The phoenix sings in the wood

No? In the bamboo, then.

ming feng zai shu I was skimming my way through a translation of the Essay of One Thousand Characters by Zhou Xingsi, which was written during the Liang Dynasty about 1500 years ago. Zhou rearranged a composition by Wang Xizhi (CE 321-379) into a rhymed text. The book includes Wang’s original calligraphy (you can see my rendering on the left) which says, “The phoenix sings in the wood”.

Zhou’s text says (in simplified characters) 鸣凤在竹 (míng fèng zài zhú) “The phoenix sings in the bamboo”. Quite apt, I thought, for Green Bamboo.


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