Lot 1168
  • 1168

POEMS ON FALLING FLOWERS IN RUNNING SCRIPT

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1,200,000 - 1,800,000 USD
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  • Shen Zhou
  •  Shen Zhou | POEMS ON FALLING FLOWERS IN RUNNING SCRIPT
The setting sun, that vagabond, west of the little bridge; Spring scenes now fading, feelings so confused.Before the gate of Broidered Village the stream still good for laundry;Inside the shrine on Yellow Ridge the birds yet chattering.To burn, seeking conch-dust incense to give the priest in charge; To fry, bringing cow-milk cheese, instructing the kitchen maid. Jewels, hairpins by the thousands ? Alas, none of them out here! Returning home, all they want are baskets for carrying blossoms. The day the fragrance dies away is the season of new life.These plum girls, and these peach blossom maidens all give birth to children!But now, folks have dispersed, the wine wears out, and spring too takes departure:The reds diminish, the greens expand - no, nature has no feelings.Envy of surplus silken beauties? Leave it to the rich neighbor.But scattering, like patterned writings! - they brush the ground so low...In vain I remember when I was young, those arenas of hairpins, dances...!Gone, all gone, and now, today, only temple hairs like white silk remain. Together they bring such springtime sadness to this traveler's brow;Chaotically, in wild profusion as I stand here long.I think of summoning the Green Maiden, but it's hard to form the chant!I'd playfully compare them to Red Child, but - tedious to write so many poems!I overlook the river, eastern breezes riffling my short temple hairs;Perfuming the air, the clear-sky sun joins their wandering threads.And now I follow the butterflies, pursuing them as they fly:At the wall's corner, now appearing, a half-branch hiding there! Wealthy, offering riches galore, spring filling every tree!Then fragrance floats, petals drop, the trees are poor again. The red and fragrant now sloughed off - immortals achieving the Way!The greenery begins full shade - a son cultivating humaneness.While some are added to swallows' nests - the mud receiving grace - Others are made into honey by bees; liquid made divine.Year after year, there is one who grieves yet more for you:The moth-browed beauty, she who still remains unmarried yet. Floating, floating, sailing, dancing, far away from home:From down below I trace their path back up to the treetop.Chao Wu would grasp their shame, rain-driven to 'mud and plaster';The Palace of Ch'in would surely regret the smearing of their rouge!Wild in feeling, loving wine, they stick to the red sleeves;Driven, hurried, threading the blinds, mooring on jade hooks!Oh! I would gather these fragmented flowers, pound them into a pill,But, grieved by spring, too hard to heal, the sorrow here, in me. Jade bridles, silver jars - grown weary of the journey,Flying east or falling west, now they make us sad.Rapidly escorting spring away, first they part from trees;Faint, supported by the wind, they barely reach the pavilion.Fish-bubbles of life, some powdery pollen remains;Spider-threads of love, tiny red bits still cling.Their color, their fragrance - long mired in the realm of the senses:But contrition, repentance? How could they ever emulate Buddhist nuns? And who has twisted, crushed them to piles of broidered cloud,Touching earth, spread on the ground, supported by the moss?Sadness, resentment born at night from my pillow, hearing rain;Sinking, floating, entering next morning my 'Farewell, Spring!' cup of wine.Among the branch tips, a few remain, still stolen by the warblers;Fluttering, riding the back of the breeze, tailorbirds press them on.The blink of an eye! The Rise and the Fall! The whole just worth a laugh!In the end, why is it that they drop? Why is it that they're born? Along the twelve boulevards, the pleasure-seekers roam:But now red rain, filling the avenues, thwarts them with spring grief.They realize that time flows on, so difficult to hold back! They waken to the emptiness of the material world, and contemplate withdrawal.Now at dawn, they regret the insensitivity of servants' sweeping petals;Returning late, are saddened by horses' trampling them underfoot.Yet the next day, again they boast of 'cherry lips', 'bamboo-shoot fingers':With Miss Green Leaf, Miss Yellow Oriole, at the old pleasure-house again! Yesterday's flowery glory dazzled our eyes when it was new;This morning, in a twinkling, it's all turned to dust again.Deeply ensconced within his gates, Yang Hsin has no visitors;Sprawled at leisure in his pavilion, Chou Yu has drunken guests.Tears of dew, misty snivel - we mourn the things that pass;Snail-mucus, ant trails - we lament the lingering spring.Gateways, walls, walking paths - all deserted now;If the Prime Minister understood this time, he would not explode in rage. An entire garden of peach and plum - they lasted but a moment;White on white, red on red - whole trees stripped of them!Pavilion? I marvel that the greensward's darkness is topped now by old white;Window? I fret it's easily mottled, speckled by new red!They have no way to float afar, as does the wanderer;Thus they wither, fade away, just like an old man.Next year, again they'll blossom, and surely that is good:Another little poem again will show their flourishing and dying. The 105 Days