Poems of Meng Jiao
A poem on reading of Wei's abundant fields in the Book of History after my sister-in-law tells me I'm not much of a husband
Gentlemen indulge in ancient forms
Like greedy fish swallowing a hook.
Yesterday, wife's sister chided me politely
Pulling my heart back to the northeast.
Wei's abundant fields in the Book of History
And old forms, well, I'm sentimental.
Good poetry makes its way in the world
And one day the Zhou will come again.
I'm just guessing. But if his sister-in-law is there, so is his wife and mother. And they are wondering why someone with his status has them living in Xiaoxiang's mountains and lakes instead of in the comfortable capital. Well, we know why, don't we? I can sympathize.
Let's keep in mind that these states Meng Jiao idealizes -- Wei, Zhou, Chu, Yue -- were up to eighteen hundred years before his time. In comparison, Western culture has no such ideals. And is unlikely to ever have them, it seems to me.