japonisme: artificial flowers

10 December 2007

artificial flowers

gotta be one of the strangest pop songs ever. but memorable. couldn't get it out of my head.


In the Royal City spring
is almost over;

Tinkle, tinkle—
the coaches and horsemen pass.
We tell each other
“This is the peony season”;

To follow with the crowd that goes to the Flower Market.
Cheap and dear—
no uniform price;

The cost of the plant depends on the number of blossoms.
To flaming reds,
a hundred on one stalk;

The humble white with
only five flowers
Silk is spread as an awning to protect them;

Around is woven a wattle-fence to screen them
If you sprinkle water and cover the roots with mud,

When they are transplanted, they will not lose their beauty.”
Each household thoughtlessly follows the custom,

Man by man, no one realizing
There happened to be an old farm labourer

Who came by chance that way
He bowed his head and sighed a deep sigh;
But this sigh nobody understood

He was thinking, “A cluster of deep-red flowers
Would pay the taxes of ten poor houses.”

Po Chü-i (772–846) Translated by Arthur Waley (1889–1966)
via The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry

so much of art is like that

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Blogger Princess Haiku said...

You are right, what a strange song :) I wondered what inspired this.

The peony's are just exquisite. I saw the "boy on a carp" woodblock print at the Asian Art Museum in the Fall. It was spectacular.

10 December, 2007 23:19  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

do you remember that song?

11 December, 2007 08:32  
Blogger Princess Haiku said...

No, Lotus,
Never heard him before; an intriguing post though. The embroidered costumes are just divine.

11 December, 2007 22:11  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

aren't they gorgeous

11 December, 2007 22:23  

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