Chinese poem illustration: 邶风 柏舟/ Boat of Cypress Wood by Anonymous
Drifting boat is always a metaphor of fate, fate of a lord, fate of a state. It was further developed by Zhuangzi(庄子) as the ultimate destiny of a hermit: self-sufficient like a touring boat with loose anchor(饱食而遨游, 泛若不系之舟, 虚而遨游者也). This poem is the very origin of that image, that metaphor, that wording.
This poem depicted the common feeling of worriness in a very impressive and elegant way. The empathy created in turn makes this poem unique and popular.
An argument on the title is raised: The Boat of Cypress Wood implies this poem is about the Bei State and its lord. It use double entendre of 柏(cypress) to indicate 伯(lord), these two characters share the same sound in Zhou dynasty.
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