Sunday, October 18, 2009

Quotes and Links

The link above takes you to an awesome site that has 300 poems from the Tang Dynasty with English translation. I have asked the HyLite Study Advisors, and will ask my wife, to read them to me. Only problem is the Chinese is written in the traditional Chinese script (still used in Taiwan). The Chinese you know may have problems reading it.

I have cut and past some of my favorite poems and passages below amongst the other quotes and links.

Alas! What has been lost!

Every so often, some established writer complains about blogging. And I will grant there are lot of valid complaints to made about it. However, blogging has some virtues, and there are enough good blogs out there are worthwhile and of high quality to justify the genre. Of course, there are a lot of bad blogs out there. I am sure that mine can be categorized as part of that great majority of blogs. Be that as it may, my family at least read the blog and occasionally I get a nice compliment from someone which helps me bear the indifference I usually get.

You might as well say books are bad because the great majority are bad and should never have been printed. You can say the same for television and movies. Kenneth Clark said movies are a most ephemeral entertainment and he is of course right. But every once in a while, something worthwhile and memorable can come from these modern forms of art.
David Warren, a Canadian Catholic, comments on the Rush Limbaugh -- NFL fiasco. Warren's weighing down on the affair shows a great injustice has been done. Take Obama's Nobel Prize and this tanking of Rush to prevent him from owning a part of the NFL team, and you have proof positive that the Left and the Obamanites have no laudable goals whatsoever. In fact, they are mostly bigots against a certain type of White American. Racism is alive and well on the Left and is becoming more and more hideous. I am debating if I should ever watch or follow the NFL anymore.
Sholom Aleichem

Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the
rich, a tragedy for the poor."

(for me, life is a comedy where I am the fool, only wise enough to see the tragedy of it.)

It is the plague of the times, and it is almost entirely perpetuated by the Left against Right.

Zhang Jiuling

The hermit in his lone abode
Nurses his thoughts cleansed of care,
Them he projects to the wild goose
For it to his distant Sovereign to bear.
Who will be moved by the sincerity
Of my vain day-and-night prayer?
What comfort is for my loyalty
When fliers and sinkers can compare?

Something a student told me

The engineers of Jiangsu like to boast about many elevated highways and road they have built. (I ride under these things all the time. The underside is dark, dank, and dirty. Riding these highways in Wuxi, the city looks dead, modern skyscrapers without the teeming life of the cites.)

Li Bai

From a pot of wine among the flowers
I drank alone. There was no one with me --
Till, raising my cup, I asked the bright moon
To bring me my shadow and make us three.
Alas, the moon was unable to drink
And my shadow tagged me vacantly;
But still for a while I had these friends
To cheer me through the end of spring....
I sang. The moon encouraged me.
I danced. My shadow tumbled after.
As long as I knew, we were boon companions.
And then I was drunk, and we lost one another.
...Shall goodwill ever be secure?
I watch the long road of the River of Stars.

Wang Wei

And the more the King loved her, the lovelier she looked,
Blinding him away from wisdom.


In a happy reign there should be no hermits;
The wise and able should consult together....
So you, a man of the eastern mountains,
Gave up your life of picking herbs
And came all the way to the Gate of Gold --
But you found your devotion unavailing.
...To spend the Day of No Fire on one of the southern rivers,
You have mended your spring clothes here in these northern cities.
I pour you the farewell wine as you set out from the capital --
Soon I shall be left behind here by my bosomfriend.
In your sail-boat of sweet cinnamon-wood
You will float again toward your own thatch door,
Led along by distant trees
To a sunset shining on a far-away town.
...What though your purpose happened to fail,
Doubt not that some of us can hear high music.
(Can this poem provide solace to a high school student today who has failed his high school entrance exam?)

Du Fu
...A thousand years' fame, ten thousand years' fame-
What good, when you are dead and gone.

Han Yu

Rough were the mountain-stones,
and the path very narrow;
And when I reached the temple, bats were in the dusk.
I climbed to the hall, sat on the steps, and drank the rain- washed air
Among the round gardenia-pods and huge bananaleaves.
On the old wall, said the priest, were Buddhas finely painted,
And he brought a light and showed me, and I called them wonderful
He spread the bed, dusted the mats, and made my supper ready,
And, though the food was coarse, it satisfied my hunger.
At midnight, while I lay there not hearing even an insect,
The mountain moon with her pure light entered my door....
At dawn I left the mountain and, alone, lost my way:
In and out, up and down, while a heavy mist
Made brook and mountain green and purple, brightening everything.
I am passing sometimes pines and oaks, which ten men could not girdle,
I am treading pebbles barefoot in swift-running water --
Its ripples purify my ear, while a soft wind blows my garments....
These are the things which, in themselves, make life happy.
Why should we be hemmed about and hampered with people?
O chosen pupils, far behind me in my own country,
What if I spent my old age here and never went back home?
(I love the concluding lines of this poem.)

government officials grow fixed in their ways
And never will initiate beyond old precedent;

(some things never change.)

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