From a Menu of Distinctively Flavored Tea Poems. Part I
by Encyclopedic Poetry School
Table of Contents
Fixation / “Killing the Green” by YIN Xiaoyuan [China] [E.P.S. Founder]
Shui Xian Oolong Tea/ “Water Sprite” by HAI Shang [China] [E.P.S. key member]
Jin Mu Dan / “Golden Peony” by SUN Qian [China] [E.P.S. key member]
Bu Zhi Chun Oolong Tea/ “Unaware of the Spring” by JIANG Libo [China] [E.P.S. fellow poet]
Que She Oolong Tea/ “Linnet Tongue” by GAO Han [China] [E.P.S. fellow poet]
Ban Tian Yao Oolong Tea/“Female Spirit in Mid-air” by Ölmalerico [China] [E.P.S. fellow poet]
Zhui Gui Fei/ “The Drunken Concubine” by Liu Yage [China] [E.P.S. fellow poet]
Legend of Chinese Tea by XU Duoyu
Shui Jin Gui/“Golden Turtle” by Rugang Ye [USA] [E.P.S. fellow poet]
Huangjin Gui/Huang Dan by Fabiola Rinaudo [Argentina] [E.P.S. fellow poet]
Chun Lan Wu Yi Oolong by Eduardo Robino [Argentina] [E.P.S. fellow poet]
JianOu AiJiao Oolong – Classic by Geraldine Palavecino [Argentina] [E.P.S. fellow poet]
Ceremonias del té (Xiao Hong Pao/ Mao Xie) by Carlos J. Aldazábal [Argentina] [E.P.S. fellow poet]
Fixation/ Killing the Green
by YIN Xiaoyuan
Aelian denied the possibility that Phoenix knew the arithmetic of chronology. (“De Natura Animalium”) He laid out his Constantinople parchment in the breezes, alongside Manuscript 34 by Demosthenes from the British Museum–they formed an Ouroboros: a smoke ring for Fall Out Boy and for posterity
Has there ever been a omniscient person to name everything by the taxonomic rank of kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species?
Phoenix was born, and the “Diminuendo” of the Romanesque initials was cradles for its first plumage
“Another 5 hundred li Eastwords is Danxue Mountain, which is rich in gold and jade. The River Dan stems from here, and runs southwards into Sea Bo. Here lives this divine bird(phoenix), whose semblance is similar to that of a pheasant, with plumes of five colors.”(“The Classic of Mountains and Seas”)
“Phoenix is also named ‘Yuè Zhuó’, which rests on nothing but noblest Chinese parasols, eat nothing but the freshest bamboo rice.”(“Taiping Yulan”, also as “Imperial Reader or Readings of the Taiping Era”)
In Tongmu Village , where one of the Eight Ancient Passes of Wuyi Mountain was once located, “Pine Aroma Cottages” are seething with heat. Tea leaves on the second floor are being dried over burning wood below. Smoke can been seen rising from the bottom of bamboo sieve holders. There is fog outside, always lingering around, enveloping the little cottage like cream currents. echoing with the smoke sealed inside, while the fire also formed a reflection of the sun outside
No need to be fretful: crystal veins in the soft leaves will reveal secrets with Palmistry, just like Cheiro did: Umberto should die with splash of red. That Umberto was not his “double”, nor Umberto Eco, because “Il nome della rosa” might get misspoken as “Lathyrus odoratus” as gossips went awry.
Flowering plum trees have flowers before leaves, and jackfruit– fruit before flowers, dodder– neither leaves nor roots attached to soil. The causal relationship between things are in the shape of magnetic field lines, incident occurs when leaves get “shaped”, rolled into curved strips by rough but dexterous hands: thermology and mechanics become leverage of each other, now they have the inactivated enzymes carried behind the curtain on the Reuleaux Triangle
In “Wicked Plants” Amy Stewart described deadly nightshade, iboga, water hemlock, whistling thorn acacia, and the hallucinatory Khat——also called “Arabian tea”
Plants are like film developers: shadows are extracted from oval matrix of pixels. In a picture you noticed dewdrops produced by photosynthesis surfacing like vapor…it just etches away everything
The snake in the cup becomes a soaring kite when tea leaves billow and release winds: “Bottoms up!” people shouted, like proposing a toast
He talked about wicker fermenting baskets while she was thinking about oak barrels: addictive behaviors have their specific reasons
Shennong met his “heartbreak grass” eventually; depiction of winemaking appeared in the tomb of Ptah-hotep—like patterns coinciding with each other on two sides of a piece of butter paper…stories go on: green remains in bamboo Noren tapestries, rolling hills and pigeon eyes, in the elapsed currents of time
On the contrary, the tannin color is not so easy to achieve—unless you set up a permanent studio with albatrosses, lace curtains and a surreal suede beach
At this moment, brightness and color purity are both on an ascending curve, just as Steven Strogatz said, “”One of the pleasures of looking at the world through mathematical eyes is that you can see certain patterns that would otherwise be hidden.”
