Siblings from The Same Root

Four trunks from the same root. Photo by Cassa Bassa

This image reminds me of an ancient Chinese poem titled Seven Steps Verse written by Cao Zhi who was one of the sons of Cao Cao, a well known Chinese statesman.

The poet uses osmunda and beans from the same root as a metaphor for brothers who share the same father and mother, and accuses Cao Pi (his brother) of brutal persecution of himself and other brothers. The tone is euphemistic and deep, serves as a reminder and advice in the irony.

Here is my attempt to translate this well known poem.

Seven Steps Verse

The beans are crying
in the heating wok
while the osmunda is burning fiercely
to fuel the cooking
Aren’t they from the same root
Then why the torture
to cut lives short

七步诗

煮豆燃豆萁,
豆在釜中泣。
本是同根生,
相煎何太急?

Author: Cassa Bassa

🇦🇺🇨🇳 inquisitive, observant, witty, a thinker, was a misfit child 😊

4 thoughts on “Siblings from The Same Root”

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