孟郊诗

Poems of Meng Jiao


Index

弦歌行

An Instructional Walking Song


驱傩击鼓吹长笛
瘦鬼染面惟齿白
暗中崒崒拽茅鞭
倮足朱裈行戚戚
相顾笑声冲庭燎
桃弧射矢时独叫

Charge and exorcise these demons, play the drums and flutes.
Weak they are, with faces stained. Only their teeth are white.
In their dark and lofty lairs, they tug at their straw cocks.
Naked all, below the waist, they sadly, sadly walk.
Encourage each other with laughter and purge them from our halls.
Shoot them with your bows of peach when you hear their lonely calls.

-- 孟郊


废话

In the title, 弦歌 refers to Confucian instruction by means of song. Meng Jiao probably amused himself by composing this poem as he walked. I pull no punches in this translation. Apparently, men jacking-off has long been a symbol of sad and useless lives. I'd like to know what the idea is behind having their cocks made of the rushes used for thatching, which I translate as "straw." Peach bows are for killing demons. For more about killing Chinese demons try watching A Chinese Ghost Story (倩女幽魂) from 2011.


Index