Confucius said that one’s learning of the Way begins with “inspiration by poetry.” (Analects 8.8) This was exactly what had happened to me even before I knew anything substantial about Confucius. The first poet I fell in love is Ai Qing (1910-1996, whose son is Ai Weiwei, a famous dissenting Chinese artist now living in the New York City), and I read all the poems of his which I could find when I was in the middle of teens. I even dreamed of becoming a professional poet or novelist when I entered college. However, some divine/extraordinary/dramatic thing happens, which stopped me from pursuing my literature dream. I may still be harboring this dream now, but my passion of Ruist scholarship trumps it.
For this reason, I see my habit of composing traditional Chinese poems as indulging myself in the retarded dream while still being able to catch up with my passion of scholarship. Actually, from now and then, I changed my style of poem-writing. Ever after I turned into 30s, I rarely wrote any poem in its modern Chinese form. Therefore, the old four, five, or seven-character poems in their traditional forms have become my favorite.
I hope one day some of my poems can be collected and published, if not for the public, at least for myself, my loved ones, and the ones who love me. If you can read Chinese, please enjoy my Chinese poems.