A smoky honey-like aroma, smells like a nameless infatuation, how could I explain this word “Killing the Green”? “Kill” is like in “Wei Jie’s being killed by amorous glances”  and “green” like in “ancestral green blanket”.
In this way the color chart took on a functionalist appearance
Between the old lotus flower and bat patterns, a cobra is rising
[Tr. YIN Xiaoyuan]
Fixation / kill-green: Kill-green or shāqīng (杀青) is done to stop the tea leaf oxidation at a desired level. This process is accomplished by moderately heating tea leaves, thus deactivating their oxidative enzymes and removing unwanted scents in the leaves, without damaging the flavour of the tea. Traditionally, the tea leaves are panned in a wok or steamed, but with advancements in technology, kill-green is sometimes done by baking or panning in a rolling drum. In some white teas and some black teas such as CTC blacks, kill-green is done simultaneously with drying.
Aelian, On Animals 6. 58 (trans. Scholfield) (Greek natural history C2nd A.D.) :
“The Phoinix (Phoenix) knows how to reckon five hundred years without the aid of arithmetic, for it is a pupil of all-wise nature, so that it has no need of fingers or anything else to aid it in the understanding of numbers.
Located in the natural reserve of the Wuyi Mountain, Tongmu is a remote village with an elevation of nearly a thousand meters. Thanks to the abundant vegetation resources, local villagers began to produce black tea in recent years. .It is Lapsang Souchong that made this area famous.
Smoke Baking: Scatter tea leaves on bamboo sieves placed in the baking room and dry them with pine fire and bake them with pine smoke from the bottom of bamboo sieve holders. During the whole process, tea leaves continue to absorb pine aroma and ends with distinctive pine flavor.
Cheiro was the most famous practitioner of palmistry in modern times. He was born in Ireland and had predicted many incidents of his time. For example, he correctly foretold the Boer War, death of Queen Victoria, assassination of King Umberto of Italy, a year or so before each of these incidents occurred.
On July 28, 1900, King Umberto I was enjoying a meal in a Monza restaurant, accompanied by a trusted aide. Nothing appeared to be out of the ordinary until the owner of the establishment approached to greet his prestigious guest. The restaurant’s proprietor and the king looked exactly alike! And, as if this physical similarity wasn’t surprising enough, the proprietor was also named Umberto and had also been born in Turin on the very same day. As they spoke, the eerie coincidences continued: both Umbertos had married on the same day, both to women named Margherita. Even more astonishingly, Umberto, the restauranteur, had opened his establishment on the exact day of King Umberto’s coronation! If the connections between their lives seem uncanny, they’re nothing compared to the strange and tragic circumstances that surrounded their deaths. The King had been profoundly affected by his meeting with his ‘twin,’ and asked him to attend an athletics show he had been scheduled to appear at with him the next day. Sadly, the restaurant owner had been killed the morning after he met the king, shot in unexplained circumstances. No sooner had King Umberto heard this sad news that he too fell victim to a shooting; this time a well-documented one. He was shot and killed by Gaetano Bresci, an Italian-American anarchist who had been outraged—along with many other Italians—by General Fiorenzo Bava Beccaris’ brutal massacre of protestors in Milan in May 1898. Beccaris authorized his troops to fire their rifles into those who had been demonstrating against the rising price of bread; Umberto praised his general and awarded him with the Great Official of Savoy Military Order medal for restoring calm to Milan.
Mistaking the Reflection of a Bow in the Cup for a Snake “杯弓蛇影”: Yue Guang was very hospitable. One day he invited a friend to have a drink in his hall. While drinking, his friend thought he caught a glimpse of a small snake swimming around in his cup. Though disgusted, he swallowed the wine down, but the thought of the snake nauseated him. As soon as he got home, he fell ill. After a few days, Yue Guang heard about his friend’s illness and its cause. He thought that there couldn’t be a snake in the wine cup. So he went to inspect the place where they had the drink and eventually found the cause: on the wall of the hall hung a colourful bow, the shadow of which happened to throw exactly at the place where his friend had put his wine cup. Yue Guang hurried to his friend’s home and told him about this. As soon as his friend came to understand that it was not a snake but the reflection of a bow in his cup, he got over his illness at once.
