Elon Musk Tweets Ancient Chinese Poem About Warring Brothers

Tesla CEO Elon Musk SpaceX China

Elon Musk tweeted an ancient Chinese poem about two brothers who fight out of jealousy.

The tweet, posted Tuesday by the world’s richest man, was titled “Humankind,” followed by the poem in Chinese. Known as the “Quatrain of Seven Steps,” the allegorical poem is often attributed to Cao Zhi, a member of Chinese royalty who lived between 192 and 232. Legend goes that Cao’s older brother, freshly crowned king and suspicious his more popular brother is trying to usurp his rule, forced him to produce a poem that would proclaim his innocence.

Translated, the poem reads:

“Beanstalks are ignited to boil beans

The beans in the pot cry out

We are born of the same root

Why should we incinerate each other with such impatience?”

While Musk’s intention in tweeting the poem is unknown, his Twitter feed contains an eclectic mix of crypto memes, links to Monty Python sketches and updates on Tesla Inc.’s self-driving software and SpaceX launches.

In China, Tesla has been bouncing back from a run of bad publicity earlier this year that included consumer complaints, crashes and regulatory scrutiny of safety and customer service issues. In September, shipments of China-made Teslas to the local market rose for a second straight month even as general auto sales declined.

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