Poems of Bai Juyi
On Reading Yin Gongliang's New Poem
In his sleeve, a new poem of ten verses or more.
Chanted line by line, it rings like fine jade.
How about you take this and see what favours it brings?
Too bad it would be over most of their heads.
This is most likely a private poem among friends. A good poem could be dedicated to someone and that someone would give some kind of favour or support in return. The final line here is more or less: "It would be too much for the imperial officials (above us) to handle a reading primer." Or, "They may know the Classics but they don't appreciate our fine new poetry." This was written in 806 and Bai Juyi may still be a little big for his britches. His free-thinking sense of justice hasn't gotten him into trouble yet. It will, though. And he will learn to keep his head down. And he will still think highly of his friends' and his own poetry. And rightly so, given that we are still reading it.