have gone by now in the twinkling of an eye! Overnight, not a single tree not shaken by the wind.Girls dancing, singing Stomping Songs, will conjure willows white!Poets pouring, drinking wine, will chant of rainfall red !Along Gold River they'll send their fragrance, far off with the waves;On stairs of jade, seeking their shadows, in moonlight - nothing left.While blossoming, deep in the courtyard locked securely away,Now they float beyond the walls, to the west and to the east... Wave upon wave they flutter in a blur, cannot be clearly seen;A downpour's time - the fragrant trees have lost their soul and spirit!Yellow gold could not refine the longevity's root for them;Reddish tears in vain lament the brevity of spring life.Upon the sward, a few remain, temporary traces left;On roads, some ground into mud beneath pleasure-seekers' horses.Everybody will be preparing wine to be drunk next spring;Ashamed of lingering to see them again there's only this old man." Wildly, wildly, thickly, thickly, sideways, slantwise too;How can we bear their delicacy, their lightness on the air?'Adhering to mud' like Master Liao - but no sign of his craziness!'Clinging to this thing', Old Man P'o earned a name for wrong.Seeing off rain, seeing off spring, at the Temple of Long Life, Flying hither, flying thither, in the city of Loyang!Please, do not hold a grudge against the wind and rain today!The Creator of Things has always placed a 'taboo on exorbitance'.(Translation courtesy of This Single Feather of Auspicious Light.) signed Changzhou Shen Zhou, inscribed "above are my Poems on Falling Flowers, exhausting the length of the paper at Shuang-e Mountain Studio", with two seals of the artist, qi nan, bai shi weng Titleslip by Wu Hufan (1894-1968)Titleslip on mounting boarder by Wu Dacheng (1835-1902), signed Kezhai Wu Hufan's inscription:To the right is a handscroll of Falling Flowers poems written out by the venerable gentleman, Shih-t'ien (Shen Zhou), thirteen poems in all. It was originally collected in the Yüan-chin Temple (the Ch'an Buddhist Temple of the Perfected Ford, popularly known as the Young Lady’s Shrine) at Chu-chia chiao (Chu Clan Corner), Ch'ing-pu (a small town west of Shanghai, in the direction of Lake T’ien-shan and of Suchou; now part of the Greater Shanghai Industrial Corridor). During the late Ming period a certain distinguished monk, who was in charge of the temple, maintained extremely intimate relations with such men as Tung Wen-min (Tung Ch’i-ch’ang), Chen Mi-kung (Ch’en Chi-ju), Wang Hsün-chih (Wang Shih-min) and Wu Mei-ts’un (Wu Wei-yeh). And he too was good at poetry and painting. For this reason, the masterpieces collected in his temple were quite numerous. Ten years ago, together with Wang Hsü, Yüan-wen, I travelled there and was able to view the works there collected, and this handscroll of Falling Flower poems by Shen Shih-t’ien was included among them. I myself considered that some former man had produced a fake which was perfectly congruent with this handscroll in layout and form. There were a few other items as well, such as hanging scrolls by Wang Hsüan- chao (Wang Chien) and Wang Shih-ku (Wang Hui) which seemed to be of the same type. When one examined the paper and ink (of the fakes) it appeared that they must have been executed within the last fifty years. And thus I realised that the present scroll too must have been substituted for there (by a fake version) within the same sort of period. For it was just forty years ago that the label (of this original) was inscribed by the late Master K’o- chai (Wu Ta-ch’eng). At the present time, in this temple there exists an album of the Chin-kang ching (the Diamond Sutra) as calligraphed by Ch’en Chi-ju, Wu Wei-yeh, Wang Shih-min, Wang Chien, Chu-ch’a (Chu I-tsun) and so on - a total of thirty-two hands working together. It was created in successive stages from the T’ien-ch’i through K’ang-hsi periods (i.e. circa 1621 - 1722) and is indeed an object greatly worthy of viewing. There is also a hanging scroll portrait of that monk in charge of the temple, and it is remembered that Wang Hui added in its landscape elements; but unfortunately the signature cannot be clearly read. Last year in Shanghai there was a conference on Literary Documents from Ten Counties, at which I heard a friend of mine claim that half the treasures of the temple had been destroyed by fire in the ‘battle of Ch’i and Lu’ of the year chia-tzu (1924); and I lamented to hear it. Also, last winter the temple again suffered the depredations of warfare, and now we hear that the place is in desolation, and practically nothing remains. Alas, this gives rise to great sadness at the extreme fate to which cultural objects may be exposed. Thus for this handscroll to have survived among the tattered scroll-baskets, must it not have enjoyed divine protection?(Translation courtesy of This Single Feather of Auspicious Light.) Colophon signed Wu Hufan, dated wuyin (1938), the eighth lunar month, inscribed "on the occasion of the scroll being remounted, I have recorded this account”, with one seal, wu hu fan With five collector's seals of Wu Hufan, wu hu fan zhen cang yin, mei ying shu wu, wu shi tu shu ji, wu (3), jiang na wu shi shi jia, and one other collector's seal, gan quan jiang shi gui chou yi hou shou cang yin ji
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