Cold flying white

A skill often attributed to jesters is the capacity to improvise verse, which they could do for fun or to mock or criticize, as we’ve seen elsewhere.  Here we have Jing Xinmo 鏡新磨 (Newly Polished Mirror), jester to the emperor Tang Zhuangzong 唐莊宗 (r. 923-26), exercise his skill:

Newly Polished Mirror presented a declamation at a banquet to celebrate the snow which had fallen outside, poetically describing how the snow was like ‘cold flying white’.



See another witty ditty he made up to entertain the court.

Source: Qingyi lu 清異錄, by Tao Gu 陶穀 (Song), fol. 1, Siku Quanshu 四庫全書 (Shanghai: Guji Chubanshe, 1987), vol. 1047.

Image credit: Jessica Fadel at unsplash


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