A poet spends a night on a boat anchored near a bridge outside the castle, engrossed in nostalgic thoughts. The sound of crows echoes against the darkness even without moonlight. Frost covers everything on the ground and the glimmering light of a fishing boat reveals autumn leaves here and there. With the bell sound of a mountain temple reaching the boat in the middle of a quiet night, the poet’s nostalgia deepens endlessly. His story of facing a sleepless nostalgic night on a boat is unknown. He may be on his way to his hometown after a bitter failure in an examination for an official position or feeling nostalgic as a low-ranking official traveling from places to places away from home after a war.
Gusu is an old name of Suzhou, a well-known waterside village in China’s South of the Yangtze River. As Marco Polo called it ‘Venice of the East,’ canals are all across the city with small and exquisite bridges. Maple Bridge has become famous since it was featured in the poem. A phrase in a poem, “300 beautiful bridges shine in the town of water but only Maple Bridge is famous in poems,” proves that. The poet who brought fame to the bridge is Ouyang Xiu of the Song dynasty. He said a temple never rings a bell at night but Zhang Ji looked for a beautiful phrase and ended up being wrong. However, the sound of a bell in the middle of the night was common. The great writer’s incorrect criticism brought even more attention to the poem.