2012年6月30日 星期六

Chocolates for the Weekend

There are all kinds of snacks. The workaholic takes it rarely. Those who pretend to be workaholic take them whenever their boss is not around. But whether you are a workaholic or suffer from  a bad case of work phobia, there's a snack which I'm sure you hanker. Some people need to convince themselves that they are "rational" whenever they do anything. Some don't. If you fancy being in the former category and want to have some rational "excuses" to take that sweet brownish heavenly delight called "chocolates", here're 20 of them for you: 

1) You can GET chocolate.

2) "If you love me you'll swallow that" has real meaning with chocolate.

3) Chocolate satisfies even when it has gone soft.

4) You can safely have chocolate while you are driving.

5) You can make chocolate last as long as you want it to.

6) You can have chocolate even in front of your mother.

7) If you bite the nuts too hard the chocolate won't mind.

8) Two people of the same sex can have chocolate without being called nasty names.

9) The word "commitment" doesn't scare off chocolate.

10) You can have chocolate on top of your workbench/desk during working hours without upsetting your co-workers.

11) You can ask a stranger for chocolate without getting your face slapped.

12) You don't get hairs in your mouth with chocolate.

13) With chocolate there's no need to fake it.

14) Chocolate doesn't make you pregnant.

15) You can have chocolate at anytime of the month.

16) Good chocolate is easy to find.

17) You can have as many kinds of chocolate as you can handle.

18) You are never too young or too old for chocolate.

19) When you have chocolate it does not keep your neighbors awake.

20) With chocolate size doesn't matter.

Have a fun typhoon weekend!

2012年6月29日 星期五

Cao Baohua's "An Ancient Pagoda Tree" 曹葆華之《槐樹》
















An ancient pagoda tree
Coolness dripping from the
leaves of the ancient pagoda tree

Evening hovering around the

Sipped a mouthful of bitter
let out
a sigh

Who's that sauntering behind
the wall

Stirring up sad thoughts in dreams over the years

Had long wanted to float a

Drifting towards the desert island
beyond the three hills

Guarding a tiny spot all alone

Not seeing the meteors hurtling across the sky

Lighting up the lonely spirits
of antiquity

White hair thinning more in
middle age

Drifting down the ground with a resounding clang

How many days passed sobbing

Alone in a deserted corner
Building my own tarnished tombstone
tr. El Zorro

According to various internet sources, Cao Baohua (曹葆华)(1906—1978)  was a native of Dongshan, Sichuan ( 四川乐山) graduated from the Foreign Language Department of Tsinghua University in 1935 and started writing modern poetry there and published his first collection of poetry in 1929《抒情十三章》then 《寄诗魂》(1930),《落日颂》(1931)《灵焰》(1932) and continued to write in the 1930s including 《无题草》(1937) consisting of more than 50 short poems, mostly lyrics. He joined the Chinese Communist Party in Yen An (延安) in 1939, teaching Shandong arts and literature there and started to work for the Ministry of Propaganda  in 1944, translating various Marxist-Leninist texts, heading the Russian Translation Section and entered the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in 1962, doing translation at the Institute of Foreign Literature about various political, philosophical and literary theories. His publications include:


现代诗论 梵乐希著,1927,商务
苏联的文学 苏联高尔基著,1950,新华书店
俄国天才的学者和批评家——车尔尼雪夫斯基 普罗特金著,1950,新华书店
斯大林与文化 罗可托夫著,1951,人民
苏联文学艺术问题 1953,人文
党的组织和党的文学 1954,人民
杜布洛留勃夫 伊奥夫丘克著,与张礼修合译,1954,人民
苏联文学思想斗争史 苏联伊凡诺夫著,与徐云生合译,1957,作家
文学论文选 苏联高尔基著,与孟昌合译,1959,人文
马克思恩格斯论艺术 1960,人文
文学书简 苏联高尔基著,与渠建新合译,1962,人文
论艺术 苏联普列汉诺夫著,1964,三联
论文学续集 苏联高尔基著,与陈冰夷等合译,1983,人文
(Source: 杨葵)

