Ji Hai Poem of Feeling
作者: 清朝 龚自珍
Doleful sun is setting all the way
As my sentiment of departing growing with hate
I am whipping my horse to the east
Dashing to my hometown as a fate
The fallen petals are not useless
They could turn into soil
Fostering the newborn blossoms during stay
Introduction to the Author:
Gong Zizhen, with a literary name Er Yu or Se Ren and a style name Ding An, was a thinker and writer in Qing Dynasty. His grandfather and father were both Jin Shi( an official title in the ancient government) in Beijing. He had witnessed the decadency of the Qing Royal Court and written statements like this: “The officials were all colluding with each other. Five out of ten people were out of work. They smoked opium or joined cults. The officials would kill people or leave people in the cold to death without granting them a string of silk or a grain of rice.” Gong thought Qing Dynasty was literally a decadent dynasty. He had taken many imperial exams but failed most of the time. When he was 38, he succeeded in the exam and was titled Jin Shi. He was in office for several years before he resigned. He heavily opposed the decadency and autocracy of feudalism and strongly advocated social reform. He was a pioneer of modern reformism, whose poems were both splendid and romantic.
In 1839, he resigned from office and returned to his hometown in the South. Then he went North to take his relatives back to the south. During the journey, he wrote 315 short poems which constituted a analects named “Ji Hai Poems of Feeling”. This poem translated is the first one of the analects, noting down that he was forced to resigned and how he felt when he departed from Beijing.