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Comfort life enjoyed in Jiangnan

Posted August. 05, 2022 08:02,   

Updated August. 05, 2022 08:02


In the late Tang dynasty, the North was mired in wars, whereas the region of Jiangnan to the south of the Yangtze River was comparatively safe and affluent. The poet, who left his home and stayed in Jiangnan, resides in a splendor pleasure boat and goes in and out of drinking houses. He falls asleep in a boat, listening to the sounds of rain. He drinks, assisted with the serving by a woman with the moonlike beauty. Even if the poet is away from home, he does not see the need to go back to home, since he enjoys luxurious life that he wants to keep on when he gets old. At his hometown, this amusement is unthinkable. What if his relations with a beautiful woman are cut off? It would melt the heart of the poet. Containing five pieces and structured in series, this poem has other verse that vividly portrays the poet’s indulgence in pleasures and entertainment, as seen in the first piece, where the poet sung, “When I departed the gate under the pale morning moonlight, the woman saw me out in tears,” or in the third piece, where the poet wrote, “If I see again my flower sprig, I will never return to home until my hair turns white.”

In the meantime, one interpretation suggests that this poem is a sarcastic expression‎ of the poet’s resolve to return to the central districts of the country and counsel the king, until it gets too late and he idles his time away, intoxicated in pleasure. In light of the poet’s walk of life, such as working as a staff officer for the jeidushi and taking the lead in fighting the war, the line “never go home until getting old” is a self-mockery. Pu Sa Man is the title of the song, and it has no relevance to the contents of the poem.