Shu Shi And His "Cold Food Poetry Specimen in Huangzhou"

"Cold Food Poetry Specimen in Huangzhou", the most outsanding works of calligraphy of Su Shi, in now collected in the National Palace Museum in Taipei.

The specimen is a five-character poem created impromptu by Su Shi on the Cold Food Day. The poem is written in a dismal and miserable mood, which reflects the depression and melancholy of Su Shi in the adversity of life.

Seeing every family went to pay a visit to their ancestorís tombs, he remembered that he had been demoted to Huangzhou for 3 years. During these years, he had not paid a visit to tomb of his parents. Thinking of that he had been faded from the empire's mind as the virtuous minister Jie Zitui did, he felt extremely miserable. At the same time, he looked up and saw the torn and deserted kitchen; a sense of dead was popped up in his mind. Accordingly, he picked up a brush, and wrote down the mawkishness and sorrow in his mind, which is the "Cold Food Poetry Specimen in Huangzhou".

At the beginning of "Cold Food Poetry Specimen in Huangzhou", it is gentle but dignified, with invisible waves mixed in the steady. Both the stipples, lines and the structure and size of the words change rapidly with the ups and downs of the author's feelings.

From the "The Spring water has been filled to crash down the house", the words were written bigger and bigger by Su Shi and his handwriting was becoming more and more hurried. Till the sentence of "the old and shabby oven is burned by wet reeds", his vigor of writing becomes especially great. Until "I really want to follow the example of Run Bobbing crying for the ending. Not reconciled to be as dead as ashes."  Su Shi's emotion became claim gradually and the handwriting was also prone to steady. At last, he ended up with two words as small as a fly, which expresses the helplessness and desolation in author's heart.

After the birth of "Cold Food Poetry Specimen in Huangzhou", just as its owner, it also had a desperate fate. After "Cold Food Poetry Specimen in Huangzhou" left Su Shi and was changed hands several times, it was finally passed to Zhao Hao, county magistrate of Yong'an, Henan. One day in July of 1100 A.D., Zhao Hao brought the specimen to visit his good friend Huang Tingjian in Meizhou, Sichuan.

After the second World War, the former foreign minister of Kuomintang government, Wang Shijie spent large amount of money to buy "Cold Food Poetry Specimen in Huangzhou" . Today, this famous calligraphy work is collected in National Palace Museum in Taipei. "Cold Food Poetry Specimen in Huangzhou" is so precious that it is seldom exhibited to the outside, so it is not easy to get a chance to have a look at it.

 

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