Xin Qiji poem referring to Nu Wa

The trope of laughing at Nu Wa occurs in earlier poetry. We see it, for example, in a poem by the Song dynasty poet Xin Qiji (1140-1207). This translation is by Li Qiancheng.

I laugh at Gonggong: for what should he have been so indignant

As to topple the heaven supporting pillar?

I laugh at Nuwa, who busied herself with the mending of the firmament

And left this stone at this quiet corner.

The track is overgrown with wild grass, above it hangs wisps of smoke.

Stone, I, leaning on a walking cane, have come to see you,

Lying on the green moss,

And patting you, I ask:

How many thunderstorms have you weathered in these long years?

Xin Qiji, Xin Qiji quanji, 90.

Li, Fictions of Enlightenment, 111-12.

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Dream of the Red Chamber by Ann Waltner is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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