Scented lotus blossom floating on a lake is the setting for poetry on our Orbit sundial commissioned for a client in China. The characters are in Chinese and until now we had no idea of their meaning. We were asked to include two lines of a poem which dates from the Song dynasty.
Our good friend and old colleague Douzheng helped us with a translation. He not only explained the meaning of some of the characters, but also gave us a copy of the whole poem (picture). Douzheng explains: “The poet was meeting his friends in a big ship. They did not see each other for a long time. These lines of poem described the grand occasion of thanks for entertaining. A magnificently decorated ship was passing through the lake. The lotuses perfumed the whole water park. The dinner party was taken place in this ship at which they enjoyed the wine made from grapes.”
Mr Dou continues: “These two lines（sentences) are part of an ancient poetry written by Mr Mei Xiaochen. This style of poem has 8 lines in it with seven characters to each line. Mr Mei Xiaochen (1002-1060) was a realistic poet of Song dynasty and the founder of poetry of Song dynasty.”
Our client has a particular interest in Chinese wine, which is why he chose the poem. And we have had the benefit of learning about Chinese poetry!