Kwon Jeok – A Recitation on Bamboo Trees

Daeseol

Kwon Jeok (權適, 권적, 1094-1147) was a Goryeo Dynasty (高麗, 고려, 918-1392) and Song Dynasty (宋, 송, 960-1279) bureaucrat and scholar. He was of the Andong Kwon Clan (安東權氏, 안동권씨) and his courtesy name (字, 자) was Deukjeong (得正, 득정). During the reign of Emperor Yejong (睿宗, 예종, 1079-1122, r. 1105-1122), Kwon Jeok was selected to be sent over to China to study at the Imperial Academy (太學, 태학, Taehak). In 1117, he passed the Song Dynasty imperial civil examinations (科擧, 과거) but returned to Goryeo shortly thereafter. After his return, he served on various bureaucratic positions.

In the poem below, he describes the winter scenery of Major Snow, or Daeseol (大雪, 대설), one of the twenty-four solar terms. As a solar term, the Major Snow always falls around December 6th or 7th on the Western Gregorian Calendar, but varies on the lunar calendar. On this day, the Sun reaches the celestial longitude of 255 degrees.

安北寺詠竹 안북사영죽

At Anbuk Temple, A Recitation on Bamboo Trees

大雪漫天萬木嶊 대설만천만목최
琅玕相映一枝梅 랑간상영일지매
不如六月炎蒸酷 불여유월염증혹
呼召淸風分外來 호소청풍분외래

Large snow fill the heavens; ten-thousand trees are piled.
The jade bamboo trees mutually illuminate one branch on the plum tree.
It is not like the severity of the Sixth Month’s steaming heat.
Calling out to the clear winds, a portion comes from the outside.

Definitions:

Large • snow • to fill • heavens • ten-thousand • trees • to be piled
Jade • jade • mutually • to shine upon • one • branch • plum tree
Not • like • sixth • month • heat • steaming • severity
To call • to call out • clear • winds • to share • outside • to come

Notes:

  • The blogger is uncertain of the location of Anbuk Temple (安北寺, 안북사).
  • 琅玕(낭간) – A sobriquet for bamboo trees.

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