Poems of Meng Jiao
Seeing off my cousin who is returning home from Ying
You leave on a southeast evening.
I have no northwest dreams.
Who said parting is easy for the poor?
The poor are weighed down with more worries.
Dawn's colors drag away the moonlight.
The traveler follows all the other travelers' paths.
Chu's mighty waves are all swept away.
An urge to travel -- who does it bring together?
Ying is the old capital of Chu. This poem shows that Meng Jiao, an experienced wanderer, has come to appreciate the joys of family and of staying put. Most serious spiritual teachings emphasize that there is nowhere to go; it's best to be yourself right here. 秋风 (autumn winds) in line 7 I take as an allusion to 秋风扫落叶 or "old things are swept away", great waves of culture as well as leaves. 夺 is what the sunlight does to the moonlight in this poem and what the brigands do to Bai Juyi in "Below Purple Pavillion" when he's trying to eat dinner.