Poetry was often used by ancient Chinese literary scholars to express their emotions, and now CEO Elon Musk has done the same.

As the core of ancient Chinese literature, poetry is often used by literary scholars to express their emotions. Now, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is doing the same on a rare occasion.

Musk took to Twitter on Tuesday to share the following poem:






It literally means:


You burn beanstalks to cook the beans, and the beans are crying in the pot.

The beans and the beanstalks come from the same root, so why do we have to make things difficult for each other?

The following is a translation of the poem by the late Xu Yuanchong, a leading Chinese translator and professor at Peking University:

Pods burned to cook peas,

Peas weep in the pot:

Grown from same root, please,

Why boil us so hot?

The poem, known as The Quatrain of Seven Steps, originates from the Three Kingdoms era of China and was written by Cao Zhi, the brother of Cao Pi, the emperor of Wei at the time.

In their competition to become the heir to the throne of Wei, Cao Pi had initially been the underdog, but eventually won, so that after the death of their father, Cao Cao, Cao Pi wished to kill Cao Zhi several times.

Cao Pi named Cao Zhi to complete a poem within seven footsteps or he would be killed.

Cao Zhi then made this poem to accuse Cao Pi of cruel persecution of himself and his other brothers.

Because it is so short and precise in its meaning, the poem is widely known in China and is often used to satirize the mutual rivalry between people with common interests.

It is unclear what Musk is implying, but at least he seems to be calling on human beings with common interests not to forget the big picture for the sake of petty gains.

Interestingly, William Li, founder, chairman and CEO of NIO, one of Tesla's rivals in China, also cited China's Three Kingdoms era earlier this year.

According to a CCTV broadcast in February, Li said, "We are targeting the market of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi ...... want to see if there is a chance that in five years or more, we can be one of the most dominant players."

Referring to this goal, Li quoted the famous Three Kingdoms era in Chinese history, and his words, if translated accurately, were "the world split into three kingdoms, and we want to be one of them."