My Joy Is as High as the Sky (Cicada) 1

Wang, Yi-sun

    The Queen of Qi harbored pent-up resentment toward her king and died. Her remains 2 transform into a cicada, crying year after year in the green shade of treed yards. One moment it suddenly cries on a cool branch. The next it moves 3 to the depth of dim leaves. Again and again it pours out its parting sorrow. The rain 4 passing by the west window seems to lament that the zithers were tuned to play in the palace as the bells of enemy horses rang through the air. The mirror is covered with dust. She is not in the mood to apply makeup. For whom should she comb her lovely hair and maintain her beauty?

    The bronze god is tearful and laments that the plate previously held on his palm was removed 5. He can no longer catch divine dew. The arrival of the autumn astonished the cicada's tired wings. How many sunsets can its withered body last in this world? The lingering sound is even more bitter. Why does she hold a harp and play the sad melody "Qing Shang"? The willow branches remind me of a thousand threads of my sorrow. I wish the spring wind could come 6.

1 After the Southern Song dynasty perished, the mausoleums of six emperors after Emperor Gao at Shao-xing City were robbed by the leader of the Buddhist monks (zhen-qie [real god]), Lian Yang. Poet Jue Tang and many others collected the bones and buried them. Yi-sun Wang, Mi Zhou, Yan Zhang, and eleven other poets wrote poems to express their indignation using titles such as "The Incense Made of Heavenly Dew", "White Lotus", "Lettuce", "Crabs", and "Cicada".

2 "Her remains" refers to the robbed mausoleums of emperors from the Southern Song dynasty.

3 Bian-liang City was the capital of the Northern Song dynasty. After the Kingdom of Jin captured Bian-liang City and destroyed the Northern Song dynasty, Emperor Gao "moved" south and established Ling-an as the capital of the Southern Song dynasty.

4 "The rain" symbolizes "tears".

5 This sentence says that China's treasure was stolen. It implies that the mausoleums were robbed. It also implies that China's regime fell to the hands of Mongolians.
    San-fu (three advisors to the emperor) Gu-shi (stories) says, "Emperor Wu of the Han dynasty used bronze to build a plate ten feet in diameter to catch divine dew. A god statue, 200 feet tall, held the plate in his outstretched palm. People sought to become immortal by drinking the divine dew with jade flecks."
    The preface of the poem, "The Bronze God Said Farewell to the Han Palace", says, "In August of 233 A.D., Emperor Ming of the Wei dynasty ordered his officials to send wagons westward and try to move the god holding the dew plate from the Han Palace to his palace. When the officials removed the plate from the statue, the god wept before he was carried away."

6 Wang wishes that the land of China occupied by Mongolians could return to the hands of Chinese soon.