On Hearing a Flute at Night atop the Victor’s Wall
Before the beacon tower sand looks white as snow;
Beyond the Victor’s Wall like frost cold moonbeams flow.
None knows from where a flute blows a nostalgic song,
All warriors lie awake homesick the whole night long.
Hearing a flute song, the warriors on the frontier are drowned in homesickness.
The poem “On Hearing a Flute at Night atop the Victor’s Wall” is a seven-line poem written by Li Yi, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. The most characteristic feature of this poem is that it is subtle and implicit, and the feelings to be expressed are embedded in the description of scenery and emotions. The first two lines of the poem are about the view under the moon while climbing the city. The frosty moonlight and the snowy desert under the moon are the typical environment that triggers the homesickness of the conqueror. The description of the environment reveals the feelings of the characters. In the silent night, the night breeze sends the bleak and sorrowful sound of the reed flute, which further arouses the conqueror’s homesickness. “The character’s feelings are not about homesickness, but rather about the character’s behavior, which shows his psychological state and his endless nostalgia.