A poet made an unusual confession that he indulges in alcohol and pleasure without any worries and that he does not trust the books written by ancient sages, which he used to believe as the immutable truth. Where did this idea deviating from proper bounds come from? It may look like foolish deviance but it is in fact an awful irony of expressing disappointment in real politics.
The poet criticizes the complacency and incapability of the officials of the Southern Song dynasty who gave away its Zhongyuan territory to the Jin dynasty and settled for the southern corner. He denounces those indulging in pleasure do not have room to worry about the country. He also warns that the reality can be overcome with the opposite values while old scriptures discuss patriotism and love for his or her own people and preach political duties. He reveals the movement of self-awakening in a quarrel with a pine tree. It is read as his strong determination to refuse anybody’s help even though he might be drunk and fell on the ground.
The poet who is well-known as a military leader was well-read in classics and often quoted Zhuang Zhou, Mencius, and Shiji. The phrase that says books by old people cannot be fully trusted is an example of utilizing Mencius’s statement that it is better without Shangshu, rather than believing everything in the book. The poet used his own style of speech regardless of Mencius’s intention to say that records should be carefully judged for their truthfulness. “Xijiang Yue” is a song title, unrelated to the content of the poem.