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黃佐《湛子宅夜宴和呂子仲木邊爐詩》A hot pot poem by Huang Zuo (1490-1566)


“At a night banquet in Master Zhan’s mansion, in response to the hot pot poem by Master Lü, [courtesy name] Zhongmu” by Huang Zuo (1490-1566)[1]

圍爐坐寒夜, Sitting around the pot on a cold night,

嘉賓愕以。 The guests, wide-eyed, are filled with wonder.

朱火光吐日, Vermilion fire casts light [as if] spat from the sun.

陽和滿前。 Gentle warmth brims on porch steps.

眾肴歸一器, Cates for all united in one vessel,

變化斐然。 Their variety wonderfully rich.

食美且需熟, Fine food is yet to be cooked—

充實諒由。 Satiation is surely derived from a void.[2]

妙悟得同志, Enjoying this marvellous revelation in the company of true friends,

攬環誓相[3] [I] embrace [them] and pledge my devotion.

[1] Zhanzi 湛子 (Master Zhan) refers to Zhan Ruoshui 湛若水 (1466-1560), who, like the poet Huang Zuo, was a scholar-official from Guangdong. The term for “hot pot” here, bianlu 邊爐, is most common in the southeast. Little is known about the poem by Lü Nan 呂柟 (1479-1542, courtesy name Zhongmu), to which Huang Zuo responded. [2] By philosophising the widely shared experience of waiting by the hot pot with an empty stomach, this line adds a humorous touch to this poem. [3] Red characters rhyme.

A bronze pot with five compartments from the Western Han (202-8 BCE)

Typical double hot pot; image from wikipedia

Our hot pot party on New Year's Eve 2022


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