Lotus in the poetry of Tang Dynasty Abstract In Chinese literature, the lotus flower has always renowned as one of the most pure and beautiful flowers. It is regarded that it embodies the Chinese spirit vividly. In the the poetry of Tang Dynasty three aspects of the lotus’s image are the most frequently discussed. Firstly, the lotus can be regarded as a symbol of gentleness of the scholars at that time, In another word, a symbol of the Individual personality. Secondly, it also represents the pure and beauty of women. Last but not least, the love symbol is always involved. The characteristics of the lotus in the poetry of TangOrder now
Dynasty have been continually and widely spread and accepted by the later generations. This paper mainly bases on the researches and studies of others and some literature works, talking about the Image of the lotus In the poetry of Tang Dynasty. Key words: the lotus; image; symbolism; the poetry of Tang Dynasty Introduction In Chinese flower culture, the lotus Is the subject of poems and paintings endowed with artistic appeal; it is the material of graceful dances; and it is a common pattern and design of various architectural decorations, sculpture artworks and daily utensils.
Chinese people have shown their interests in flower appreciation since ancient times. And the kind of appreciation has reached Its top. The poems and some other literature works which are on the appreciation of the flowers are countless since the emergence of the Book of Poems. A special kind of literature, which is called 1 OF 7 its own symbolic meaning and different kinds of cultural spirit. As is known to us all, in Chinese literature, plum blossom is always viewed as a symbol of high-hearted personality; and peony can represent the riches and honors. People often tend to take the plum blossom and the peony as the symbol of Chinese people.
But as far as I am concerned, the lotus’s symbolic meaning in Chinese literature is no less than the two types of flower. After all, the lotus is also on the list of China’s Top Ten Flowers. The image of the lotus flower used in literature works emerged from ancient times. The lotus was wrote in the Book of Poems and the Poetry of the South for the first time. And then the image the lotus was widely used in other literature works. The image of the lotus developed a lot and it was until Song Dynasty and the emergence of Chou Dunne’s Ode to Lotus Flower that the lotus was finally bestowed the meaning of noble personality.
Hence, in Tang Dynasty, lotus’s symbolic meaning of noble personality was widely used in the poems. In addition, according to the Book of Poems, the lotus can also be used in the literature works to represent the beauty of women. And later in Tang Dynasty, some phrases concerning the lotus emerged, showing the wide use of the beauty image. Last but not least, deriving from the folk songs in the south of China, love is also the symbolic meaning of the lotus flower since ancient times and became prominent in Tang Dynasty. This paper will mainly talk about the three symbolic meanings of lotus which were widely used in the poetry f Tang Dynasty.
The Personality Image In Chinese tradition, the lotus has always been regarded as a flower which can symbolize the gentleness and the noble and pure quality of a person. Early in the Warring States Period of China, the great poet Quo Yuan once used the lotus in his work Sorrow after Departure to show his noble quality and this was the origin of the personality image of the lotus flower. In Tang Dynasty, the lotus was planted in a large scale of the north area. Many royal gardens such as the King King Pool and the An De Pool were all filled with the lotus flower.
Hence, no wonder there are so many moms in Tang Dynasty to show those scholars own ambition in the political field and their pursuit of the gentleness and the noble quality. For example, the poem named Ancient Air, which was wrote by the great poet Lie ABA, to some extent, showed the the poet’s deep depression for not being able to get himself successful in the political field, and what’s more, also showed the poet’s political ambition. On top of this, in ABA Guy’s work named New Lotuses in Front of Agonizing Prefecture Hall, here are lines read like this: Dirty ditches collect sewage water, Above the water grow the leaves,
I come up and sign, For they used to be pure from clean river, Below which the black mud corrupts, So their fragrance is no more pure, Above which the smoke dirt spoils, Then their color is fresh no longer. to be get his promotion with the image of the lotus and the comparison between the lotus before and the polluted ones. In addition, when it comes to the personality image, the lotus’s symbolic meaning as gentleness and noble quality can not be looked over. As we all know, the lotus can be generally divided into two types according to their colors the white and the red. Actually, it was not until the Tang
Dynasty that the white ones emerged. For the common people, they loved the red ones and the red ones won the white ones in number. However, the white owns the symbolic meaning of innocence and pure. Therefore, the white ones soon became the apples in the poets’ eyes. Many poems have been written to show the poets’ appreciation of the white lotus and meanwhile, show their own noble qualities. The poem, White Lotus, wrote Lu Gunmen can be took as an example: Her spotless bloom oppressed by those more gaudy, She should grow only in the Pond of Precious Jade . None know that though insentient she suffers,
Fading with the moon in dawn’s faint breeze. This poem is said that it has described the noble quality of the white lotus to the extreme. The poet focused on the simplicity of white lotus, describing the white lotus which were withering and falling, mainly to represent the pure and noble qualities of himself. However, no matter what kind of color the lotus is, it is always the symbol of gentleness and some other admirable and respectable qualities for that itself really bear those kinds of good qualities, such as purity, indignity and its not being polluted though growing in a terrible environment. The Women’s Beauty Image The lotus can be a representation of beauty since itself owns the beautiful figure. That’s to say, it is the own beauty of the lotus that makes the scholars connect it with the beauty of women. And this kind of appreciation was first referred in the Book of Poems. Since then,the poets in later dynasties widely use this kind of metaphor to praise the beauty of women. The phrases emerged in Tang Dynasty which described the women’s body such as their face and their arms with the lotus are the strong evidence of this. And of course, the poems at that time was also an evidence.
