gershon hepner

Rookie - 10 Points (5 3 38 / leipzig)

Xi Shi's Lament - Poem by gershon hepner

Remnant wisp of fragrance,
crushed blossom, broken jade,
trampled leaf, like vagrants
surviving, I evade,
and, femme fatale, dissemble,
in order to endure,
attempting to resemble,
with song, dance and allure,
the fantasy of thrushes
in boudoirs where I sing,
until the lovejuice rushes
when I embrace the king.

Sheila Melvin (“In China, a Bird Blood Bath, ” WSJ, April 7,2000) , writes about fighting hua mei (song thrush) in Xiangdong province. The birds, renowned for their song, physique and plumage, resemble Xi Shi, a brooding sort of beauty whose pensively knit eyebrows were her most striking feature, just like the hua mei. She was the most famous of all Chinese femmes fatales and gave her heart to Fan Li, a minister to the King of Yue, who proposed not marriage but a fateful plan: that Xi Shi be trained in song, dance and drink and sent as a gift to the lecherous King of Wu. Betrayed first by her lover and then by her nature, Xi Shi proved adept at the arts of court and boudoir. So inflamed by lust for her was the King of Wu that he neglected military affairs and was subsequently defeated by the King of Yue. Her most famous song is: 'Remnant wisp of fragrance, broken jade, crushed blossom, trampled leaf, no course but to dissemble, to endure.'


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, June 12, 2008

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