Changming Yuan

Yin/Yang vs Water/Fire:
A Lesson in Chinese Characters


灶  /zao/: an oven is built by setting a fire beside a pile of earth
灿  /can/: splendid is the view of a fire sweeping over a mountain
烟  /yan/: smoke originates as a cause flickering like a spark
烦  /fan/: frustration occurs when a fire burns a page
烧  /shao/: to burn something is to set a fire high on it
炒  /chao/: to fry is to use little fire
烙  /lao/: to iron is to burn each and every spot
炉  /lu/: a stove is the fire burning in a household
炮  /pao/: a cannon is a fire wrapped tight


沙  /sha/: sand is something holding little water
河  /he/: a river has water allowing everything possible
洗  /xi/: to wash is to put something into water first
波  /bo/: waves surge when water flows like skin
注  /zhu/: to focus is to be the master of water
源  /yuan/: a wellspring is the original water
泪  /lei/: tears are water seeping from the eyes
洒  /sa/: to spread is to throw water into the west
演  /yan/: a performance is a show in respect for water
酒  /jiu/: wine is water fully matured

About this work

One of Changming Yuan’s bilinguacultural poems, an invention of his own.

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