Thursday, 16 February 2017

The awesome ladies project 4 - Lady Xu Mu of China

Awesome lady number four is Lady Xu Mu, who lived in China, circa 7th century BC.

She was the first recorded female poet in Chinese history.
According to her Wikipedia article, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Xu_Mu she was married to Duke Mu of Xu, though when her homestate of Wey was invaded in 660BC by the Northern Di barbarians, she attempted to return and call for help from Wey's neighbouring states on the way.

Unfortunately, Mu's courtiers caught up with her on the road and returned her to Xu. Her appeals for help succeeded, however and the state of Qi came to Wey's aid.

Lady Xu Mu's highly acclaimed poems Bamboo Pole and Spring Water expressed her longing for her home state, and her most famous work Speeding Chariot (or Chariot Speeding – I've seen it written both ways on different websites) offers a scathing attack on beaurocracy. This is from the website article http://www.colorq.org/Articles/article.aspx?d=asianwomen&x=xumu

This article http://history.cultural-china.com/en/48History12830.html offers more insight into Lady Xu Mu's life

It took me a bit of digging around, but I finally found English translations of some of Lady Xu Mu's poetry, here: https://rebelwomenembroidery.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/xu-mu-%E8%AE%B8%E7%A9%86%E5%A4%AB%E4%BA%BA-b-690-bce-kingdom-of-wei-china/


Lady Xu Mu was a creative and clever force who gave her people hope when they needed it most, and expressed herself through some very moving poetry.

We're moving forward in history for the next one, as it's film-makers. Up first is Sally Potter, and her film adaptation of Virginia Woolfe's novel, Orlando. 

No comments:

Post a Comment