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Following the Rhyming Pattern of Zho-zang Gao's Poem

Huang, Ting-jian (1045 A.D.-1105 A.D.)

    I was exiled to Qian City 1, 3,000 miles away from the capital. Living in a house with a leaky roof, I feel as if I am riding a boat all day. When the Chong-yang Festival 2 arrives, the sky finally clears 3. Consequently, I drink a lot to celebrate. Gui-men Gate 4 is nearby, next to the Shu River. Do not laugh that an old man is still proud of himself. Behold! Few people are white-haired like me. In front of Xi-ma Platform 5, chasing after Two-Xie, I bend my bow and shoot as I gallop. Full of heroic spirit, we feel as if we are patting the shoulders of ancient men 6.




1 Qian City was located in present day Peng-shui County, Sichuan Province.

2 On the ninth day of the ninth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, Chinese people used to drink wine and enjoy observing chrysanthemums to celebrate the Chong-yang Festival.

3 It rains most of the year in Qian City.

4 "Gui-men Gate" means "The jaws of death". It is a very dangerous section of a river.

5 The remains of Xi-ma Platform are located south of present day Xu City. It was built by Yu Xiang. On the platform one could watch the arena below. Emperor Wu of the Liu-song dynasty held a party on the platform during the Chong-yang Festival. Both Ling-yun Xie and Zhan Xie wrote poetry at the party.

6 While Huang was in exile, Zho-zang Gao was the Mayor of Qian City. During the Chong Festival Gao set wine and held a party on Xi-ma Platform. Huang, as Gao's guest, praised Gao by comparing Gao's party to Emperor Wus party.