Teaching young Chinese Americans lacking a foundation in Chinese to appreciate and study ancient Chinese poetry is no easy task.
But ancient Chinese poetry not only presents the beauty of a frame of mind, of written Chinese characters, and of poetic meter, but also passes on China’s ancient history and endows us with an understanding of Chinese culture.
Educating Chinese American youth on ancient Chinese poetry requires a cooperative effort. “It takes ten years to grow a tree, a hundred years to cultivate a person” (Guanzi, “Quanxiu”). Yet when we see China’s wisdom of the ages add to their persistence and make them more magnanimous, we will then find our herculean effort to instruct them well worth the effort.