51. In a Boat on Oi River






In a Boat on Oi River

Let me make friends with fine wine;[1]

Whistling in the wind on turtle back, I feel a gusto growing.

Over the eighteen oceans, autumn resembles clear water;

A single streak, the new moon crosses the empyrean.

[1] The “Mandarin of Qingzhou” is a whimsical epithet for fine wine, invented by a connoisseur of the Eastern Jin dynasty in the mid-fourth century A.D. through a play on the place name Qi in Qingzhou and qi meaning “navel.”  A wine whose effect spread all the way to the navel, or synonymously to Qi in Qingzhou, he called the “Mandarin of Qingzhou.”  Similarly, inferior wine whose effect reached only as far as the ge “diaphragm,” he associated with the place name Ge in Pingyuan and called it the “Inspector of Pingyuan.”