Five Memory Poems (自書五憶歌)

Wang Chong (王寵, 1494–1533), Ming Dynasty (1368–1644)

Handscroll, ink on paper, 29.3 x 294.7 cm, National Palace Museum, Taipei

       Wang Chong (王寵, 1494–1533), courtesy names Lüren (履仁) and Lüji (履吉), sobriquet Yayi Shanren (雅宜山人), was a native of Suzhou. He was the son of the merchant Wang Zhen (王貞), who also collected antiquities as well as painting and calligraphy. Influenced by his father, Wang Chong studied with his brother under Wen Zhengming (文徵明, 1470–1559) and Cai Yu (蔡羽, ?–1541), excelling at poetry and prose. His calligraphy followed the style of Wang Xianzhi (王獻之, 344–386) and Yu Shinan (虞世南, 558–638). Wang Chong is known along with Zhu Yunming (祝允明, 1460–1526) and Wen Zhengming as one of the “Three Talents of Suzhou (吳中三家).” 

       This is a handscroll of semi-cursive calligraphy that flies and darts across the paper. Wang’s application of the brush was somewhat stiff, with only the turns of the brush being slightly softer, giving a slightly harsh yet archaic effect. Although in modern cursive, the characters in this work are practically independent with a sense of draft cursive. The right-falling strokes of some characters, such as “mian 眠”, “tai 泰” and “lie 裂”, also suggest a touch of clerical script. These poems were done at the age of 34 and written on stiff sutra paper from Mt. Jinsu, which highlights Wang’s quick and forceful brushwork as well as the areas where he lifted and pressed the brush. This work is one of the best surviving ones by Wang Chong.

Five Memory Poems
Five Memory Poems

釋文:

五憶歌。有序。丙戌病暑。城居如甑。伏枕書空。游神六合。戲作五憶之歌。以解煩蒸。亦猶執熱者之思濯乎。

我所憶兮匡廬泉。飛空直下香爐巔。銀河為源彭蠡委。萬古騰沸東南天。左潀右射五老卻。褰裳濡足愁攀緣。厓傾石走霹靂鬪。枯藤怪樹虯龍懸。丹青洗出屏風疊。跳珠濺玉聲鏘然。誰能置我巖石間。仰面落雪水底眠。酒酣戲作五里霧。山精嘯雨空中旋。嗚呼我歌兮歌始放。九江茫茫日在望。

其二。
我所憶兮泰山松。秦皇避雨駐六龍。根如鐵石皮青銅。千秋萬歲枝蒙茸。曈曈挂日扶桑小。隱隱參天翠黛濃。鸞雛鳳鷇不知數。和鳴下上如笙鏞。濤聲直與東海應。絕頂正見蓬萊峰。金膏玉液散入地。茯苓芝草生隆冬。釆而食之可不死。雲車何日來相從。嗚呼我歌兮歌正長。黃河日暮流湯湯。

其三。
我所憶兮峨嵋雪。六月陰厓凍欲裂。僊人赤腳翠巖行。鶴氅飄飄玉光潔。迴飆散吹五溪去。落絮飛花滿城闕。滴博蓬婆西海頭。陰風慘澹旌竿折。萬里黃雲凝不流。層冰皚皚冬夏結。我思仗劍游其巔。石棧天梯殊斗絕。六龍迴日不敢過。寒光凜洌千丈鐵。嗚呼我歌兮歌益豪。太白不動金天高。

其四。
我所憶兮渭川竹。大澤深山千畝綠。氤氳上接函關雲。離奇錯峙藍田玉。翠鳳葳蕤振其羽。蒼龍夭矯群相逐。哀壑陰森白日寒。長林高下青山矗。野老都迷釣玉谿。山人失卻王官谷。石上蟲書繡古苔。空中匹練懸飛瀑。安得清狂似子猷。挾策西行騎兩鹿。嗚呼我歌兮歌且舞。長袖褊褼隘環堵。

其五。
我所憶兮黃鶴樓。瀟湘洞庭生素秋。登高決眥極萬里。烈風震蕩無時休。九疑連緜似屏障。白日黤慘蒼雲愁。東攀若木枝巃嵸。西望雪嶺寒颼飀。朱簾繡柱九天上。倒影卻射滄江流。僊人坐弄紫玉笛。往往飛花鸚鵡洲。青蓮居士莫搥碎。便須縱飲成糟丘。嗚呼我歌兮歌愈急。鴻鵠冥冥楚天碧。

往歲作此歌。戊子夏五。 與明卿燕于錢氏有斐堂。新暑作毒。揮汗成雨。眇然有江海之思。遂書此以贈。雅宜子王寵。

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