Poems of Meng Jiao
Wandering Zhongnan Mountains
Southern mountains, gates of Heaven and Earth.
Sun and moon rise from their rocks.
High peaks linger as night's landscape.
Deep valleys, by day, receive no light.
In the mountains, one becomes upright.
Dangerous paths bring the heart peace.
Contant winds urge honesty and virtue.
Their sound sweeps a myriad valleys clean.
Up to now, I've resented study. Yet, every day,
My undeserved reputation grows nearer.
I've said before that we underestimate Meng Jiao's popularity among the literary class. He doesn't write for the auditory audience of the people as Bai Juyi did. He writes the truth for a literate audience. And that audience holds him in esteem. My reading of this poem is that Meng Jiao is uncomfortable with this reputation, possibly because he has yet to find the voice he is looking for. Perhaps he is up in the Zhongnan mountains looking for it.