2012年6月28日 星期四

Lin Gang's "Hazy" 林庚之《朦朧 》













hear the sound of steps of children running to me

all of a sudden in the silence of solitude

blurry brightness of watery spring

Then holds
reflections of everything

In the
haze of dusk

On a path beneath two rows of green trees

Is an
unknowable hope soaring

there’s a black dragonfly

into the obscurity of the grass


Lin Gang                                             tr. El Zorro

Is the poet the dragonfly? If so, is Chinese literature full of weed and grass and yet full of an uncertain hope for the better? Are the children the alter egos of the poet? Is the blurry brightness of a wet spring, the season of growth and renewal, a symbol of the poet's hopes?
Lin Gang (1910-2006) otherwise known as 靜希, is a Fukinese born in Beijing, a scholar of Chinese classics and a professor at the Beijing University, the son of professor of philosophy at Tsing Hua University, who studied first at Beijing Normal University where he graduated in 1928 and then entered the Physics Department of Tsing Hua University and then transferred to the Chinese Department two years later and helped edit the "Literary Monthly"《文學月刊》, became a teaching assistant of 朱自清 and then published his first collection of free verse "Night" (夜),(1933), taught at various schools and universities and started writing formal 9-character Chinese poetry in 1935, publishing "Serenades of Beiing") (《北平情歌》(1934)、"Lullabies and others" (《冬眠曲及其它》1936). When the Sino-Japanese War broke out, he went to Zamen as a professor of the university there, transferring to Yenching University in 1947 and then in 1952 to the University of Beijing as professor of Chinese, retiring in 1986 . He published "Selections of Lin Gang's Poetry" in 1985 including therein various poems from 《春夜与窗》、《问路集》、《空间的驰想》. He also wrote a History of Chinese Literature(《中国文学史》)、Studies on the Poet 屈原 and his works (《诗人屈原及其作品研究》、Critique of 天问《天问论笺》、"Li Bai, Poet" (《诗人李白》)、Anthology of Criticism of Tang Poetry《唐诗综论》、New Formal Poetry and the Poetization of Language(《新诗格律与语言的诗化》).

2012年6月27日 星期三

Li Guangtian's "A Meteor" 李廣田之「流星」

   流星                                      A Meteor 












沙上的足音…… .





A meteor, has fallen

With the fall

Fresh tears.

Thinking of a summer night of frog calls

In an ancient village,

Who was it that, when the meteor was still

made a blue knot of her pony tail

Saying that she's tying a sparkling pearl to sail the

As a gift of an eternal closeness   

Thinking of distant days,


Sounds of feet upon the sand...

The tears are falling into the night

Like fallen stars, into the shades of the

To the bottom of an ancient spring

tr. El Zorro

to internet sources, Li Guangtian (李廣田) (1906-1968). a renowned poet, essayist, educator, also known as 洗岑,writing under the pseudonyms of 黎地、曦晨等 is from 山東鄒平.。Together with 何其芳、卞之琳 are known as the three "stars of Han Yuan"( “漢園三傑”) because they jointly published a collection of poems called《漢園集
》. He is most widely known for his poem "Son of the Earth" (《地之子》and is also the editor of the folk epics of the "撒尼族" (Sunnis(?), a branch of the Yi Tribe (彝族) called 《阿詩瑪》and of Thai tribe (傣族) epics《線秀》and 《一滴蜜》and one of the nine professors named as victims in the judgment of the crime of  "anti-revolution" of Lin Piao and Jiang Ching. Originally from a peasant family surnamed Wong, he was adopted by his uncle a fortnight after his birth and had his former name 王錫爵
changed to his present name. In 1923, he entered the the No.1 Normal College in Tsinan, Shantung and in 1929, entered Beijing University's Foreign Language Department, learning English, French and Japanese.
After the anti-Japanese war broke out, he became a teacher in various high schools and university in southwest China. He was later appointed the vice-chancellor of Ching Hua University and Yunnan University but died of torture during the cultural revolution in November 1968 at age 62. His publications include the following:

