Poetry in tea and garden..#hongkong


Imagine a fragrance that 
"blends with the flavour of evening rain"
or 
"like music from lofty terraces far away"

I visited  the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware in Hong Kong last week
 and fell in love with 12 delicate cups in wucai enamel
representing the "Flowers of the Month".
Marks and period of Kangxi (1662-1722), Qing dynasty.
I was spellbound.


Under each tea cup is an inscription,
 a poem, representing the flower on the cup.


First month: Wintersweet trees
The golden blossoms and verdant calyxes bear the chill of spring.
How many shades of yellow can be found among these flowers?

Second month: Crabapple tree
The fragrance blends with the flavour of evening rain.
The beautiful colour stands out in clear weather like in mist.

Third month: Peach tree
When the blossoms sway in the breeze, the swallow returns.
This is the time late in spring, when the farmer goes back to his fields.

Fourth month: Peonies
At dawn its beauty receives dew from a golden palm.
In the evening the fragrance penetrates deep into Jade Hall.

Fifth month: Pomegranate tree
The colour unfolds like the sun on pearl curtains.
The breeze bears the fragrance in the shade of the white-washed wall.

Sixth month: Lotus flowers
The roots are like jade gleaming in the mud.
The hearts contain pearls when dew has descended.

Seventh month: Orchids
The delicate fragrance pervades the spacious hall.
Like music from lofty terraces far away.

Eight month: Cassia tree
The branches are growing for months without end.
Once they are laden with blossoms, autumn has surely arrived.

Ninth month: Chrysanthemum
A thousand fills of wide drunk in a plain white robe.
Throughout the whole life fragrant like a young woman.

Tenth month: Rose
Unlike a thousand other species that tire out,
This one alone blazes in red throughout the year.

Eleventh month: Prunus tree
Simple beauty like a tree frozen with snow.
Branches moving in the wind full of clear fragrance.

Twelfth month: Narcissus
The spring breeze plays with these gems when daylight arrives.
When the moon traverses at night, it sends ripples up the long dike.

If you could find one of the original sets,
dating back to the Qing dynasty,
you would need about US$2.5 million to purchase it.
My research turned up:
two sets in The Palace Museum, Beijing
one set in the Sir Percival David Collection
at the British Museum, London
one set in the Idemitsu Museum of Art, Tokyo
and one set in the Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong
I am not even sure if what I saw was the real deal..but
the notion of a poem in a cup is beautiful.

I am curious...
do you have a favourite month/flower
 from one of the above?
Would love to know.

No surprise as to what mine is:

Sixth month: Lotus flowers
The roots are like jade gleaming in the mud.
The hearts contain pearls when dew has descended.


Lotus flower...Chateau Mango

Before I go...a note on tea.
If you love green tea as I do..
I encourage you to try
Tea Forte Jasmine Green
Hot or iced..it is heaven in a cup.
I am serenely addicted! 





Your favourite flower/poem from above?
Favourite tea?
I would love to read it all!

You can write to me jeannecollageoflife@gmail 
if it is easier than leaving a comment.

Have a wonderful day!

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