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Poem: "master of water, master of wood" - The Wordsmith's Forge — LiveJournal
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "master of water, master of wood"
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the_vulture From: the_vulture Date: August 4th, 2011 01:28 am (UTC) (Link)
I've seen a number of different associations of elements with animals. For me, though, I see Snake as Water, in that it flows around blows and defenses, soft as water, but can suddenly grab and pull like an undertow, or strike like a stabbing icicle.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 5th, 2011 10:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

Hmm...

I did research animal symbolism for the Chinese 5 Elements system before writing this. Regrettably I couldn't find the references for the set of animals I usually use, and instead stumbled across ones that had Dragon and Snake in them, referencing martial arts. I went with the Dragon because it seemed like a good fit -- especially since the Chinese dragon has a serpentine form -- but I can see the appeal of Crane/Snake as a pairing.

Changing this aspect would give us a first line something like:

Cáo Jiāo the Serpent

or

Cáo Jiāo the Black Snake

So, what do you two folks think? You probably know more about Eastern traditions and symbolism than I do. Which works better for these characters and this poem, Dragon or Snake? I'm open to making changes if it will strengthen the piece.
the_vulture From: the_vulture Date: August 5th, 2011 11:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hmm...

According to what I've learned, Dragon is associated with overall mastery. It is also the symbol of imperial authority. In this, it may fit Cao Jiao well, though the Dragon is also associated with enlightened rule.

Snake, on the otherhand, is deceptively languid until it strikes with lightning speed. There's also lots of grasping. This may ALSO be appropriate for Cao Jiao.

Yeah, really helps to narrow it down some doesn't it. XD
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 7th, 2011 08:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hmm...

Since both work, I'm inclined to stick with Dragon.
the_vulture From: the_vulture Date: August 7th, 2011 08:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hmm...

Okay. :)
marina_bonomi From: marina_bonomi Date: August 5th, 2011 11:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hmm...

Honestly in my opinion the dragon has a stronger connection to water than the snake, outside of specific martial art schools.
In traditional religion one of the strongest and most stressed roles for dragons that of givers of rains and rulers of bodies of water, from streams to rivers, from lakes to oceans http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_dragon#Ruler_of_weather_and_water
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 7th, 2011 08:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hmm...

Okay, I think I'll leave it with "Dragon" then.
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