Empathetic Portrayal of Women


Tournesol (Sunflower), Photograph by Edouard Boubat, 1985

 
 

《苦相篇》

苦相身為女
卑陋難再陳
男兒當門戶
墮地自生神
雄心志四海
萬里望風塵
女育無欣愛
不為家所珍
長大逃深室
藏頭羞見人
垂淚適他鄉
忽如雨絕雲
低頭和顏色
素齒結朱脣
跪拜無復數
婢妾如嚴賓
情合同雲漢
葵藿仰陽春
心乖甚水火
百惡集其身
玉顏隨年變
丈夫多好新
昔為形與影
今為胡與秦
胡秦時相見
一絕踰參辰

傅玄

 
 

___________________________

 
 

WOMAN

“How sad it is to be a woman!!
Nothing on earth is held so cheap.
Boy stand leaning at the door
Like Gods fallen out of Heaven.
Their hearts brave the Four Oceans,
The wind and dust of a thousand miles.
No one is glad when a girl is born:
By her the family sets no store.
When she grows up, she hides in her room
Afraid to look at a man in the face.
No one cries when she leaves her home —
Sudden as clouds when the rain stops.
She bows her head and composes her face,
Her teeth are pressed on her red lips:
She bows and kneels countless times.
She must humble herself even to the servants.
His love is distant as the stars in Heaven,
Yet the sunflower bends towards the sun.
Their hearts are more sundered than water and fire–
A hundred evils are heaped upon her.
Her face will follow the years changes:
Her lord will find new pleasures.
They that were once like the substance and shadow
Are now as far from Hu as from Ch’in [two distant places]
Yet Hu and Ch’in shall sooner meet
That they whose parting is like Ts’an and Ch’en [two stars]”

Fu Xuan (傅玄)

 
 

Fu Xuan (217–278) was a politician, scholar, writer, and poet during the period from the Cao Wei to Western Jin Dynasty and was one of the most prolific authors of fu poetry of his era. He was the grandson of Fu Xie (傅燮), the son of Fu Gan (傅幹), and the father of Fu Xian (傅咸). Fu Xuan’s poems, primarily in the yuefu style, are noted for their powerful and empathetic portrayals of women.

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