Chapter 56: One Poem After Another!
At 12 o’clock sharp.
The auditorium was directly broadcasted live.
The stage was decorated nicely and there were flowers and carpets. A handsome man and a beautiful man presided over the event as hosts. Well, unfortunately, only the staff and family members present at the radio station could witness this. The listeners in front of the radio could not appreciate this, as they could only hear their voices.
“Our listening friends, how are you?”
“I am your host, Zhang Huo. This is my partner, Sun Mengjie.”
“People have reunions during the festive season of Mid-Autumn. Welcome to our listeners for today’s News, Literature and Music Channels’ live broadcast of the Mid-Autumn Festival Poetry Meet!”
The two hosts were the star hosts of the News Channel, and they were recognized as some of the best in the station. They were steady with their words and rarely made mistakes. Letting them be in charge of this huge event was because they were highly appreciated by the station. After saying a few words of introduction, the two hosts began to introduce today’s guests.
“Let us welcome Beijing’s Education Ministry’s Deputy Director, Chen Kun!”
“Also Beijing Writers’ Association’s Vice-President, Teacher Meng Dongguo!”
“Famous poet, Big Thunder!”
“Famous children’s fairy tale author, Little Red Mushroom…”
Every introduction was met with applause.
After the introduction, the host, Zhang Huo, said beamingly, “Before the poetry meet begins, let’s invite a few Teachers from the Writers’ Association to come onstage to recite a poem as an opening. We also wish that the listeners in front of the radio have a good and perfect family. May your dreams come true. And may you have the best of all reunions!”
The poem recitation for the opening was clearly prepared beforehand.
Meng Dongguo was first to go onstage, and then he lightly recited, “Many Mid-Autumns underwent, but together seldom spent. Compensating it today, mellow, as a momento.”
With this sequence recited, everyone present knew what poem they were about to recite to tune up the festive mood. Of course, Zhang Ye himself was probably the only one present who had not heard of this poem.
Big Thunder went onstage, “Through the mirror, possessing two moons.”
Zheng Anbang went onstage, “Wrapping silence with a wooden branch.”
An old man from the Writers’ Association that Zhang Ye did not recognize was the third person to follow up, “Fragrance from one tree lulls.”
The last sentence was followed up by Meng Dongguo, ending the poem, “Brimming full of Fall.”
Everyone enthusiastically applauded. Zhang Ye also applauded after hearing it. This poem was not bad, it was really not bad.
This poem was “Time for Well Wishes”, written by this world’s famous poet, Ma Ruihong. Because of some reason, this poem was made famous everywhere. It was always a highlight of the Mid-Autumn Festival. Only a person like Zhang Ye, who did not understand this world, did not know it. Not many others did not know of “Time for Well Wishes”. Anyone of any age and gender, if pulled off the street, would be able to recite it. Yes, if an example was needed, it was the same feeling as “Hoeing millet in mid-day heat, sweat dripping to the earth beneath” in Zhang Ye’s world.
Zhang Ye no longer had the intention to belittle all heroes of this world. This world was also filled with capable predecessors.
After the poem was done reciting, Beijing’s Education Ministry’s Deputy Director, Chen Kun, went to the podium to give his speech. Following that, Deputy Station Head Jia also went onstage to give his speech, wishing everyone a happy Mid-Autumn Festival on behalf of everyone working at the Beijing Radio Station.
After a while, the main highlight came.
The female host, Sun Mengjie, said with a brilliant smile, “Thank you for the speech of the Leader. Next will be the poetry contest segment. Let me introduce the rules. Regardless of whether it is for the poems by the Teachers from the Writers’ Association present, or for the poems posted by listeners on our official website, anyone who likes poems can vote three times for the works you like. Today, we have invited a notary from the Chengdong district. We will find out who is voted into the top three. So please, cherish your every vote.”
Zhang Huo smiled, “Then, who will be the first Teacher?”
There were more than a dozen people from the Writers’ Association. After looking at each other, Meng Dongguo walked forward, “Hurhur. Since no one came forward, then let me be the first. I have a poem.” Clenching the microphone, Meng Dongguo stabilized his mind and began speaking gently, “The poem’s name: ‘Thoughts of a Rainy Mid-Autumn Night’.”
“Abundance of flower blossoms fall, the full moon laments the waning moon.”
“Day by day the Spring resides, farewell the twilight bids.”
“Thickness begets flourishing, sparseness begets Autumn farewell bidding.”
“The supporting pillow hears the thunder, as the stormy rain recalls the night.”
Big Thunder was the first to applaud, “Good poem!”
Another youth from the Writers’ Association said, “President Meng is getting more superb!”
Zheng Anbang also nodded, “It is well-written. There are too many reunion Mid-Autumn Festival poems these days. This poem reverses the trend, writing about separation, defects and weeping. It may not give people the scene of a family reunion, so it is not suitable for the occasion, but this makes people reflect and treasure the beauty of their reunion even more. This is writing about the Mid-Autumn Festival from another angle. This part of “recalls the night” was so well-written. Hai, I don’t even feel confident with my poem.”
Little Red Mushroom gave a wide smile, “Old Zheng, don’t compete with them. We are novel writers, so wouldn’t we die of anger competing with them over poems?”
