Achieving success - the fruits of a group effort

I have been reading to arthur waley's wonderful Chinese Poems  this week. I particularly enjoy the following poem as it illustrates the various groups who provide support and thus contribute to a student's achievements: family, friends and the application of the individual. The humble tone of the narrator is a joy.

After Passing the Exam - Po Chui I (800ad)

 ten years I never left my books;
I went up… and won unmerited praise.
My high place I do not much prize;
The joy of my parents will first make me proud.
Fellow students, six or seven men,
See me off as I leave the City gate.
My covered couch is ready to drive away;
Flutes and strings blend their parting tune.
Hopes achieved dull the pains of parting;
Fumes of wine shorten the long road…
Shod with wings is the horse of him who rides
On a Spring day the road that leads to home.

Despite having been written over two thousand years so, there is a freshness and a sincerity in this poem which still resonates. Although we no longer have the trauma of the Government Exam, Contemporary students may still recognise themselves in Po Chui I.


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