Monday, August 14, 2023

MISTER MENG'S FITFUL SLEEP

Across the hill a spanking new mural reminds me of a verse from over a thousand years ago. That is to say, there is a running or grass script rendition of that quatrain on the wall, of which I can make out some of the characters.

春眠不覺曉,處處聞啼鳥。夜來風雨聲,花落知多少。
['chwun min pat gok hiu, chü chü man tai niu. Ye loi fung yü saang, faa lok ji do siu.'; "dozing in spring till the bird noises woke me, after a night with the sound of wind and rain. I wonder how many flowers have fallen?"]
春曉 ('chun hiu'; spring dawn) by 孟浩然 ('maang hou yin'; Meng Haoran).



It's an easily memorized poem. Short, five syllable lines, clear vocabulary. If I recall correctly, it's in the Three Hundred Poems of The Tang Dynasty. Which Hong Kong kids were exposed to during highschool.

Which is dreadfully old hat. Kids don't need poetry. It's triggering and elitist.
Certainly in Florida they won't get any, because poetry is also rarely Christian and reflective of the good old days of the nineteen fifties, when people knew their place.
Poetry is also far too often Canadian!

Here in California, at the opposite end of the spectrum, old-style poetry is considered too old fashioned and too white. So no more actual poetry in schools. Rhyme and metre might turn them into slave-owning imperialists.

Yeah, okay, I think modern Americans are largely insane vulgarians with agendas.
And the Tang Dynasty period was a horrible time to be non-white.
I concede that point. Nasty and barbaric.
No vegans!


I think I'll wander around mister Meng's courtyard for a bit.
It's rather delightful there.



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