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Weekly Contest

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Classic poem of the day

Nature's great masterpiece, an elephant
(The only harmless great thing), the giant
Of beasts, who thought none had to make him wise,
But to be just and thankful, loth to offend
(Yet nature hath given him no knees to bend)
Himself he up-props, on himself relies,
And, foe to none, suspects no enemies,
Still sleeping stood; vex'd not his fantasy
Black dreams; like an unbent bow carelessly
His sinewy proboscis did remissly lie.

member poem of the day

This is a poem Du Fu (712-770 AD) wrote after his friend and fellow great Tang-dynasty poet, Li Bai (701-762 AD), was exiled from government to the southern frontier.

In the poem, he first compares the sorrow of parting with the dead to the sorrow of parting with an old friend. He has not heard any news from Li Bai in his exile, but sees him in a dream. He wonders if his friend’s spirit has parted from the body and becomes fearful for his life. After Li Bai’s spirit comes and goes, Du Fu reflects on his friend’s precarious situation and cautions him to sate or appease the water dragon, symbolizing the emperor and the enemies ma
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