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爾昌友延嗣捷開文裔光宗傳世澤遠晉本立道隆積善家國重學業廣成芳 is the Tom Clan Generational Poem.
If you are interested in this poem, you probably already know the meaning, so for now we'll forgo including a translation.
This is a poem, including title, that celebrates the tactics and virtues of the Shaolin Kung Fu Monks for future generations.
This poem was written almost 1200 years ago during the Tang dynasty.
It depicts traveling up a place known as Cold Mountain, where some hearty people have built their homes. The traveler is overwhelmed by the beauty of the turning leaves of the maple forest that surrounds him just as night overtakes the day, and darkness prevails. His heart implores him to stop, and take in all of the beauty around him.
First before you get to the full translation, I must tell you that Chinese poetry is a lot different than what we have in the west. Chinese words simply don't rhyme in the same way that English, or other western languages do. Chinese poetry depends on rhythm and a certain beat of repeated numbers of characters.
I have done my best to translate this poem keeping a certain feel of the original poet. But some of the original beauty of the poem in it's original Chinese will be lost in translation.
Far away on Cold Mountain, a stone path leads upwards.
Among white clouds, people's homes reside.
Stopping my carriage I must, as to admire the maple forest at nights fall.
In awe of autumn leaves showing more red than even flowers of early spring.
Hopefully, this poem will remind you to stop, and "take it all in" as you travel through life.
The poet's name is "Du Mu" in Chinese that is: .
The title of the poem, "Mountain Travels" is:
You can have the title, poet's name, and even Tang Dynasty written as an inscription on your custom wall scroll if you like.
More about the poet:
Dumu lived from 803-852 AD and was a leading Chinese poet during the later part of the Tang dynasty.
He was born in Chang'an, a city of central China and former capital of the ancient Chinese empire in 221-206 BC. In present-day China, his birthplace is currently known as Xi'an, the home of the Terracotta Soldiers.
He was awarded his Jinshi degree (an exam administered by the emperor's court which leads to becoming an official of the court) at the age of 25, and went on to hold many official positions over the years. However, he never achieved a high rank, apparently because of some disputes between various factions, and his family's criticism of the government. His last post in the court was his appointment to the office of Secretariat Drafter.
During his life, he wrote scores of narrative poems, as well as a commentary on the Art of War and many letters of advice to high officials.
His poems were often very realistic, and often depicted every day life. He wrote poems about everything, from drinking beer in a tavern to weepy poems about lost love.
The thing that strikes you most is the fact even after 1200 years, not much has changed about the beauty of nature, toils and troubles of love and beer drinking.
This is the last line of a famous poem. It is perceived as a tribute or ode to your parent's or mother from a child or children that have left home.
The poem was written by Meng Jiao during the Tang Dynasty (about 1200 years ago). The Chinese title is "You Zi Yin" which means "The Traveler's Recite."
The last line as shown here speaks of the generous and warm spring sun light which gives the grass far beyond what the little grass can could ever give back (except perhaps by showing its lovely green leaves and flourishing). The metaphor is that the sun is your mother or parents, and you are the grass. Your parents raise you and give you all the love and care you need to prepare you for the world. A debt which you can never repay, nor is repayment expected.
The first part of the poem (not written in the characters to the left) suggests that the thread in a loving mother's hands is the shirt of her traveling offspring. Vigorously sewing while wishing them to come back sooner than they left.
...This part is really hard to translate into English that makes any sense but maybe you get the idea. We are talking about a poem that is so old that many Chinese people would have trouble reading it (as if it was the King James Version of Chinese).
陽光 is the Chinese word for sunshine.
陽光 is a more emotional word compared to another Asian word that means "sunlight." If you were going to sing a song, or write a poem, this is the word you would use.
Note: This is a rarely-used word in Korean or Japanese.
During the Tang Dynasty, a man named Jia Dao (born in the year 779), a well studied scholar and poet, went to the capital to take the imperial examination.
One day as he rides a donkey through the city streets, a poem begins to form in his mind. A portion of the poem comes into his head like this:
"The bird sits on the tree branch near a pond,
A monk approaches and knocks at the gate..."
At the same time, he wondered if the word "push" would be better than "knock" in his poem.
As he rides down the street, he imagines the monk pushing or knocking. Soon he finds himself making motions of pushing, and shaking a fist in a knocking motion as he debates which word to use. He is quite a sight as he makes his way down the street on his donkey with hands and fists flying about as the internal debate continues.
