Towering Wushan

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View of Shennufeng (Wushan) from southside of the river.

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Towering Wushan
        Lu Zhaolin 641-680

Wushan towers to heaven,
Strain to look
        its peak lost in morning fog.
Can't make out anything 
        gibbons wail in the trees,
On foot penetrate the Spirit mist .
Wind lashed rain 
        roils the river channel,
Sudden squall
        obscures peak silhouette.
Soaked clothes ...even up here,
Again I long for you....far away.
Wūshān Gāo
Lú Zhāolín 641-680

Wūshān wàng bù jí,
Wàng wàng bù cháo fēn.
Mò biàn tí yuán shù,
Tú kàn Shennǘ yún.
Jīngtāo luàn shuǐ mài,
Zhòuyǔ àn fēng wén.
Zhān shāng jí cǐ dì,
Kuàng fù yuǎn sī jūn.
Translator: Dongbo 東波

This poem was written as Lu Zhaolin traveled up the Changjiang and passed by Wushan (神女峰 Shennufeng), a towering pinacle on the north side of the river, just below the town of Wushan. The peak was known for its erotic connotations since early times when the King of Chu (329-299 B.C.) had a dream in which a ravishing woman came to his bed and slept with him. At dawn she left, telling him she was the goddess of Wushan and lived in the mist and rain. Having climbed Wushan, we can understand why the goddess may have preferred the warmth of a king's bed to her rocky perch on Wushan. There is no place for a bed on the pinacle of Wushan. The steep climb is probably shorter now that the dam has been completed, but still well worth the effort.

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