Poems of Meng Jiao
Repaying Zheng for his help with a poem I was hesitating over
It's not as if human hands can set things right,
As if we could alter the forms of the earth.
A single sunbeam gracefully produces luster.
A lone shadow and many beauties dance.
Burst of flame scorches the idle earth.
Red star falls in the black sky.
Suddenly all things are connected and
An honored guest is reluctant to leave.
There is a Chinese idiom 留连论诗, "to discuss a poem over a long period of time." Imagine doing that. Imagine that activity being an important activity for you and your friends. Imagine poetry as significant to all educated people. Imagine being cultured. Now imagine writing your friend a thank-you note that would last 1400 years and ask yourself where you are in your life now. The Tang poets weren't given the world they lived in. They made it. We make ours.