Just take the poem Ancient Air wrote by If Guan as an example: How pretty the woman is; She is as beautiful the lotus. And the most influential one which is on the topic is the one wrote by Lie Sashaying named The Lotus, appreciating the beauty of his wife. The description of his wife and the lotus were so great that we even could not fugue out what is the lotus and who is his wife. And his another poem with the name of Present the Lotus as A Gift was actually a poem which was presented to his wife. And he Just showed his bare love to his wife with this poem. There are only the green leaves and the pink buds of the tots; They are Just blossoming or withering on their own will. It is evident that each line of this poem was concerned with the lotus. However, as a matter of fact, each line here was describing his wife. The use of image in this poem contrary, the lotus which are withering and falling can represent the sadness for the loss of beauty and youth. We can still take Lie Shaking’s word named Night Chill as an example: Trees surround a wide pool, the moon casts many shadows; Beyond the wind-blown vine, in the village and on the bank, the pounding of wash and the sounds of the flute.
In the west pavilion, the kingfisher quilt leaves a fragrance that fades; All through the night, my sorrow turns toward the wilted lotus. It’s a natural process for the lotus to wither and fall. But as far as those poets concerned, it is Just the end of life. This kind of situation can easily make them feel sad and gloom. Compared to the pretty, energetic and bright lotus in the water, the lotus which are withering bear the vacant beauty, although the scenery is bleak and chilly, it is still a special kind of beauty. . The Love Image The connection between the lotus and the beauty of women makes the lotus bear the hemolytic meaning of love and also makes it related to many topic on marriage. This kind of image showed a lot in the poems and songs of Northern and Southern Dynasties. Take the Ode to Ouzo as an example: When they gather lotus at Antenna in autumn, the lotus blooms are higher than their heads; they stoop to pick lotus seeds, Seeds as translucent as water.
The waters is beyond the scope of eyesight, You are lovesick, me either. The south wind knows my mood, It blows my dream to Ouzo. Here, the author perfectly used the method of homophone in Chinese, making the song more harmonious and successfully showed the love scenery. And later, ritually, this kind harmony between the form and the sound of the Chinese character became a kind of mode of thinking and kept stable comparatively. In Tang Dynasty, many poems which were on the topic of the lotus inherited this form.
We can take the poem with the name A Song of Picking Lotus, which was wrote by Wang Changing as an example: Green look lotus leaves and the pickers’ thin silk skirts, Pink are flowers and girls’ faces, looking not each other. Lotus and girls are mingled in one in the ponds, The songs alone tell the ear girls are with lotus. This poem showed the beauty of the lotus leaves, lotus flowers and the beauty of the arils there with the harmony of the colors of the dress, the lotus leaves and the pretty faces of girls. It represented us the beauty of harmony and unity.
And what’s more, this poems also presents the love image. 3. Conclusion The three aspects Vive talked about are Just a rough analysis of the symbolic meaning of the lotus. There are still a lot of other images of the lotus to discover and analyze. The lotus itself always make us feel that it is something that beyond our themselves to the lotus. The lotus flower is also beautiful, making the people who love the lotus pursue the inner peace and beauty. Just as what Vive said above, the mage of the lotus also has also experienced the process of rudimentary stage, development and then the stage of maturity.