Playing “cloud and rain”, erotic poetry & art in ancient China

You held my lotus blossom/In your lips and played with the/Pistil. We took one piece of/Magic rhinoceros horn/And could not sleep all night long./All night the cock’s gorgeous crest/Stood erect. All night the bee /Clung trembling to the flower/Stamens. Oh my sweet perfumed/Jewel! I will allow only/My lord to possess my sacred/Lotus pond, and every night/You can make blossom in me
Flowers of fire. ~ To the tune Soaring Clouds by HUANG O (1498-1569) (Photo: Chinese erotic print, chungongtu, 春宫图, from the Ming dynasty)

*The ancient Chinese tradition of erotic poetry has been largely ignored and forgotten. I found a translation collection on amazon ISBN 978-0-307-26567-8, including a wide range of sources from 600 BC to the present, from highly literary poems to popular verse and folk songs; voices of men and women that speak the universal language of desire.

julie 超辣

Determined dreamer. Published author in English, Dutch, and Chinese. Former People’s Liberation Army (PLA) captain turned artist entrepreneur and screenwriter. She survived the Cultural Revolution as a baby. In the 1990’s she left for London and has lived and worked in free exile ever since. Her work covers a wide spectrum. As journalist, she creates content covering a range of topics on contemporary China from an insider perspective. In 2008, during the Beijing Olympics, she hosted a 5-episode talk show TV China for Netherlands’ national broadcaster and discussed China’s media landscape with media stars and experts from both China and the Netherlands. From 2013-2016 she was the Editor-in-Chief of the English/Chinese bilingual magazine XiN 新, focusing on today’s China shaped by consumerism. O’yang contributes a weekly column to Hoje Macau on contemporary Chinese art and culture. Her English language book titles include: Butterfly, a historical crime love story set in the Second World War. Since May 2016 O'yang has been collaborating with Flemish photographer Filip Naudts on an art project, which has resulted in the photo novel The Picture of Dorya Glenn. Julie works from the Netherlands and Denmark.

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1 Comment

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