Shennong (the Divine Farmer) is the legendary originator of Chinese herbal medicine. In Chinese mythology, Shennong is credited with the invention of the hoe, plow, axe, dug wells, irrigation, preserving stored seeds (specifically in boiled horse urine), the farmers’ market, and the Chinese calendar. He is also believed to have refined the therapeutic understanding of pulse measurements, the practice of moxibustion (the medicinal practice of burning mugwort on particular parts of the body), and to have instituted the harvest thanksgiving ceremony ( Zhaji Sacrificial Rite or Laji Rite ). According to Chinese myth, Shennong’s death is said to have come at the hands of his research in medicinal herbs. Supposedly he ate a yellow flower of a weed that caused his intestines to rupture before he had time to take the antidotal tea.
Wei Jie, who died at age 27, also very famous in Chinese history for his appearance. He was described as pretty, soft, and frail. He died young, and was recorded in Jin Shu (《晋书》) as dying from “being looked at too much”. Jin Shu noted that large crowds of people expected to take a look at Wei Jie’s beautiful face. Jin Shu noted that large crowds of people expected to take a look at Wei Jie’s beautifulface. Dying from “being looked at too much” might sound ridiculous. Yet his beauty was even mentionedin a famous chronological history book Zi Zhi Tong Jian (《资治通鉴》), complied by Sima Guang in theSong Dynasty (420-479).
It is recorded that a man names Wang Zijing was sleeping when thieves broke in his house. He did not move until they stole nearly everything. Then one of them approached and want to search the ceiling over his bed, so he said “The ancestral green blanket is probably worth nothing for you, but very precious for me, please do not take that.”
伊利安否定了凤凰纪年的算法说。他晾晒过的羊皮卷板书，与大英博物馆德摩斯梯尼的Manuscript 34一道，轮替为后世Fall Out Boy的战漆烟圈
Yin Xiaoyuan(Yīn Xiǎoyuán, “殷晓媛” in Chinese) is an avant-garde, crossover epic poet as well as a cross-genre & multilingual writer, founder of Encyclopedic Poetry School (est. 2007), initiator of Hermaphroditic Writing Movement and chief drafter of Declaration of Hermaphroditic Writing, Editor and visual designer of “Encyclopedic Poetry School A.I. Papercube” (10th Anniversary Special Edition) , “12th Anniversary Poetry╳ Photography╳ Manuscripts Album” and “2020 Yearbook: Poetry╳ Photography”, “2020 Deluxe Version: Poetry╳ Photography╳ Manuscripts Album”, and “2020 ‘Hymn to Poetry’: Online International Poetry Festival CD Album”; director and visual designer of “12th Anniversary Poetry ╳Tea Deluxe Gift Set” and “12th Anniversary Commemorative Medallions”. She also directs “Encyclopedic Poetry School Creative Writing & Integrated Art Workshop”, members of which include poets, writers, dramatists, musicians and visual/installation/photography/calligraphy artists.
Yin Xiaoyuan graduated from Beijing International Studies University. She is a member of Writers’ Association of China, Translators’ Association of China and Poetry Institute of China. She has published 11 books including 5 poetry anthologies: Ephemeral Memories(Dazhong literature & art publishing, 2010), Beyond the Tzolk’in (China Federation of Literary and Art Publishing House, 2013), Avant-garde Trilogy(Tuanjie Publishing House, 2015) , Agent d’ensemencement des nuages (Encyclopedic Poetry School’ 10th Anniversary Series)(Beiyue Literature & Art Publishing House, 2017), and Cloud Seeding Agent (Pinyon Publishing, USA; nominated for “National Translation Award” of American Literary Translator’s Association and “Four Quartets Award” of Poetry Society Of America); and 6 translations, including The Ruby in Her Navel (Tsinghua University Press, 2014) by Booker Prize winner Barry Unsworth, a translation of contemporary New York poet/artist Bill Wolak’s poetry anthology Become a River (New Feral, 2018), two novels from Japanese and a haiku anthology. T.V.Petrusenko, Head of Acquisition Department, National Library of Russian, referred to the works by Encyclopedic Poetry School as “a new trend of contemporary Chinese poetry”, and Glennys Reyes Tapia, Head of Collection Department, BNPHU, described them as “bibliographical treasure of their (Chinese) culture”.
She wrote 18 epics (which add up to a total of 70 thousand lines) and 24 volumes of encyclopedic poems.
