Admonitions of a Poet: The DONG-A ILBO


Although a nobleman from the same birthplace as the poet left and came to the capital to be a civil servant, he neglected his work and immersed himself in entertainment, indulging in leisure. The official would go to the brothel and play all night. He lived so unruly that he couldn’t tell the difference between a house and a guest house. This made the poet very uncomfortable as an eldest man and a native of the same hometown.

Hundreds of years ago, during the times of WeiJin and the Northern Dynasties, a man named Dou Tao led a promiscuous life like you, living with a concubine from the periphery and disregarding his native wife. However, when his wife embroidered a long poem on her silk, Dou Tao, who realized his wife’s sincerity, finally came back to her. No matter what anyone says, only a couple can better understand each other’s feelings, so how foolish is it to give your heart to a courtesan who doesn’t reveal your true feelings. Despite Zhongyuan’s restoration in mind, it’s just plain absurd to be in agony over a prostitute problem.

Mulanhua (magnolia blossoms) is the name of the song in SongCi. Originally, lyrical Ci or Chinese songs were characterized by delicate, lyrical and soft tendencies as they are the lyrics of a song, but the Ci of the Southern Song period tend to contain social-critical messages stronger than having aesthetic properties. This is why Liu Kezhuang and Lu You are honored as Southern Singing Poets who relate Ci to patriotism.

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