Haikai Challenge #158: Harvest Moon (meigetsu) and dVerse OLN — Chang’e

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ec/Chang_E%2C_The_Moon_Goddess.jpg/762px-Chang_E%2C_The_Moon_Goddess.jpg

Moon Goddess

Milk skin, coal hair, her
silk robes once swished earthbound;
now moonlight grace shines down.
Mid-autumn Harvest honors
her with humble offerings.

 

From Traveling China Guide
Chang’e (Chang E) Flying to the Moon is the most widely told Mid-Autumn Festival legend. It is said that in ancient times, ten suns existed in the sky and the extreme heat made people’s lives very difficult. It was the hero Hou Yi, who, using his great strength, shot down nine of the ten suns. Later, Hou Yi married a beautiful and kind-hearted woman named Chang E and lived a happy life.

One day, the Queen of Heaven presented Hou Yi an elixir which, if took, would help him to ascend immediately to heaven and become a god. Hou Yi took it home and asked Chang E to keep it. Unfortunately, a villain named Pengmeng got to know this, broke into their home and demanded Chang E hand over the elixir while Hou Yi was out hunting. In a moment of desperation, Chang E swallowed the elixir. Reluctant to leave her husband, Cheng E tried her best to fly to the moon, the nearest place to the earth in heaven. Houyi missed Chang E a lot, so on the day of the full moon he placed on tables foods that Chang E liked. This custom was later followed by folk people praying to the Goddess Chang E for good luck and gradually formed the Mid-Autumn Festival.

This year’s Mid-Autumn Festival
(aka The Chinese Moon Festival) is today!

Image:  Chang E, The Moon Goddess, artist unknown (1345–1445), part of the Art Institute of Chicago collection.

Frank J. Tassone is the host of Haikai Challenge.  Frank says:
This week, write the haikai poem of your choice (haiku, senryu, haibun, tanka, haiga, renga, etc.) that alludes to the Harvest Moon (meigetsu).

Mish is today’s host of dVerse’ Open Link Night.

59 Comments Add yours

  1. Oh … love this myth set to the poem… I have colleagues in China going on Holiday tomorrow and next week… (but I do not like mooncakes)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks much, Bjorn. So glad you connect with the holiday in a direct way. I’ve never tried mooncakes.

      Like

  2. Glenn A. Buttkus says:

    What a wonderful historic gem; all unfamiliar to me. I wrote of three Moon Goddesses–Luna, Cynthia and Selene. Thanks for the ride And the lesson

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you and you are welcome, Glenn. Can’t wait to read about them. No Buck and the Gang today??

      Like

  3. Lucy says:

    Very beautiful and majestic. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks, Lucy. I didn’t seek the holiday out either, it found me 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Frank J. Tassone and commented:
    #Haiku Happenings #5: Jade Li’s latest #tanka for my current #Haikai Challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ron. says:

    A perfect poetic telling, Lisa. Thanks for the background.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks Ron, and you are welcome.

      Like

  6. -Eugenia says:

    Beautiful! I love how you set the mood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks, Eugi!

      Like

  7. calmkate says:

    your haiku is exquisite, and the art also!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you Kate, and amazing to think that painting is so old — and only 3 hours from here right now!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. calmkate says:

        she looks very Japanese to me … I prefer that with the chinese inhuman rights record!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          Kate, I’m in no way defending Japanese or Chinese human rights records, but no country is exempt from human right abuses. Women, children, and every other arbitrarily chosen factor by which another person or ruling entity chooses to abuse are victims and the ones who abuse either directly or by proxy are evil. Period.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. calmkate says:

            agreed Lisa but some just do outright slaughter and there is no excuse for that!

            Liked by 1 person

  8. sanaarizvi says:

    Oh gosh this is absolutely breathtaking, Lisa! The full moon was a sight to behold tonight 💝💝

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Sanaa, overjoyed that you like the poem and are getting to behold that gorgeous moon tonight.

      Like

  9. Grace says:

    Beautiful and I appreciated the notes. The moon was amazing this early morning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      ❤ Thank you, Grace. I'll be looking for it again tonight.

      Like

  10. rothpoetry says:

    A beautiful and interesting post Lisa! I love the story of Chang E. Stories from others cultures are so interesting!
    Dwight

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Dwight and glad you enjoyed the story.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Sadje says:

    An amazing story in your poem Li

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad you like it, Sadje. It is pretty amazing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        It is indeed

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Dora says:

    Lisa, I love how the poem evokes the myth, like it mingles the earth-bound with the unearthly. Thanks for providing the background – so interesting and sheds light on the imagery.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Dora, happy you enjoyed it. It was a fun one to learn and write about.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. memadtwo says:

    What a beautiful story! Your poem and the image have such light and clarity, they reflect it well. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Kerfe, thank you. I read various pages with different spins on the myth. Many tried to cast Chang’e in a negative light, but I don’t get that feel from her at all.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. memadtwo says:

        I think you caught tge essence.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Ali Grimshaw says:

    Lovely. This line paints a picture for me,
    now moonlight grace shines down.
    Nature is my favorite artist.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      🙂 Thank you, Ali, mine also.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Such a wonderful story -and illustration – thank you – and of course a fine verse – lovely assonance throughout the first three heavenly lines – contrasted with the final earthbound couplet. Diverting and enchanting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Appreciate your nice comment, Peter, thank you.

      Like

  16. Ingrid says:

    I love the way you have used alliteration here to paint a picture with your words: I could see the image clearly without looking at the illustration.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Ingrid 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. kim881 says:

    Thank you for introducing me to this story, Lisa! I love the sound of ‘silk robes once swished earthbound’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      🙂 Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Vandana says:

    Thank god a kind hearted woman became a goddess and saved the world

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Mish says:

    Very interesting to read about this Chinese legend. Thanks for sharing. Your haiku is a lovely summary of the story. Being a moon goddess is looking pretty good these days!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Mish. If you can find some of that magic elixir you’re all set 🙂

      Like

  20. robtkistner says:

    I am late getting around Lisa. I have been distracted, battling with my conscience over my dark, leering, ongoing smirk regarding the news coming from the White House today. This is beautiful Lisa. Tich, snd mot a wasted word.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks much, Rob. I can see why you would be all of that. Wearing a ventilator will curb that mouth, and let’s hope he can’t tweet while on one.

      Like

  21. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    “now moonlight grace shines down” love that line Lisa…Sorry to keep saying that but I love good lines.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you very much, Max.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. badfinger20 (Max) says:

        Thank you for the line that graced me.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. merrildsmith says:

    Lovely poem. Thank you for sharing the myth it alludes to, as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks and my pleasure.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. rivrvlogr says:

    Well done, Lisa. Your tanka is perfect for the tale.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Many thanks, Ken.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. pvcann says:

    There’s nothing like a moon, especially a harvest moon too 🙂 Enjoyed this thoroughly Lisa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      🙂 Glad you enjoyed the poem, thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Jules says:

    Very enjoyable read. I just finished reading a fiction book that had quite a few references to Chinese myth. ‘Paper Mage’ by Leah R. Cutter – on of my Little Free Library finds 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Is it a good book, Jules? I’m always on the lookout for good fiction and Chinese myth is right up my alley.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Jules says:

        I enjoyed it. I don’t plan on looking up all the references though. There is joy, pain and reconciliation. Your library might be able to get it for you. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.