it's not a poem. just a record of who send a gift to who.
read from top to bottom, right to left,
武夷雪花泉 ： a spring named snow flake (雪花泉) in mountain 武夷, in hokkien province
建樹先生惠存 ： 建樹 is the name of recipient, 先生 is used as a respectful term. 惠存, roughly a courteous term for "receive & keep"
薛靈敬贈 ： the sender's surname (薛) & name (靈), sending (贈) with respect (敬)
甲子年冬日 ： 甲子 is the first entry of sexagenary cycle, for indicating year, it's 1984, 1924, or any sixty years earlier. in context, it's 1984, cause the painter born in 1911, died in 1992, it's very unlikely the painter did it in 1924 (he's just 14 years old).
冬日 means in winter (winter 冬, day 日)
陳挺作 ： 陳挺 (1910-1992) the name of the painter, 作 means fabricate (paint, in this context)
about the seal, the first one is provided by drooze :)
here's some afterthought about how:
1 must, and only use traditional chinese to decipher
2 determine how many characters the seal has
this one is simple, only two characters
3 determine which "ideographic description sequences" a character has
the unicode defined some structures, that how a traditional chinese character is written (u+2ff0 - u+2ffb)
eg, the left character of the first seal is ⿳, above, middle and below
the above is 艸 (u+8278), the below is 口 (u+53e3), the middle might be hard to recognise, never mind, one could guess it by listing possible choices, cause this character would be in the radical 艸 (140th).
so, only 苔, 苕, 若, 苦, 苫, 茖, 茗, 茩, 荅, 莒, 莕, 莙 has the below 口
then, checking the seal script of these 12 characters would show that
若 (u+82e5) matched.
again, the right character of the first seal is ⿰, left & right; with the right part is ⿵ surround from above (or ⿱, top & bottom)
the left component is 人 (u+4eba), the right bottom is 口 (u+53e3); so, the choices are:
估, 佁, 佑, 佔, 佫, 佮, 佶, 佸, 侶, 俉, 俗, 信, 倍, 倜, 偌, 傛
then, 倜 (u+501c) matched.
when a character can't be recognised by first sight, the above method might help :)
the third seal has four characters, the first three are "有所不"
top right: 有
bottom right: 所
top left: 不
bottom left character is not recognised at first glance :(
OK, the last one is 及 (u+53ca)
this one is in early spring and autumn style.
together, the seal "有所不及" was also used by the painter 陳挺.
have fun :)
The seal characters in the picture are of two styles:
Here, the characters are 倜若, written in the standard Qin-Han Seal script onwards.
倜若 is the courtesy name of 陳挺, who is an Arts Professor at the Fujian Research Institute of History.
(Thanks @水巷孑蠻 for pointing some of these things out)
「倜」is constructed from
- 「亻/人」, a semantic component (seal form explanation given in this answer);
- 「周」, a phonetic component (Compare Old Chinese「倜」/*tʰɯːwɢ/ and「周」/*tjɯw/).
「周」was originally a picture of fields, like「田」, but with dots:
The meaning is preserved in terms to do with perimeter, referring to the arrangement of the fields.
Eventually,「口」was added to the bottom of the shape (seal form explanation given in this answer).
This was done in several characters to mark the name of a State (here, this refers to the Zhou Dynasty; other examples are「商」for the Shang Dynasty and「曹」for the State of Cao, where「口」later morphed into「曰」). At one stage, 「周」was written with the same shape as「用」, which was originally a depiction of a bucket (now written「桶」).
(Left)「用」; (Right)「周」. Note that ancient scripts commonly did not distinguish between mirror images of characters, so these two should be considered as the same shape.
This shape, along with the addition of「口」, directly leads on to the seal script form
「若」originally meant to submit, and was a depiction of a person with messy hair and hands up in the air in a submissive position:
The seal script form is constructed from
- 「艸」, where the messy hair was interpreted as the same shape as「屮」(picture of a sprouting plant) then reduplicated into「艸」(picture of plants),
- 「右」, itself constructed from
- 「𠂇」, either morphed from the body of the person into or completely replaced by a picture of a right hand,
- 「口」, an added mark.
「屮」originally depicted a sprouting plant:
This directly leads on to the seal script form
and two of these become
In「右」,「𠂇」was originally a depiction of a right hand:
「口」was later added to distinguish「𠂇」from「右」, which was used to represent a word meaning assist (now written「佑」). This directly leads to the seal script form
「陳」is constructed from
- 「阝/阜」, a semantic component;
- 「東」; the purpose of this component is unclear.
The character in the image provided was first seen as a creation by Duke Li of Chen from the Warring States period to use as a surname, which has an extra「土」:
In the seal in the original image,
- 「土」would have been recognisable if not for the seal being slightly worn out;
The component「東」was possibly corrupted, as there as an extra line on the top. A similarly corrupted form is found below:
「阜」may have originally depicted one of the following:
In any case, the original form that matches the seal most closely is
This directly leads on to bronze inscriptions around the Spring and Autumn period looking like
「東」was originally a depiction of a bag, tied at the ends:
This directly leads on to bronze inscriptions around the Spring and Autumn Period looking like
For reference, the seal script form looks like
「挺」is constructed from
- 「手」, a semantic component;
- 「廷」, a phonetic component.
「手」was first found in bronze inscriptions, and is a depiction of a hand from the fingers to the wrist.
This is the form found in the image. For reference, a seal script form looks like
「廷」was the original character for「庭」(front courtyard), and originally depicted a person「人」standing a distance away from a building, where the front part of the building is the「𠃊」shape and the distance is represented by「土」:
This is the form found in the image. A bronze inscription explanation of the shape of「土」is given in this answer. For reference, a seal script form of「廷」looks like
Here,「人」was changed into「𡈼」(tǐng) to give a sound hint (in modern Mandarin, compare「廷」tíng and「挺」also tǐng).「𠃊」was corrupted to「廴」, which happened in other characters like「建」as well.