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孔平仲《詠無核紅柿》“On stoneless red persimmons” by Kong Pingzhong (fl. 11th century)

林中有丹果, In the grove there are cinnabar fruits

壓枝一何。 Weighing down the branches - how very dense!

為柿已軟美, [You] persimmons are already soft and fine,

嗟爾骨亦。 O your bones are supple too.

風霜變顔色, Wind and frost change your colour,

雨露加膏。 Rain and dew add to your plumpness.

大哉造化心, So great is the mind of Creation,

于爾何綢。 How delicate its touch is on you!

荆筐載趨市, In wicker baskets [you are] carried to the market,

價賤良易。 At a small price [you are] truly easy to get.

剖心無所有, Carving out your heart - none is to be found;

入口頗相。 Taking [you] into the mouth - quite an enjoyment.

為栗外屈强, Chestnuts are stubborn outside,

老者所不。 Elders cannot take [them].

為棗中亦剛, Jujubes are hard inside too,

飼兒㦸其。 [And] stick in the throat when fed to children.

衆言咀嚼快, Everybody speaks of savouring with delight:

惟爾無所。 Only you raise no concern.

排羅置前列, One next to another [you are] placed in the front,

圓熟當髙。 Round and ripe in the prime of autumn.

且以恱一時, Therein [one] finds pleasure here and now,

長久豈暇。 Who has the leisure to plan for times beyond?

咄哉潰爛速, What a pity, [you] decay so fast,

棄擲將誰[1] For your discarding, who shall be blamed?

[1] Red characters rhyme.

* From Kong Wenzhong, Qingjiang san Kong ji 清江三孔集 (Wenyuange yingyin Siku quanshu文淵閣景印四庫全書vol. 1345, Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1987), 21.23b-24a:

Detail of the hanging scroll "Lishi tu" 荔柿圖 by Shen Zhou 沈周 (1427-1509)

Picture credit: The Palace Museum, Beijing (


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