As he amuses people along the street, he becomes completely lost in his thoughts and does not see the mayor's procession coming in the opposite direction. Jia Bao is blocking the way for the procession to continue down the road, and the mayor's guards immediately decide to remove Jia Bao by force. Jia Bao, not realizing that he was in the way, apologizes, explains his poetic dilemma, and awaits his punishment for blocking the mayor's way.
The mayor, Han Yu, a scholar and author of prose himself, finds himself intrigued by Jia Dao's poem and problem. Han Yu gets off his horse, and addresses Jia Bao, stating, "I think knock is better." The relieved Jia Bao raises his head, and is invited by the mayor to join the procession, and are seen riding off together down the street exchanging their ideas and love of poetry.
In modern Chinese, this idiom is used when someone is trying to decide which word to use in their writing or when struggling to decide between two things when neither seems to have a downside.
This Chinese, Japanese, and old Korean title means a poem, a composition in verse, or book containing a collection of poems.
It is also the most common way to write the title for the biblical Book of Psalms in Chinese. It is the second most common way to write Psalms in Japanese.
常春藤 is a common way to write "ivy" in Chinese.
There are varieties of ivy, and other ways to say ivy in Chinese but this version is probably the nicest. It's the one you would use if writing a poem about ivy etc.
If you want the actual meaning, this is, "Always Young Vine," or "Ever Living Vine." The literal meaning of the characters is more like, "Always Spring[time] Vine." But Spring can have other representations in Chinese such as new life, youth, freshness, joyfulness, etc.
This is the chant or poem of Wing Chun. I call it a "chant" because it was meant to be a somewhat rhythmic poem to help practitioners memorize many aspects of Wing Chun.
You will see this referred to as, "Wing Chun Kuem Kuit." This Cantonese romanization is popular in the west (and there is no official way to romanize Cantonese, so many variations exist). In Mandarin it would be, "Yong Chun Quan Jue." The last character (kuit or kyut from Cantonese, jue or chüeh from Mandarin) kind of means "secrets of the art." It's a short way to write 口訣, meaning "mnemonic chant" or "rhyme for remembering."
In the west (especially in the military), we often use acronyms to remember things. There's no initials to make acronyms in Chinese, so in ancient times, chants like this are used to remember vast amounts of information.
I will presume you already know the meaning of the 10 maxims, so I will skip that to keep this calligraphy entry from getting too large.
Some think 练拳者必记 is the title but that just says, "Training fist people should remember:." Therefore, I've not included that in the calligraphy. However, you can put a note in the special instructions if you want it added.
Note: On a traditional calligraphy wall scroll, the characters will be written in vertical columns, starting from the right, and proceeding left.
Note: This is an except and variation from a huge 口訣. These 10 maxims are used extensively in Wing Chun training, and you'll find them all over the internet. Just know there is a much longer version out there, along with several variations and excepts like this one. If you know of, or want a different version, just contact me, and I will add it for you.
Rabindranath Tagore, 1915
This is a philosophical poem/quote from Indian Poet and Philosopher, Rabindranath Tagore.
This quote is not sourced, and therefore several variations exist in English. Some suggest the original was in the Bengali language.
This, of course, is the Chinese translation which has the meaning of, "Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark."
花木蘭 is the name of the famous Chinese woman warrior Hua Mulan.
She was made famous in the west by Disney's animated movie, "Mulan."
Most of the historical information about her comes from an ancient poem. It starts with a concerned Mulan, as she is told a man from each family is to serve conscription in the army. Her father is too old, and her brother is too young. Mulan decides to take the place of her father. After twelve years of war, the army returns and the best warriors are awarded great posts in the government and riches. Mulan turns down all offers, and asks only for a good horse for the long trip home. When Mulan greets visiting comrades wearing her old clothes, they are shocked to find the warrior they rode into battle with for years was actually a woman.
A husband and wife separated and reunited.
About 1500 years ago in China, there lived a beautiful princess named Le Chang. She and her husband Xu De Yan loved each other very much. But when the army of the Sui Dynasty was about to attack their kingdom, disposed of all of their worldly possessions and prepared to flee into exile.
They knew that in the chaos, they might lose track of each other, so the one possession they kept was a bronze mirror which is a symbol of unity for a husband and wife. They broke the mirror into two pieces, and each of them kept half of the mirror. They decided that if separated, they would try to meet in the fair during the 15th day of the first lunar month (which is the lantern festival). Unfortunately, the occupation was brutal, and the princess was forced to become the mistress of the new commissioner of the territory, Yang Su.
