Mei Yao-ch'en - I try to go out to the lantern festival
Type of Spiritual Experience
Mei Yao-ch'en (From Wikipedia)
Mei Yao-ch'en (1002–1060) was a poet of the Song dynasty. He was one of the pioneers of the "new subjective" style of poetry which characterized Song poetry.
He was born in Xuancheng in present day Anhui Province. He passed the jinshi exam in 1051 and had
a career in the civil service, but was unsuccessful. He was a prolific poet, with around 3000 works extant.
Most of his works are in the shi form, but they are much freer in content than those of the Tang dynasty.
His early verses are often socio-critical, advocating reform along Neo-Confucian lines; but later he turned to celebrations of ordinary life and verses mourning the deaths of his first wife and several of his children.
A description of the experience
...I TRY GOING OUT TO THE LANTERN FESTIVAL & QUICKLY RETURN
If I stay home, the gloom only gets worse,
so I go out and wander the festival for fun,
but rich and poor alike stroll beside wives,
driving any joy further and further away.
Once you’re old, anything’s overwhelming
I want to keep on, but it’s wearing me out,
so I go back home to the children, and no one
says a word. You can smell the acrid grief.
Last year they went out with their mother,
smeared on paint and rouge just like her:
now she roams the Yellow Springs below,
and they’re dressed in tatters, faces dirty,
Remembering how young they both are,
I hide my tears, not wanting them to see,
push the lamp away and lie facing the Wall
a hundred sorrows clotting heart and lung.