96歲的葉嘉瑩:一生多艱,唯詩詞作伴 Yeh Chiaying Poetry Accompanies Her through Hardship over the Past 96 Years

“There’s one sentence in Renjian Cihua by Wang Guowei” ‘Destiny makes a poet by putting him/her in a good deal of hardship’ “Sometimes if you want to lecture in poems” “You must really have gone through adversity” “Before you can understand it” “Really well” Ms. Yeh is the last great scholar of poetry in China The film was not intended To depict a well-respected And otherworldly master What we see now Is a real life Over the past thousand years Chinese poetry is a predominantly male world As a female writer of ci Ms. Yeh represents a turning point Which is significant and revolutionary Like the Dyer’s Hand tells the stories of Ms. Yeh As the Goddess of Poems She has a legendary life Which is closely related to Chinese poetry I was born in 1924 When I was a second year grader in my junior high school Beijing was occupied by the enemy Now her old home in Beijing is not there anymore It’s already been pulled down But it’s basically the container Of Ms. Yeh’s early memories She was born there, grew into a young woman and fell in love Later she left Beijing and got married And began her journey around the world I got married in 1948 Ms. Yeh offered us all the materials we wanted Which was really generous of her She talked about her marriage And her sufferings in Taiwan And other blows She was unfairly treated While she was teaching Her pain has been changed Through poems It’s colorful Like brocade It has become a feminine beauty Among all the interviewees 90% of them were suggested by Ms. Yeh And everyone was excited The students and friends around Ms. Yeh Lots of them could sing along with her And they could write poems Speaking of Ms. Yeh Their eyes were sparkling In fact It’s quite sad to think of them Because some of the interviewees They were already late staged cancer patients And they passed away successively While the film was being edit The camera was focused On the Heluo Area These places were origins of Chinese poems Through the old objects Landscapes and architecture We looked back upon the years when the poems were written We filmed Foguang Temple Which boasted a well-structured system of brackets There was a metaphor Between it and the structure of lvshi and jueju So that the audience can use their own imagination And picture in their mind “At the last night of the year, a strong wind was shaking the big city” It was the coldest days in December We took Ms. Yeh to a film studio in Beijing We specially selected some poems for Ms. Yeh to read In the film “When the ancient poems are read” “The poets are understood after several thousand years” Through reading Poems have a different sound A different rhyme and rhythm Then is it possible To go back to Tang songs In terms of music Japanese Gagaku is the closest type So we invited Somei Satoh as our composer We used the eight poems of Du Fu’s From Autumn Thoughts We combined Gagaku with chamber music We also used soprano arias and baritone arias To echo with each other To achieve a better aesthetic effect In terms of poetry and sounds At the beginning A total stranger like me was not welcomed by Ms. Yeh Later in other ways We sent our ideas to Ms. Yeh One by one And asked for her permission So when she nodded her head We were still jittery That might be a hateful thing to say But we were pushing Ms. Yeh to squeeze making the film Into her busy schedule The outline that I gave to Ms. Yeh Sometimes it could be as long as over twenty pages And sometimes I had to send it to her half a month in advance Because she needed to revise it We learned a lot about poems from her There were parts about Su Dongpo and Xin Qiji And sometimes I made mistakes And made a fool of myself But Ms. Yeh was tolerant She would only point it out politely Basically every shooting lasted for a long time Sometimes during the shooting She would check her blood pressure ‘Oh. No.” “My blood pressure is increasing” Then we would withdraw in advance Mr. Chen thought I wore a wig But this is my real hair And I lost lots of hair recently As we just got started I was nervous and respectful As time passed We became closer and closer When she talked about poems Sometimes She would act like a girl With those small gestures And smiles And you would feel She was in front of her lover I had that kind of feeling Liu Bingsong is the lady who showed up at the end of the film When we arrived in Vancouver And we were about to leave in two days Ms. Yeh called all of a sudden And suggested we must interview her It was a final advice But that part throws light on the core of the film “Through my life” “It’s hard to meet someone else like Ms. Yeh” To her Ms. Yeh was like an “existence” For Ms. Yeh Poetry has been deeply cut in her life She’s like a Tankasri Avalokitesvara Who leads people to cross the big river of poems And reach the other side

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