At the Lantern Festival the next year, the husband came to the fair to search for his wife. He carried with him, his half of the mirror. As he walked through the fair, he saw the other half of the mirror for sale at a junk market by a servant of the commissioner. The husband recognized his wife's half of the mirror immediately, and tears rolled down his face as he was told by the servant about the bitter and loveless life that the princess had endured.
As his tears dripped onto the mirror, the husband scratched a poem into his wife's half of the mirror:
You left me with the severed mirror,
The mirror has returned but absent are you,
As I gaze in the mirror I seek your face,
I see the moon but as for you, I see not a trace.
The servant brought the inscribed half of the mirror back to the princess. For many days, the princess could not stop crying when she found that her husband was alive and still loved her.
Commissioner Yang Su, becoming aware of this saga realized that he could never obtain the love of the princess. He sent for the husband and allowed them to reunite.
This proverb, 破鏡重圓, is now used to describe a couple who has been torn apart for some reason (usually divorce) but have come back together (or remarried).
It seems to be more common these days in America for divorced couples to reconcile and get married to each other again. This would be a great gift if you know someone who is about to remarry their ex.
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Tom Clan Generational Poem||爾昌友延嗣捷開文裔光宗傳世澤遠晉本立道隆積善家國重學業廣成芳|
|ěr chāng yǒu yán sì jié kāi wén yì guāng zōng chuán shì zé yuǎn jìn běn lì dào lóng jī shàn jiā guó zhòng xué yè guǎng chéng fāng|
er3 chang1 you3 yan2 si4 jie2 kai1 wen2 yi4 guang1 zong1 chuan2 shi4 ze2 yuan3 jin4 ben3 li4 dao4 long2 ji1 shan4 jia1 guo2 zhong4 xue2 ye4 guang3 cheng2 fang1
er chang you yan si jie kai wen yi guang zong chuan shi ze yuan jin ben li dao long ji shan jia guo zhong xue ye guang cheng fang
|erh ch`ang yu yen ssu chieh k`ai wen i kuang tsung ch`uan shih tse yüan chin pen li tao lung chi shan chia kuo chung hsüeh yeh kuang ch`eng fang
erh chang yu yen ssu chieh kai wen i kuang tsung chuan shih tse yüan chin pen li tao lung chi shan chia kuo chung hsüeh yeh kuang cheng fang
|Shaolin Generational Poem||嵩山少林寺曹洞正宗傳續七十字輩訣福慧智子覺了本圓可悟周洪普廣宗道慶同玄祖清靜真如海湛寂淳貞素德行永延恆妙體常堅固心朗照幽深性明鑒崇祚忠正善禧祥謹志原濟度雪庭為導師引汝歸鉉路|
|sōng shān shào lín sì cáo dòng zhèng zōng chuán xù qī shí zì bèi jué fú huì zhì zǐ jiào běn yuán kě wù zhōu hóng pǔ guǎng zōng dào qìng tóng xuán zǔ qīng jìng zhēn rú hǎi zhàn jì chún zhēn sù dé xíng yǒng yán héng miào tǐ cháng jiān gù xīn lǎng zhào yōu shēn xìng míng jiàn chóng zuò zhōng zhēng shàn xǐ xiáng jǐn zhì yuán jì dù xuě tíng wéi dǎo shī yǐn rǔ guī xuàn lù|
song1 shan1 shao4 lin2 si4 cao2 dong4 zheng4 zong1 chuan2 xu4 qi1 shi2 zi4 bei4 jue2 fu2 hui4 zhi4 zi3 jiao4 le5 ben3 yuan2 ke3 wu4 zhou1 hong2 pu3 guang3 zong1 dao4 qing4 tong2 xuan2 zu3 qing1 jing4 zhen1 ru2 hai3 zhan4 ji4 chun2 zhen1 su4 de2 xing2 yong
song shan shao lin si cao dong zheng zong chuan xu qi shi zi bei jue fu hui zhi zi jiao le ben yuan ke wu zhou hong pu guang zong dao qing tong xuan zu qing jing zhen ru hai zhan ji chun zhen su de xing yong
|sung shan shao lin ssu ts`ao tung cheng tsung ch`uan hsü ch`i shih tzu pei chüeh fu hui chih tzu chiao le pen yüan k`o wu chou hung p`u kuang tsung tao ch`ing t`ung hsüan tsu ch`ing ching chen ju hai chan chi ch`un chen su te hsing yung
sung shan shao lin ssu tsao tung cheng tsung chuan hsü chi shih tzu pei chüeh fu hui chih tzu chiao le pen yüan ko wu chou hung pu kuang tsung tao ching tung hsüan tsu ching ching chen ju hai chan chi chun chen su te hsing yung
