Winter months, the touch of green cloth suggests cold.
Summer months, the sight of red suggests heat.
Upon entering, a spirit shrine seems to hold ghosts.
The belly of a grand master monk suggests pregnancy.
Behind a heavy curtain, the suggestion of people.
Passing a butcher shop, one feels rank as mutton.
The sight of ice jade cools the heart’s core.
The sight of plums softens the teeth.
One of a few excerpts from a translation by Chloe Garcia Roberts of the 杂纂 (Za Zuan) by 李商隐 (Li Shangyin, courtesy name of 義山). [via Harvard Review Online]
The following lists are from the Za Zuan by Li Shangyin (ca. 813–858), a late-Tang poet famous for his lush intricacy and imagery. Written in a spare, candid style, the pieces in this little-known text record the author’s reactions to the mundane in shifting tones of humor, wonder, and sadness. A complete translation of the Za Zuan will be published by New Directions in 2014.