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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A lotus boat refers to a boat operated by a woman.
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.
This line says that the woman is not brave and does not show enough concern
for social propriety.