《漢園集》(詩集)與何其芳、卞之琳合集,1936,商務; 《畫廊集》(散文集)1936,商務;《銀狐集》(散文集)1936,文生;《雀蓑集》(散文集)1939,文生;《圈外》(散文集)1942,重慶國民圖書;《回聲》(散文集)1943,桂林春潮社;《歡喜團》(短篇小說集)1943,桂林工作社;《詩的藝術》(詩論)1943,開明;《灌木集》(散文
《阿詩瑪》(長詩)據傣族民間故事整理,1960. 雲南人民《李廣田散文選》1980,雲南人民;《李廣田作品選》1981,外文; 《李廣田散文選集》1982,百花;《李廣田詩選》1982,雲南人民;《李廣田文集》(1一5卷)1983-1986,山東文藝;《李廣田代表作》1987,黄河.

2012年6月26日 星期二

Another Enjoyable Evening at City Hall

It's not that often we have an entirely "classical" concert in Hong Kong. Last Saturday, we had one. Nicholas McGegan, a short, energetic English conductor specializing in baroque music (as Musical Director of the San Francisco based Philharmonia Barqoue Orchestra for 26 years) led the HKPO and an excellent bass baritone Andrew Foster-Williams at the City Hall and gave us some very rhythmic and lively music from the classical era with pieces taken mostly from operas by Rameau and Mozart and concluded with the latter's Symphony No. 36 in C minor. I understand that McGegan had done a more or less similar programme with the Adelaide Philharmonic, with Mozart's Symphony No. 40 instead of the No. 36 which we had.

Jean-Philippe Rameau's music is not often heard in Hong Kong. He's an 18th century French composer specializing in operas and was approached  in 1748 by Louis XV for staging one to celebrate the ending of the so-called Hundred Years War between Britain and France and as a result produced Naïs (name of a water nymph who according to Greek myth had a long courtship by Neptune) with an Ouverture depicting the battles between the Titans and the Gods until the goddess of peace arrived, marked by Entrée Majestueuse (Majestic Entry), followed by a Sarabande ( a Baroque dance in three beats with the second and third linked) and then a Gavotte Vive (another favourite French court dance of the period in four beats) and then another folk dance Rigaudons in two beats. In the opera, there was a contest in ancient Corinth in honour of the sea god Neptune and to mark the entry of the wrestlers into the stadium, we had Entrée des lutteurs (Entry of the Fighters), followed by another dance, the Chaconne (another dance in triple time with a ground bass accenting the second beat) to simulate the various games being played at the stadium and to celebrate the winner, we had Air de Triomphe (Air of Triumph) and then Menuet, a very gentle dance in triple time and ending with a display of fiery spirit by a Tambourins (another dance in two-time). It's a very lively piece indeed.

Next we had some songs by Handel sung for us by the bass-baritone with plenty of life and emotions, : Sibilar gli angui d'Aletto( The Hissing of Alecto's Snake/Anguish?)  from the opera Rinaldo, Siroe, Re di Persai (Siroe King of Persia): Gelido in ogni vena ( (Ice in every vein) sung by the Saracen King Argante when he arrives to call for a truce in Jerusalem during the Christian crusades and finally Nell mondo e nell abisso (The world and the abyss) from his Tamerlano, a Tartar prince. He also sang for us Mozart's aria Cosi Dunque tradisci (So you have betrayed me).. Aspri rimorsi atroici (Spirit of Fierce Remorse) and Hai gia vinta la causa (We've won the case) from Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro).

Finally, we had another piece by Mozart which needs little introduction, his Symphony No. 36 in C minor, the "Linz". Perhaps influenced by the high spirits of McGegan, the HKPO gave an excellent performance, full of life and verve. A very enjoyable concert indeed.


2012年6月24日 星期日

My new Discovery in the New Terrritories

I thought I had no chance of taking any photos at a new place this Sunday because the weather forecast said it would be raining. Perhaps the sky took pity on me and gave me some respite. So I went to a place I have heard about quite often but never went to. That's the Tai Po Waterfront Park.

Shortly after leaving the Tai Po Market Station, I passed by a secondary school and found these glory bowers (白花燈籠 ) straining their necks out from an iron mesh of the school begging to be photographed. I obliged.

