It was the evening of November 5, 2017. A cool and pleasant breeze was blowing. The square of the Xichang Satellite Launch Center was still brightly lit. On the huge launch tower the silvery-white Long March-3 carrier rocket stood ready for takeoff. The command hall was quiet and orderly, and those in charge were all in position, eyes riveted on the colored screens before them, waiting for launching instructions.
This moonlit night, Du Fu ( 杜甫 ) could hardly hide his tears. It had been two years since he had been exiled to Sichuan Province, where he now lived in a thatched hut. Du still worked in an official position, but he was too junior an official for special treatment in this chaotic, war-ravaged time. Every day when he returned home he wept to see his hungry son chewing on waste cotton, and had to borrow vegetables and fruit from his elderly neighbor. If it had still been the heyday of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), such a moonlit night would have inspired him to compose a long poem. But the moon now looked cold, and on his old neighbor’s trellis Du saw the withered leaves more clearly than the ripe beans. Fortunately, he had the old neighbor for company. Although the old man couldn’t read, he could instantly understand whenever Du read one of his poems in simple words to him. For the two men who had taken refuge from war but not from poverty, a cup of wine was all they needed to fully understand the feelings expressed in the poem.
People rely upon Nature to live, and it looks quite different from season to season. Since ancient times, the Chinese people have considered Nature powerful and mysterious, and held it in fond respect. Both the vigorous beauty of spring and bleakness of autumn arouse delicate and indescribable feelings. Now let’s see how the Tang poet Meng Haoran ( 孟浩然 ) and the Yuan poet Ma Zhiyuan ( 马致远 ) felt about spring and autumn.
When I was a child, I did not know what was exceptional about the classical gardens of Suzhou. At that time, my father did cultural work in the Lingering Garden, which was separated from my school only by a wall. Known as “one of China’s four famous gardens,” it was nothing special to me – just a nice place where I played and read after school every day.
As a famous painter of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Zheng Banqiao ( 郑板桥 ) was also the most influential one of the “Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou.” With a distinctive style, Zheng excelled at calligraphy, painting and composing poetry. He was particularly noted for painting bamboo, orchid and stone, and was deeply loved and respected by later generations.
Wisdom is an important element of traditional Chinese thinking and culture. In traditional Chinese philosophy, wisdom, along with other virtues, including benevolence, righteousness, propriety and trustworthiness, constitutes an important part of the self-cultivation of each individual. In the classic The Analects of Confucius, the meaning of wisdom is interpreted in great detail.