Poems of Meng Jiao
With my uncle, traveling in a cart, from the city to his estate on South Mountain
At night, we sit in a rugged pavillion.
By day, we climb a towering peak.
Day spies a myriad of mountains.
Night shows two effusive hearts.
Forest air cleanses our senses.
Bamboo ambience wraps us in its jade bosom.
We muse over a pearl-like script and
Repeatedly chant a languid poem.
Culture is not an artifact. Culture is the expression of a cultured mind, perfecting that which is infinitely perfectable. Culture is performance, a reaching for excellence. This performance may produce artifacts. But they are only the petrified scat of the life which produces culture. Meng Jiao and his uncle take a cart up the mountain. Mountains in China are more like hills for the most part. You can't get above the treeline. You can't even get above the bamboo. So up on the mountain, in a bamboo grove, Meng Jiao and his uncle admire someone's elegantly written scroll and chanting, over and over, the poem it contained. Culture can never die. In each of us, it awaits rebirth.