In 1936, Ji Xian, a well-known Chinese poet who lives now in San Francisco, lived in Suzhou, a garden city in China, but he taught and edited a literary magazine in Shanghai. He commuted happily between the two cities. Each time when Ji Xian came back home, his friend Yao Yingcai, a professor and musical talent in Suzhou, would drop by for a chat and dinner with him. Usually after dinner, Yao, who could memorize almost all of Beethoven’s musical pieces, would play Moonlight in the living room. One time, Yao even turned off the lights in order to create a musical atmosphere when he played Moonlight. Touched by Yao’s wonderful performances, Ji Xian imagined:
The moon rising on the keys;
The lamp in the dark room.
In 1938 Yao went to the front to fight the invaders and died heroically in the war. Since then, Ji Xian never heard anyone who could play Beethoven’s Moonlight as well as Yingcai did, because Yingcai’s moonlight has been shining in Ji Xian’s memory for over sixty years.
Cassia flowers blooming
In sweet memory