Zheng Anbang laughed, “Indeed.”
The two hosts also flattered onstage. They also introduced them to the listeners since they could not see anything. “This is the Beijing Writers’ Association’s Vice President Teacher Meng Dongguo’s new work. Wow, just hearing this makes me intoxicated.”
Meng Dongguo laughed, “Not really. Hurhur. If the listeners find it good, remember to vote for me. I came here with some stress. If my voting numbers are too low, I won’t have any face to go home, so I need to try to garner some votes.”
Zhang Huo said, “President Meng is too modest.”
“That’s right.” Sun Mengjie said, “I think this poem has the looks of a champion.”
“This is just the first poem, isn’t it?” Zhang Huo pretended to ask.
“Hurhur. Zhang Huo, why don’t we make a bet? I’m guessing that this poem will be first.” Firstly, Sun Mengjie was giving face to Meng Dongguo. Secondly, she also felt that this poem was very good.
Zhang Huo said, “Alright, so what if we bet? Then I.. will also bet that this poem will be first!”
Seeing the both of them joking around, the audience laughed. Actually, many people agreed. Meng Dongguo was a professional at this, so how can his poems be bad? With his skills placed there, and with Meng Dongguo’s status placed there, he was the Writers’ Association’s Leader and was quite famous in Beijing. He was a veteran. Even if this poem was not flattered by them to the heavens, it was still of very high quality. It was pretty difficult for it not to get first.
Meng Dongguo went down.
The second person was Zheng Anbang. The moment he went onstage, he added onto Meng Dongguo’s words, “President Meng said that he was stressed. Actually, my stress is greater. Just being after President Meng, isn’t he trying to make a fool out of me? Forget it. I need to say it regardless. I’m not good at ancient poems, so let me help cheer the mood with a modern poem.”
A minute later, he finished.
Everyone was stunned as they all gave a round of applause.
Meng Dongguo praised, “This Little Shen. He kept being modest, but he actually had such a good piece of work.”
The other people from the Writers’ Association did not expect that a romance novel author could compose such a good modern poem. It might not be better than Meng Dongguo’s, but it definitely had what it took to compete for second or third place.
The third to go onstage was a young author. However, he did not recite a poem, but said a phrase, song lyrics. Although there was no companion music, the song lyrics were still vivid and refined. It was very creative.
The fourth person was Little Red Mushroom. The moment she went up, she first said, “Let me say something first. I don’t have talent writing poems. I write fairy tales. Today I will tell a fable.” She began narrating. The story was about personification, making the moon into a person. It was quite beautiful.
One worked followed another.
One person followed another.
Everyone that entered the Writers’ Association was not simple. They all showed their abilities.
The last person to appear was Big Thunder. His poems were always known for their magnificence. It was similar to his character. Hence, the theme of the Mid-Autumn Festival had hindered his abilities slightly. He narrated a melody poem, but the effect was not as satisfactory as he had wished. It did not garner a lot of applause. However, as it had quite a lot of literary value, the melody poem managed to make people reflect a lot. Meng Dongguo and the other Teachers from the Writers’ Association also gave him high praises after he came down.
“Big Thunder, it was a nice melody poem.”
“Do not care about the applause. It’s very good.”
“Their applause is lacking because they can’t understand it. They have not researched it deeply. If they listen to it several times, after some rumination, they will really find it memorable.”
Big Thunder said indifferently, “I also think it’s fine.”
About an hour after the poetry meet started, it was almost 1 P.M.
The host, Zhang Huo, took over the microphone, “Thank you for the interesting works from the Teachers of the Writers’ Association. It was indeed an eye-opener today. Every work really made me wish to not miss a single word. I’m guessing that the listeners in front of the radio must have enjoyed the feast for the ears. What are you hesitating for? Quickly vote for your favorite work. The voting deadline is at 2 P.M. sharp. Just now, the notary has told us that it takes five minutes to verify the votes. Hence, our poetry meet still has one hour and five minutes left. What will we do for the rest of the time? Let us announce the rankings from the voting website. Everyone can have a listen to the submissions by the netizens at the same time, too.”
Female host, Sun Mengjie, held a tablet. There was no cellphone reception here, so most of the broadcast equipment was equipped with their own wireless signal. Hence, they could still use them. “Ah, let’s see. Ranked first is Teacher Meng Dongguo’s work. Let me announce the top ten.”
1st place: Meng Dongguo, 23,019 votes.
2nd place: Zheng Anbang, 12,553 votes.
3rd place: Dong Fei, 9,813 votes.
4th place: Little Red Mushroom, 9,681 votes.
And so on and so forth. The top ten were all people from the Writers’ Association. Meng Dongguo was leading far ahead. Dong Fei was also a very famous modern poet in the Writers’ Association. They all swept up the top spots. Even though Big Thunder’s poem was not well-received amongst the station’s staff, it had also obtained 10th place. Only at 11th place was there a netizen’s work.
The host read it out.
This piece of work called “Wind Breaking Through the Clouds” was not bad. But it was just not bad. There was always a difference between a professional and an amateur. One could tell just from the votes.