Long Pole Village 1

Cui, Hao  (704? A.D.-754 A.D.)

1. (Woman)

Where do you live?
I live by Heng Pond.
I am stopping my boat for a while
To ask you if we live in the same village.

2. (Man)

My home faces the Yangtze River.
I come and go along the riverside.
We may both live in Long Pole Village,
But I have never seen you before in my life.

3. (Woman)

There are many stormy waves downstream.
I find that the lotus boats 2 are becoming scarce.
I am asking for your help
Because I cannot fight against the torrent by myself on my way home.

4. (Man)

The tidal current of the river is fierce.
The stormy waves of the Five Lakes surge 3.
I understand a flower's fragility 4,
But do not fear the difficult journey of the lotus boat.

1 The rhythm and the theme of this poem are derived from an ancient anonymous poem, "Long Pole Village":
(A woman speaks)
"Due to the upstream current, I invite my girl friends.
My lotus boat does not fear the rocking.
I live by the Yangtze River.
We are going to play in the surf in Yang City."
(Yang City , a beautiful city, is currently located in Jiang-du County in Jiangsu Province.)
The ancient poem describes the bravery of women. The man in Cui's poem encourages the woman to be brave and independent.

2 A lotus boat refers to a boat operated by a woman.

3 These two lines imply that people's gossip is powerful enough to damage their reputations. The Five Lakes refer to China's Five Great Lakes: Dongting, Taihu, Boyang, Hongze, and Chaohu.

4 This line says that the woman is not brave and does not show enough concern for social propriety.