The literai and their poems-The Plum Blossom (梅花)

According to (

The word “Literai” is a plural noun, singular literatus [lit-uhrah-tuh s] (Show IPA)
and refers to

persons of scholarly or literary attainments; intellectuals.
In the past, the people who painted are roughly divided into two types of classes, those who are craftsmen and those who are the literati.
The scholars are not just good at calligraphy but also uses poems and paintings to express lofty aspirations and ideals.

Here is an example of a Tang Dynasty poet:唐诗人张谓的《早梅》


This is a four-line poem which shares about the beauty of Plum blossom in the setting of a stream in the midst of a village. The poet is greeted by the white blossoms amidst the traffic in the small village and saw them as white jade due to the many flowers that bloomed in winter. The poet thought that it was the winter snow that has not melted when he first saw the scene but on closer look he suspected that what he saw as snow is actually the signs of early(早梅)plum blossom peeking out in the midst of the harsh winter.

Plum blossom is favoured by many Chinese ink painters as it signifies strength in the midst of adversity. The Chinese view the 5 petals as signifying longevity, prosperity, health, virtue, and good living. In Japan, the plum blossom is known as “ume”.

The Plum blossoms typically have five petals, single- or multi-layered, with the colors pink/red, white, and yellow as common. The pink/red variety is used often for the ChineseSu Dongpo, also a celebrated Song Dynasty poet, is probably responsible for the style of art that focuses on portraying the inner spirit of nature, rather than its outer forms. He said, “The beauty of the plum goes beyond the sour taste of its fruit.” His idea of transcending the physical deeply influenced the painting of plum blossoms, especially in the style of “ink plum,” using only the black ink to paint the plum tree and blossoms.New Year in late January and early February.

The Chinese believed that the painting of the flowers require the painters to be noble (君子)people.




For further reading:

1.The plum blossom- A symbol of strength

2) 古诗文网

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