seven cups of tea…

seven cups of tea

seven cups of tea

The Seven Cups of Tea’

The first cup caresses my dry lips and throat.
The second shatters the walls of my lonely sadness.
The third searches the dry rivulets of my soul to find the stories of five thousand scrolls.
With the fourth the pain of life’s grievances evaporates through my pores.
The fifth relaxes my muscles and bones become light.
With the sixth I find the path that leads to the immortal ancestors.
Oh the seventh cup! Better not take it! If I had it the only feeling
Is the fresh wind blowing through my wings,
As I make my way to Penglai.

Lu Tong, Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618-907)

Such a beautiful poem by Tang dynasty poet, Lu Tong! I have seen it on many tea websites and blogs with various translations but I have not found a name to credit with this particular lovely poetic version. You might want to know that Mount Penglai, mentioned in the last line is the mythical home of the immortals in the Eastern Sea.

As cranes are a symbol of immortality, they are flying away over the misty mountains to accompany that fortunate tea drinker on his way – should he drink that seventh cup!

七碗茶詩

一碗喉吻潤, 兩碗破孤悶
三碗搜枯腸唯有文字五千卷
四碗發輕汗平生不平事﹐盡向毛孔散
五碗肌骨輕﹐六碗通仙靈
七碗吃不得也﹐唯覺兩習習清風生
蓬萊山﹐在何處玉川子乘此清風欲歸去
山上群仙司下土地位清高隔風雨

Lú Tóng 盧仝

Have a lovely long weekend – and I’m back Tuesday!

image (cc) 2009 Hilary Farmer

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10 Responses to “seven cups of tea…”

  1. This is exceptionally lovely, both the poem and the image. The way you’ve separate foreground and background with colour/greyscale is extremely effective, adding a great sense of depth and strengthening the composition.

    The cranes flying side-by-side are particularly nice–maybe it was more than just the second cup of tea that shattered the walls of the poet’s lonely sadness?

  2. Thanks Tom! and thanks for the suggestion earlier that I try a bigger view… one of the reasons I wanted to try this classic style Chinese mountain top view.
    Yes, tea with a good friend and conversation is surely one of the great pleasures in life!

  3. XIAO NING Says:

    HI ,HILARY

    The painting of’ Seven cups Tea ‘is very beautiful and with a little feeling of sadness. I LIKE the mountains, the cranes are flying over the clouds.
    They are trying to fly higher and further ,make you think more and far.
    Hope you enjoy the long week -end.

  4. Hi Xiao Ning,
    Thank you. I like your comments – that is very much the feeling I wanted to portray. Have a nice weekend too!

  5. Leslie Says:

    Another lovely depiction of poetry…but my Canadian eyes see Canada geese, not storks….and it that a tree or an innukshuk in the bottom left???? (just razing you….but that’s what big sisters are for!)

  6. Really? They’re white and see the long trailing legs… and the tiny patch of red on the head? Those are cranes anyway – not storks!! OK you got me. lol

  7. absolutely beautiful 🙂

  8. Thank you so much

  9. Give tea a chance to wash away all the political views.

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