Seal Phrase: Resting Against a Tall Pine

Written by Lu

Here’s a Chinese phrase I found on an old seal: yichangsongliaofushizuokanyun 倚長松聊拂石坐看雲. I know it looks long but in seal carving, just as in the parent art of calligraphy, there is no punctuation. So, instead of being just one word, this is actually a whole sentence. And, though the majority of seals often have only four characters, sometimes an artist feels the need to say more. I think the meaning of this phrase exemplifies the wishes of every seal carver, “Resting against a tall pine, just holding a stone in my hand, sitting and looking at the clouds.” May we all be so fortunate.

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