states that even though the ruined country could be repaired, the men who passed away during the war could never come back. The next sentences show Qing Zhao’s sorrow as well. “Tears running down my cheek, before I am going to speak.” The lines indicate that no words can describe the sorrow of Qing Zhao. If she thinks about her misfortune, her tears will come out before she is able to express her sorrow. The last sentence of the poet again demonstrates the suffering and pain that Qing Zhao bears: “The boat is too small to carry So much my gloomy and worry!” Qing Zhao indicates that her sorrow and pain are so heavy that even a boat cannot carry! Spring in Wu Ling shows the suffering of innocent people during the war by describing carefully the sorrow of the author.

Works Cited:
Jing, Feng. "Xi Shi: The Most Beautiful Woman." Poems Of Wang Wei., 2008. Web. 11 May 2011. 

Zhang, Qiang. "Research On the Poet Li Qing Zhao." China Literature., 10 May 2004. Web. 2 May 2011. 

Yi, Ming. "Li Qing Zhao- Wu Ling Chun." Yi Yuanyi National Literature., 10 Aug. 2009. Web. 2 May 2011. 

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