戈(gē) 对(duì)甲(jiǎ),鼓(gǔ)对(duì)旗(qí),紫(zǐ)燕(yàn)对(duì)黄(huáng)鹂(lí)。

梅(méi) 酸(suān)对(duì)李(lǐ)苦(kǔ),青(qīng)眼(yǎn)对(duì)白(bái)眉(méi)。 1

三(sān) 弄(nòng)笛(dí),一(yì) 围(wéi)棋(qí),雨(yǔ)打(dǎ)对(duì)风(fēng)吹(chuī)。2

海(hǎi)棠(táng)春(chūn) 睡(shuì)早(zǎo),杨(yáng)柳(liǔ)昼(zhòu) 眠(mián) 迟(chí)。3

张(zhāng) 骏(jùn) 曾(céng)为(wéi)槐(huái) 树(shù)赋(fù),4

杜(dù) 陵(líng)不(bù)作(zuò)海(hǎi)棠(táng) 诗(shī)。5

晋(jìn) 士(shì)特(tè)奇(qí),可(kě)比(bǐ)一(yì)斑(bān)之(zhī) 豹(bào);6

唐(táng) 儒(rú) 博(bó)识(shí),堪(kān) 为(wéi)五(wǔ)总(zǒng)之(zhī)龟(guī)。7



When you look at sb squarely, the eyeballs are in the middle and in Chinese it’s called “Qing (black) Yan (eyes)”, means you treat them friendly and respectfully. When you look sb in sideways, you show the white of the eyes to them, which is called “bai(white) yan(eyes)”, means you treat sb with disdain.


Ma Liang, who lived in Shu of the Three Kingdoms, has white eyebrows, is the most outstanding one among his five talented brothers. They all named with a character of “Chang”. Later on people call the most outstanding and talented one “Bai Mei (white eyebrows)” among his siblings.


三弄笛: 晋人王徽之(王羲之之子)曾听说恒伊善吹笛,但互不相识。有一天,王徽之乘船出城,恒伊正驾车从岸上经过。别人告诉王徽之,这个人就是恒伊。王徽之便叫人对恒伊说:“闻君善吹笛,试为我一奏。”当时恒伊已担任过淮南太守、豫州刺史等官,但久闻王徽之的名气,便下车为王徽之吹了三支曲子。吹完以后,二人并未交谈便各奔东西。(君子之交淡如水麽~~)

San Nong Di: literal meaning: play three pieces of music. Heng Yi is good at piping. One day Wang Weizhi, a famous calligrapher, was getting out of town by boat when Heng Yi was passing by on the bank. Wang Weizhi have someone ask Heng Yin to play some music for him. Heng Yin at that time already was a high rank official but he’d heard about Wang Weizhi’s for a long time. He played three pieces of music for Wang. After that, they departed with each other without saying anything.



Hai Tang, refers to Ms. Yang Yuhuan, an imperial concubine Emperor Ming of Tang Dynasty(Tang Ming Huang) most loved. Once Tang Ming Huang summoned Yang Yuhuan but she wasn’t able to bow down herself due to hangover. Tang Ming Huang said “she’s not drunken, she is just suffering the deprivation of sleep like the Malus spectabilis”.


Yang Liu: It’s said that there is a willow in the Royal Park of Han Dynasty, shaped like a human being which bends three times a day just like a person sleep three times and wakes up three times a day.



Huai Shu Fu: Poem to a Chinese Scholar tree: There was no willow nor Chinese Scholar trees (don’t know why the name is translated in this way~~~) in area of Jiuquan, Gansu before. Zhang Jun brought those tress from Shaanxi but only the Huai Tree survived at northwest of Jiuquan, so he made a poem to record it.


杜陵不作海棠诗: 杜陵指杜甫。《王禹传诗画》杜甫母亲名海棠,为避讳从不作海棠诗。陆游则认为是失传了。

Du Ling refers to Du Fu. There was a saying that Du Fu’s mother’s name was Hai Tang (Malus spectabilis) so he never wrote poems on this. However, Lu You (another famous poet) said they may just got lost.


一斑之豹:王献之小时候看人玩一种棋,能看出双方的胜负。游戏者看他年龄小,轻视他,说:“此郎亦管中窥豹,时见一斑。”When Wang Xianzhi was a kid, he could tell who would win when watch a chess game. The players said in disdain “he was only peeping a leopard through a tube and only see a spot (means only have a limited view of sth.)”.



Yin Jianyou, lived in Tang Dynasty, who was a know-all and was called “Wu Zong Gui (a Turtle with ten tails)”. A Turtle will grow two tails every two hundred years and two tails is called a “Zong”, then till it’s 1,000 years old, the turtle will have “Five Zong” or “Yi Ju” A Turtle with 10 tails knows everything.

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