Poems of Meng Jiao
After meeting with Yao Fu
Sun and moon have different gleams.
Day and night each have their places.
The wise are careful in their associations.
Leaving and taking office have their times.
You saw me lonely and confused,
Thinking I could ask for another's wisdom,
Like wanting to pipe for the dancing cranes,
Only to frighten the wild ducks away.
Great elegance is hard to realize.
Right voices are soon washed away.
You weep a brave man's tears,
Crying for others and not for yourself.
Chanting as we walked the hills of Chu,
Righteous tears stained our clothes.
Whoever Yao Fu was, Meng Jiao looked up to him for wisdom. Wisdom isn't a word you hear anymore. It's as if all the wisdom has been washed out of the world.
"Wise" has been replaced by "smart" which is an abbreviation for "has lots of money." Tantrum-throwing technologists and crude real-estate developers are "smart." And they say the opposite of "smart" is "stupid," implying that if you don't have lots of money, you have only your own diminished mental capacity to blame.
Some of us still cry righteous tears.
This poem makes me wonder if there was a story about a man who went to play his flute for the dancing cranes and only succeeded in frightening the ducks away.