On the way to the garden, I found these mock "medieval" arches under a bridge.

When I was at the garden, I found lots of very small flowers. Don't know what it's called.

I have seen many of such tiny flowers I don't know how many times I have seen them but I still don't know what it's called. I like its dancing shape though.

Two dancing together.

This blue bud also looks quite beautiful. Like its protective hairs.

Found these tiny ted flowers called Spicy Jatropha or jatropha integerrina (全緣菜珊瑚) dancing from a bush, as if they had just slid down the two leaves. I learned from the internet that its roots is the famous Chinese herbal medicine 沙參..

And these beautiful white flowers with a dark color heart.

And many such lovely lanterns.

And the tips of this yellow "cockerel" flower.

This tentacle like flower called Desmos chinensis (假鷹爪), all twists and curls..

But leaves can be beautiful too.

And these coils look really intricate, as if extending its hand towards a shy bud..

More coils. This one looks as if it was about to leap up or throwing a lasso around.

And these leaves which have nothing to fear in any comparison with flowers.

I found these purple allamanda at a special garden for aromatic herbs.

A close up of two such allamandas.

A close up of some of its petals.

The heart of this flower.

Nearby there were these 黃嬋 like flowers but in purple.

Its stamens.

And the heart of this flower.

And the half open bud of this beautiful purple flower.

We've seen lots of red hibiscus but seldom find them in orange. .

Its heart is unbelievably colorful.

2012年6月23日 星期六

A Journey in Time

This Saturday, I took a journey back in time. I went to the Tai O Dragon Boat Festival, now recognized by the UN as part of the world's cultural heritage. According to a pamphlet circulated to visitors, it has a history of more than a century during which each year around Dragon Boat Festival time, the four local gods viz. Yeung Hau (楊侯), Tin Hau (天后)  Kwan Tai (關帝) and Hung Shing (洪聖) would be "invited" from the local temples and then "escorted" by dragon boats from various local dragon boat associations on to "god boats" (神艇) which are then dragged through all the waterways of Tai O to bring peace and prosperity to its inhabitants and after that, the dragon boat races would be held.

The pier was decked decked out with all kinds of flags and pennants.

A special altar for all the dragon boat associations of Tai O.

All the fishing boats return to their base in Tai O to join in the festivities.

The "god boat" from the "fresh fish hong" (鮮魚行), one of the four "god boats". to take one of the statues around Tai O's waters.

The side of the pier were planted with a forest of flags to add to the festive atmosphere

A red dragon boat

A yellow dragon boat.

An official is watching at the side to ensure that everything went smoothly.

An oarsman on the boat playing with water whilst waiting for the dragon boat race to start.

Another oarsman waiting at the back of the boat

Some oarsmen preparing to start rowing

One oarsman was too bored whilst waiting and took a dip into the warm sea.

I took the opportunity to take a stroll around the village and found lots of old stuffs. This is an abandoned pipe.

This is part of a rotten wooden pole.

Some dried up logs.

One layer of wood after another can still be seen

Like the texture of this piece of rotten wood.

Patterns on another piece of abandoned plank. The ravages of time and scratches are evident everywhere.

Another piece of rotten wood.

plaster peeling off the wall of an abandoned house.

The broken locks on the door of another deserted house.

metal peeling off a piece of wood, which used to form one of the walls of a shed.

Another rusted cogwheel

Another piece of broken metal.

The rusted top of an oil drum.

Some rags hanging on a fence

worm eaten leaves

More worm eaten leaves. T

The former Tai O Police station is now turned into a heritage hotel.

The top floor was converted into a restaurant.

My lunch. Minestrone soup and  a pork chop bun with "shrimp sauce" and some French fries. " considered a local delicacy!  It tasted OK but not particularly great!

Time leaves its indelible marks on everything: our cultural and
religious customs, our houses, our tools, our materials. But it is not
content. It ravages Nature as much as it does our works and our institutions. It appears to leave untouched only one law: the law of change. That law is the law of time itself. But in the end, the law of time destroys even itself: time is turns out to be our mythic Ouroboros, the mythic snake that devours its own tail !