Shui Xian Oolong Tea/ “Water Sprite” Oolong Tea
by HAI Shang
She lives in the deep profusion of flora
whispering in the shadows of lithoglyphs
over the ruins of civilizations
She has been, for long, rooted in the aerodynamic emanation of heaven and earth
So people baked her tender shoots
as an offering before the enshrined tablets in ancestral halls
Which is a proof that she is ranked among the deities
Water is the only catalyst for her aroma
in which divinity replaces heat stealthily in substitutional reaction
Usually it gets dissolved in the human stomach
one part siphoned upwards to the pituitary gland
and the other parts to the edges of their capillaries
waiting for cogwheels of imaginations to run
That is the clinical manifestation of this rare species
Dec 12, 2018
[Tr. YIN Xiaoyuan]
Born in November 1952 in Shanghai, Hai Shang is an avant-garde poet, a critic as well as a freelance. He is an expert in rock paintings, and enjoys widespread reputation as “the Folk Thinker”.
Published books include: The Revived Bird, Death, Desertion and an Empty Boat, Scattered Shadows, Manuscripts of Random Thoughts, Origins of Flora of the Mortal World, A Soul Brimming with Solitude, Mistletoe, Embryonic, and his most famous full-length poem Time, in Its Metaphysical Sense. His most recent encyclopedic anthology Star of Amber (Encyclopedic Poetry School’10th Anniversary Celebration Series) was published in 2017. His works has been translated into English, Italian, Spanish, Arabian and Portuguese.
Shui Xian Water Sprite Oolong is a Taiwanese take on a classic Chinese Wu Yi Rock oolong. Expertly roasted using a local Four Seasons cultivar, it produces a satisfying cup with a roasted floral aroma. The complex flavour has floral and honey notes with a roasted, mineral taste.
Jin Mu Dan / Golden Peony Oolong Tea
by SUN Qian
In the hazy hallucinations brought by a vivid green
I saw lavish sunshine cast upon the late-spring world
What fragrance could it be, that steams up everything in this atmosphere of serenity
And seeps into consciousness aroused by sense of taste
It is astounding, not only for the encountering moment when it is entwined with our spirit
Its flavor lasts the whole afternoon, a sweet long finish
Its name reminds me of the imperial legend of peony demoted to Luoyang by Emperor Wu Zetian
who stood unyielding against feudal authority, she knew nothing and never cared about her posthumous fame
Accept your destiny with grace, and you will see, this is all about selfless love
as if the frost wind and nature elements have invested their charm in you
in your blessed name
This is about fated and fatal love
which will redeem you for all your longings and meandering thoughts
before the final evanescence, the eternal desolation
[Tr. YIN Xiaoyuan]
Sun Qian is a Hui Islamic poet and freelance writer, born in the 50’s in Bao Ji (“Cradle of bronzeware”), Shaanxi Province, while having roots in old imperial capital Luo Yang, who has been engaged in poetry writing for 30+ years, in a trident form of writing: a combination of neoclassic poetry, Islamic poetry and artistic poetry, whose poetry anthologies include Book of Spiritual Strength, The New Rubáiyát, The Muslim Poems, The Book of Realms, a collection of his poems and essays Sagittarius Rising and many other literary works. During late years, he has been devoted to Islamic poetry writing, by which to create an Islamic atmosphere in Chinese poetry and to advocate religious divinism in poetry. His works have appeared in Poetry, the Stars, Writers, Ethnic minorities’ Literature, Oriental and Occidental Poetry, One Line (America), The Blue Star(Taiwan), Epoch Poetry(Taiwan), International Chinese literary(Australia), and several other magazines abroad. His works were translated into English, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese. and Arabian , and included in a variety of poetry selections home and abroad.
The Jing Mu Dan oolong tea is produced from a less common cultivar of camelia which grows on the rocky soil of Wuyi mountains. Its name translated means golden peony, denotes the floral flavor of the infusion united with the classic mineral and roasted features of a rock oolong.
