I'm no Li Bai, but when it comes to poetry I know what I like, and that's what I know. Some things are inalienably true: Water is wet, grass is green (kind of), dogs bark and houses prices rise.
The line yang wang xing kong ("look up at the starry sky") is one of my favorites. Why? Because it's true. Look at the sky. What do you see? That's right. Stars.
It's very important we all gaze at the skies and don't look around us. Look! Big apartment, high-earning job, KTV booked round the clock, two cars with different license plates and, of course, a hot wife (everyone wants a hot wife. Even my girlfriend, just for the marvelous face it gives).
If we all do this, we drive up national productivity and everybody's happy, except the peasants. But it's crucial to remember the other half. Not the peasants. The earth.
Reach for the Sky was a famous book by a wheelchair-bound pilot written after World War II. Today, we are asked to do a far more important thing: To reach for the ground.
Or, in another way, jiao ta shi di (roughly translated: get real). Keep your feet firmly on dry land. Life is likely going to be living in a dormitory, working for the man and looking at hot wives on the Internet.
It was, I believe, Oscar Wilde, or possibly George Bernard Shaw (or maybe even Noel Coward - it definitely wasn't Dorothy Parker) who said: "We are all of us in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars."
What exactly did he mean? And how can I use this to finagle a passing grade and ensure a high-flying career at a top 500 company, like Foxconn (they've had some openings recently), or failing that, a kindergarten security guard post? The answer is: I don't know. But I've just had a text to say someone will be emailing me the answers soon.