Title

A 4,000-Year-Old Chinese Myth Makes Its Way Back to Earth: a collection of poems

Lead Author Major

English

Lead Author Status

Sophomore

Format

Oral Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Camille Norton

Faculty Mentor Email

cnorton@pacific.edu

Faculty Mentor Department

English

Abstract/Artist Statement

The Chinese are a people who do not forget their roots. The myth of Chang’e, the goddess of the moon, is widely known by the Chinese as the myth that surrounds the Mid-Autumn festival, the 15th day of the eighth month on the lunar Chinese calendar, where families gather together to eat mooncakes and admire the moon. The story involves an emperor with 10 sons, a god of archery, a lonely woman, and a white jade rabbit. However, its meaning encompasses either betrayal or sacrifice, love or loathing, and wisdom or foolishness—depending on the interpretation, depending on the myth-teller. Chinese mythology is anything but absolute, anything but singular in understanding. My research evaluates the different endings of the myth, which portray Chang’e as either the unlikely hero or as the selfish and problematic woman. I evaluate and respond to the myth through a group of my own original poems, each poem focusing on the perspective of a different character in the myth. Moreover, my research connects the 4,000-year-old myth to current events. In one poem, I juxtapose America’s Apollo 11’s moon landing in 1969 to China’s rover, Chang’e 4, and its recent landing on the far side of the moon 50 years later in January 2019. Interestingly, both the American astronauts and the Chinese astrophysicists reference the myth of Chang’e. My research explores the immortality of mythology through the lens of poetry, ultimately revealing the beauty of storytelling and its relevance across time and space.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Room 211

Start Date

27-4-2018 10:40 AM

End Date

27-4-2018 10:59 AM

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Apr 27th, 10:40 AM Apr 27th, 10:59 AM

A 4,000-Year-Old Chinese Myth Makes Its Way Back to Earth: a collection of poems

DeRosa University Center, Room 211

The Chinese are a people who do not forget their roots. The myth of Chang’e, the goddess of the moon, is widely known by the Chinese as the myth that surrounds the Mid-Autumn festival, the 15th day of the eighth month on the lunar Chinese calendar, where families gather together to eat mooncakes and admire the moon. The story involves an emperor with 10 sons, a god of archery, a lonely woman, and a white jade rabbit. However, its meaning encompasses either betrayal or sacrifice, love or loathing, and wisdom or foolishness—depending on the interpretation, depending on the myth-teller. Chinese mythology is anything but absolute, anything but singular in understanding. My research evaluates the different endings of the myth, which portray Chang’e as either the unlikely hero or as the selfish and problematic woman. I evaluate and respond to the myth through a group of my own original poems, each poem focusing on the perspective of a different character in the myth. Moreover, my research connects the 4,000-year-old myth to current events. In one poem, I juxtapose America’s Apollo 11’s moon landing in 1969 to China’s rover, Chang’e 4, and its recent landing on the far side of the moon 50 years later in January 2019. Interestingly, both the American astronauts and the Chinese astrophysicists reference the myth of Chang’e. My research explores the immortality of mythology through the lens of poetry, ultimately revealing the beauty of storytelling and its relevance across time and space.