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Hopeful farewell

Posted February. 19, 2021 07:30,   

Updated February. 19, 2021 07:30


The poet sees his pal off on the hill dyed in green wild grass. A bitter parting leaves its long-tail traces in the heart of the poet as if a bunch of grass blanketed the fields. As a freshly fragrant greenness smears an old road and a devastated corner of urban space, this poetry comes across as a heart-breaking message written from a perspective of one who lets the other go. With it being said, every step taken by each of us only connects our destiny in an endless loop just as grass over the fields repeats the cycle of withering and growing leafy every year. Look at how seeds sprout in a spring breeze and grow to the full abundance of green all over the hills that have been left barren throughout winter since burned to ashes in bushfire. Likewise, the parting that the poet faces is not a bye in despair but a hopeful moment of waiting for a springtime full of sorrowful splendors. That is why a positive voice delivered by divine Providence resonates more deeply throughout us than a painfully saddening farewell does.

Old-time Chinese poet Bai Juyi grabbed an opportunity to win fame thanks to this poetry when he was young. He reached the capital city of Changan at the age of 16 to take the state examination. With his self-written poetry in his hands, the young writer visited great poet Gu Kuang. It was a common practice during the Tang Dynasty that young students would pay a visit to dignitaries or famous scholars to demonstrate their talent before the state exam. When Bai Juyi introduced himself to Gu Kuang, the famed poet punned on his name, jokingly saying that it may not be easy to get by because rice prices are high in Changan. However, inspired by Bai’s phrase “Even bushfire never burns grass to ashes but seeds come back to sprout in a spring breeze,” the old master of poetry commended the young student’s genius talent highly, affirming that he will fare well wherever he settles.