I Ching, Yijing or Zhou Yi
"Oracle of the moon": © 2000 LiSe

  Yi Jing, Oracle of the Moon

ShenShu and LingQijing

It seems the Shenshu originally had fewer poems.

The Shenshu has 384 poems, same number as hexagram-lines in the Yijing, 64 x 6.
So far I found 15 poems which are identical in Shenshu and Lingqijing. It seems the Shenshu used to have about 370 poems, or maybe a number which correlated with days in the sun- or moon-year. After all it had its home in the Tongshu, an almanac which was issued every year, and gave farmers indications about the right moment to sow or harvest and so on. One page for every day of the year.
In the Tongshu's of the past 100+ years, the Shenshu was in the back. I don't know if it used to be on each page? I guess nobody will ever be able to find out.


The text of Shenshu 340 and Lingqijing 232:



Lingqijing 232
A pair of swallows returns to the southern region,
Seeking out the families Wáng and Xiè.
Amid the carved halls of spring light serene,
They entrust their lives to fate.
(transl. Ralph D. Sawyer and Mei-chün Lee Sawyer)


Shenshu 340
A pair of swallows returns to the south of the country
They seek the home of the Wang and Xie families
The magnificent halls are silent in the spring days
This place used to support their livelihood.
(transl. LiSe)

The poem is about the decline of the mansion where the Wang and later Xie family once lived. The swallows lost their place to return and went instead to the homes of the common people.
See the story of this poem.


last update: 01.12.2020


© LiSe April 2000-2020