In Eurythmy class with HVWS teacher Laetitia Berrier-Saarbach, the 7th Grade students have been working with a poem in honor of Chinese New Year.
The poem, “Gazing at Mount Lu’s Waterfall,” is by Li Bai, who is among the most famous of Chinese poets and was a prominent figure in the flourishing of Chinese poetry in the Tang dynasty, often called the “Golden Age of Chinese Poetry.” Li Bai lived most of his life during the peak of the Tang Dynasty, an era known for its openness, commerce, and thriving literary scene. In 756 CE, after a stint at the imperial court, Li Bai — already regarded as one of the Tang Dynasty’s most famous poets — retired to Mount Lu in Jiangxi Province. It was during this time that he wrote two poems describing the incredible beauty of Incense Burner Peak, one of Mount Lu’s four peaks. Mount Lu, or Lushan, is situated in the northern part of Jiangxi province in Central China and is one of the most renowned mountains in the country.
The students follow a simple form evoking a waterfall whose top is so high and far in the clouds and mist that it seems to be coming from the sky. The poem is followed by a well-known traditional Chinese song, “Jasmine Flower.” The students follow the five-petal pattern of the flower while “singing” the tones and intervals with their arms.
“Gazing at Mount Lu’s Waterfall”
Sunlight shines on Lushan, in a purple haze,
From afar, like a veil, a waterfall hangs.
Water cascading three thousand feet from the sky,
Is the Celestial River falling from heaven on high?