|Mountain Travels Poem by Dumu||遠上寒山石徑斜白雲生處有人家停車坐愛楓林晚霜葉紅於二月花|
|yuǎn shàng hán shān shí jìng xiá bái yún shēng chù yǒu rén jiā tíng chē zuò ài fēng lín wǎn shuàng yè hóng yú èr yuè huā|
yuan3 shang4 han2 shan1 shi2 jing4 xia2 bai2 yun2 sheng1 chu4 you3 ren2 jia1 ting2 che1 zuo4 ai4 feng1 lin2 wan3 shuang4 ye4 hong2 yu2 er4 yue4 hua1
yuan shang han shan shi jing xia bai yun sheng chu you ren jia ting che zuo ai feng lin wan shuang ye hong yu er yue hua
|yüan shang han shan shih ching hsia pai yün sheng ch`u yu jen chia t`ing ch`e tso ai feng lin wan shuang yeh hung yü erh yüeh hua
yüan shang han shan shih ching hsia pai yün sheng chu yu jen chia ting che tso ai feng lin wan shuang yeh hung yü erh yüeh hua
|Appreciation and Love for Your Parents||誰言寸草心報得三春暉|
|shuí yán cùn cǎo xīn bào dé sān chūn huī|
shui2 yan2 cun4 cao3 xin1 bao4 de2 san1 chun1 hui1
shui yan cun cao xin bao de san chun hui
|shui yen ts`un ts`ao hsin pao te san ch`un hui
shui yen tsun tsao hsin pao te san chun hui
|Haiku||俳句||haiku||pái jù / pai2 ju4 / pai ju / paiju||p`ai chü / paichü / pai chü|
|sou kyuu / soukyuu / so kyu / sokyu||cāng qióng|
|you kou / youkou / yo ko / yoko||yáng guāng|
|Push or Knock||反復推敲|
|fǎn fù tuī qiāo|
fan3 fu4 tui1 qiao1
fan fu tui qiao
|fan fu t`ui ch`iao
fan fu tui chiao
|shihen||shī piān / shi1 pian1 / shi pian / shipian||shih p`ien / shihpien / shih pien|
|Ivy||常春藤||cháng chūn téng|
chang2 chun1 teng2
chang chun teng
|ch`ang ch`un t`eng
chang chun teng
|Wing Chun Fist Maxims||有手黐手無手問手來留區送甩手直沖怕打終歸打貪打終被打粘連迫攻絕不放鬆來力瀉力借力出擊步步追形點點朝午以形補手敗形不敗馬腰馬一致心意合一拳由心發動法無形活人練活死功夫|
|Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark||信唸是在黎明前的黑闇中能感到光明的鳥|
|xìn niǎn shì zài lí míng qián de hēi àn zhōng néng gǎn dào guāng míng de niǎo|
xin4 nian3 shi4 zai4 li2 ming2 qian2 de hei1 an4 zhong1 neng2 gan3 dao4 guang1 ming2 de niao3
xin nian shi zai li ming qian de hei an zhong neng gan dao guang ming de niao
|hsin nien shih tsai li ming ch`ien te hei an chung neng kan tao kuang ming te niao
hsin nien shih tsai li ming chien te hei an chung neng kan tao kuang ming te niao
|huā mù lán|
hua1 mu4 lan2
hua mu lan
|Broken Mirror Rejoined||破鏡重圓|
|pò jìng chóng yuán|
po4 jing4 chong2 yuan2
po jing chong yuan
|p`o ching ch`ung yüan
po ching chung yüan
|In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.|
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.
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All of our calligraphy wall scrolls are handmade.
When the calligrapher finishes creating your artwork, it is taken to my art mounting workshop in Beijing where a wall scroll is made by hand from a combination of silk, rice paper, and wood.
After we create your wall scroll, it takes at least two weeks for air mail delivery from Beijing to you.
Allow a few weeks for delivery. Rush service speeds it up by a week or two for $10!
When you select your calligraphy, you'll be taken to another page where you can choose various custom options.
The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
single-character wall scroll.
We also offer custom wall scrolls in small, medium, and an even-larger jumbo size.
Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.
There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.
Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.
The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.
Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.
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