I read about this Song Dynasty poet, Sima Guang, in primary school, on his heroic rescue of another child. The child climbed up a great vat and fell into the water. Amidst the chaos and panic Sima Guang picked up a rock and broke the vat, thus releasing the water and saving his friend from drowning.
The calm and quick thinking child grew up to have one of the finest minds in China. He was a high ranking official at court, a historian and lexicographer, publishing a history of China and a dictionary. It must have been during a rare moment of leisure that he wrote this poem while expecting a friend at midnight!
Rendezvous by Sima Guang 1019 – 1086
Tis the season of yellow plums and the rain is on everyone
Sounds of frogs are everywhere in ponds and green grasses
Half the night is over and no one appears at our rendezvous
Striking a chess piece idly I spark flowers of flame from a lamp
(c) Mary Tang 鄧許文蘭 2017