Elon Musk Baffles Followers by Tweeting 1,800-Year-Old Chinese Poem Calling for Peace
Tesla CEO raises speculation over poem's meaning
Tesla Elon Musk tweeted a 1,800-year-old Chinese poem on Monday calling for peace, which left his hardcore Twitter followers wondering what he meant.
The poem, The Quatrain of Seven Steps, was posted by Musk on Twitter and Chinese social media site Weibo.
It describes the conflict in close relationships and is used to teach Chinese infants to get along.
The poem, which is translated from the original Mandarin, tells the story of two brothers during China's Three Kingdom period between 192 and 232AD.
Chinese professor at NYU, Moss Roberts, translated the ancient poem into English:
"Beans a simmer on a beanstalk flame.
"From inside the pot expressed their ire.
"Alive we sprouted on a single root.
"What's your rush to cook us on the fire?"
Humankind— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 2, 2021
He later liked another translation of the tweet posted in response on Twitter:
"Humans are from the same ancestor; why are we so eager to destroy each other?"
The story of the poem came from the sons of the warlord Cao Cao, Cao Pi, and Cao Zhi.
The older Cao Pi, who succeeded his father, wanted to kill his brother Cao Zhi because he was jealous of his brother's literary talent.
Cao Pi forced his younger brother to create a poem using seven steps verse, a type of allegorical poem now attributed to the poet Cao Zhi.
If Cao Zhi failed, his older brother would murder him.
But the younger brother succeeded and produced the poem which Musk quoted.
His life was spared as ao Pi was touched by his brother's words.
But it is not clear why Musk tweeted the poem.
Some speculated it was related to Musk's recent argument with program director David Beasley of the United Nations’ World Food Programme.
Musk blasted Beasley following recent reports that children had been forced to have sex with UN officials to receive food.
Musk said he would donate a whopping $6 billion to fight world hunger if the UN explained how it would solve the problem.
Beasley told Musk on Twitter:
“$6B will not solve world hunger, but it WILL prevent geopolitical instability, mass migration and save 42 million people on the brink of starvation."
“An unprecedented crisis and a perfect storm due to Covid/conflict/climate crises.”
“What happened here?” he wrote, linking to a news story that alleged children as young as nine in the Central African Republic were forced to give oral sex to United Nations officials in order in return for food.