Pride of Fishermen
Surrounded by peaks, a bridge flies from shore to shore;
A soft blue stream flows through flowers before the door.
A few thatched houses with windows I adore.
There comes no dust,
The place is swept by vernal breeze in fitful gusts.
I hear birds twitter when awake from nap at noon;
I wonder in my bed why the cock crows so soon.
Thinking of my friends who have all grown old,
Why indulge in a dream of gold?
Do not forget the way to glory is rough and cold!
The poet describes a rural scene and his rural life.
“Pride of Fishermen” is a lyric by Wang Anshi, a writer of the Song Dynasty. The lyric was written in the author’s later years when he was living in seclusion in Jinling (present-day Nanjing). The first two lines are about the beauty of the landscape, and the last three lines are about the house, depicting a secluded scene of seclusion; the second piece is about the interest and experience of living in this landscape. The whole piece exudes a pure and unconventional beauty, reflecting the author’s interest and mood in life after he withdrew from the political arena. The whole piece starts with scenery and ends with emotion, and the communication between emotion and scenery is made by the dream of the cottage at noon, so that the upper and lower pieces do not feel that there is a clear division between writing scenery and expressing emotion, which is more mature in art.