Clouds Crossing the River

Wu, Wen-ying 1

    In the evening wind, bashful blossoms furrow their brows, but they do not fall. Their colorful petals adorn the carpet of green grass. Su Dike and Bai Dike join together like a swallow's tail. Laurel boats chase light gulls. My treasured horse is enhanced by the background of lingering clouds. The willow branches are like a thousand threads of green sorrow. Gradually, I approach a paradise and lose myself in it. I begin to worry. Suddenly, through the space among flowers, I see the slender waist of a girl facing away from me.

    I want to speak to her, but I draw back like An L who was disappointed when he visited Ji-kang only to find that he was not at home, or like Liang Zhang who waited outdoors overnight for the opportunity to pick up shoes for a master (for details, read I expect we will not meet again. Now I realize that our eyes cause us to fall in love and I pine due to spring sorrow. The affairs of tomorrow are as elusive as lonesome smoke. The sorrow overwhelms me like a lake of wind and rain. The mountain darkens at dusk. Green waves rise and fall without a trace.

1 Wen-ying Wu was a native of Si-ming City. Jun-te and Meng-chuang were his other first names. In his late years, he called himself Jue-weng (awakened man). During the Jing-ding Period (ca. 1260), he was a house guest of King Rong and befriended Qian Wu. In The Collection of Poems of Seven Poets, Zai Ge says, "Wen-ying Wu met Qian Wu and became his follower. Wen-ying loved to write poetry during his late years. His poems are beautiful, deep, and powerful. His choice of words are extraordinarily refined due to years of practice." At first glance his poetry is full of pictures. Actually, it contains anima moving along the lines. After careful study, one will find his poetry tasteful and fascinating. We neither deem his language obscure nor consider his writing loaded with fancy phrase. His poems and those of Bang-yan Zhou, Da-zu Shi, and Kui Jiang are considered the main stream of poetry written during the Song dynasty. The poems of the above four poets can be traced to the same origin. They only vary in outward appearance. Like the poetry of Yu-xi-sheng, Wu's literary grace is well organized, his personal charm flows and turns between the lines, and his themes and passion endure.