Bu Zhi Chun Oolong Tea/ “Unaware of the Spring” Oolong Tea
by JIANG Libo
Everything takes place in its own way. It happened that she never witnessed the descent of spring
or felt its icy touch on her skin
when her sprouts would tremble like tiny thermometers kissed by the cold
Her linnet tongue rolls up and pronounces a voiceless consonant, which waits to be caught
by the electric currents running in my taste buds
like Tungsten filament covered by frost, or “lips underneath grammar and thawing snow”
Not everyone deserves this gift of ardent affections
Nor does everyone have such a rich history to be proud of
It is endless transmutations between ice and fire, and she would be resurrected only at the boiling point
A storm rose from the bottom of the tea pot, as if the silent spout had something to confess
Leaves burned at the stake for sins understand what the thirst for love felt like
By a nameless longing shared between them, they recognized each other in the crowd
Everything takes place in its own way. It happened that she never witnessed the descent of spring
Now her bittersweet memory started to bloom into wonders
The gracefulness in her dancing, was a testimony of her hidden reminiscence
August 24th, 2020
[Tr. YIN Xiaoyuan]
Chinese poet, born in Shengzhou, Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province. He won the first “Youthful China” Poetry Award organized by “People’s Literature” magazine, and the 18th Lebanese International Literature Award. He is author of “The Folded Moon” (1992), ” Key to Consonants ” (2015), ” Tea House of the Empire ” (2017) and “Mist and Index” (2020). He lives in the outer suburbs of Hangzhou.
Bu Zhi Chun literally means ‘not knowing the spring’. This poetic name derives from the fact that its leaves grow out quite late in spring, as if not noticing the spring has came. This oolong has medium oxidation, finishing with medium charcoal roast. The flavour is refined, leaving a long, sweet aftertaste.
Que She Oolong Tea/ “Linnet Tongue” Oolong Tea
by GAO Han
There are always plants
capable of imitating whispers of birds in the morning glow
when dews tiptoed
on the serrated edges of leaves
It is the aureole of Jesus Christ
The mist hovering over the valley
raised the lid of the deep forests
Look at the milky fog, they are flowing along the eyelashes of the tea leaves
The landscape is a Feng Shui book for the peasants
Guiding through multiple breasts of the mountains led by the dragon vein
A Taoist and a Buddhist monk are playing chess
Recitative of the brooks echo on the strings of a Guqin
The tender shoots sink or swim just like peacefully sleeping whales
The beauty of autumn chrysanthemum and spring orchid
Is the balm for human joviality
The heart of grass and trees
Accompanies the tea drinker in the breezes and the twittering of birds
The eternal flowing of green
（August 21, 2020）
[Tr. YIN Xiaoyuan]
Gao Han is a Chinese writer/poet/photographer. His most recent poetry anthology “Heartbeats of Flowers” was published by Beijing Yanshan Publishing House. He is the Secretary General of Beijing Ecological Photography Association and director of Zhongguancun Oversea Returnees’ Literature Club.
Que She (雀舌) is a rare Wuyi oolong. This varietal is an offspring of the famous Da Hong Pao varietal. Que She is known for growing very slowly, producing smaller leaves and ripening later. Hence, this tea is very rare and slightly more expensive than other Wuyi teas.
Ban Tian Yao Oolong Tea/“Female Spirit in Mid-air” Oolong Tea
In a silk scroll painting, the frail figure of the young scholar was shaking slightly in tears, lying on the table
It was a night when snow covered the pavilion and rockery in the twilight
When the wooden bridge creaked under the feet of travelers, in the recondite silence.
“You eventually fell in love within the realm of the mortal…”
The maiden last night was such a delicate silhouette, like these swirling tea leaves
Maybe the penitence of a monk for a wisp of sensual thought, maybe a spirit in the storm within the tea cup
How the lush joy over the rocks got gathered by the tea picker
There was sorrow, infatuation, immortality or beneficence
Red-clay stove was burning, and there were plantain trees standing in the snow
Look at yourself—what a classic scene of conjugal bliss!
You regard yourself as a far beyond mundane desires, but your love story just turned out to be full of platitudes.
On the little flames of vicissitudes lingers the fragrance of a moonlit night
The surface of the tea water looks like an autumn lake
Which once I had stared at
How about sing and write down this story? “I took a sip of tea, and wondered where my beloved one could be.”
[Tr. YIN Xiaoyuan]
Contemporary poet, author of long poem “The Oracle”, “Elegy of Swans”, poem series “Beyond Misty Memories”. Former editor of books, short-listed twice in “Artsbj” International Poetry Prize (2013&2014）, China—Rizhao (“The City of the Sun”)Poetry Festival (2018). His works were published in “Shandong Literature” and other magazines.
Ban Tian Yao (Chinese: 半天腰; pinyin: bàn tiān yāo; Wade–Giles: pan4 t’ien1 yao1; literally ‘waist halfway to the sky’; pronounced [pân tʰjɛ́n jáu]) is a very rare Wuyi Oolong with a light smokey taste.