His old man liked it too

The jester Jing Xinmo 鏡新磨 (Newly Polished Mirror) who served Emperor Zhuangzong of the Later Tang 後唐莊宗 (r. 923-26), was skilled in versifying.  Poetic skills were a common qualification among jesters, including the capacity to improvise verse.  When the Prince of Qin presented a poem he had composed, the emperor showed it to Jing Xinmo, who praised it and then made the emperor laugh with a little joke about the prince understandably being good at poetry since his ‘old man’ had liked it all his life too.  An intimate moment and an easy exchange between jester and emperor.

或一日,秦王進詩,上說於俳優敬新磨,敬新磨贊美而曰:「勿訝秦王詩好,他阿爺平生愛作詩。」上大笑。

Source: Beimeng suoyan 北夢瑣言, by Sun Guangxian 孫光憲 (900-68), fol. 19, Siku Quanshu 四庫全書 (Shanghai: Guji Chubanshe, 1987), vol. 1036, p. 841a.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This