Chapter 291: It’s Zhang Ye!
Cao Mengmeng stopped. The poem had ended!
But the echo, the melody. It was as if all of it still resonated in the hall.
“Love—I love not only your stateliness, but also your firm stand, the earth beneath you.”
It was difficult to imagine that such a poem came out from the mouth of a girl this young in age. Even the recital technique alone was mature beyond her years! The students and parents off stage were all stunned in silence. Before, even when the singing and dancing performances were not good, everyone would applaud to give their children encouragement, but when it came to Cao Mengmeng’s recital, not a clap could be heard!
Because the audience were all stunned into silence when they heard her poem!
The Principal stood in silence, the female host also froze on stage!
Everyone below stage were blown out of their minds!
“What poem was that!?”
“This poem’s too exquisite!”
“Right, not only the words. It’s also the emotional details!”
“How have I never heard of this poem before? What’s the name of this poem?”
“I don’t know either. I’ve never heard of it, whose work is this?”
A few teachers from the high school were wondering. They could not believe their ears. Why? How could they not know the name of such an exemplary love poem that rippled through everyone’s hearts?
The parents also started talking about it.
“Who is that little girl?”
“I think her name’s Mengmeng. She recited it so well.”
“Recited well, but what’s even better is the poem!”
“Which master’s work is that? Why don’t I have any impression of it!?”
The adults present had felt the deep love contained in the poem’s words. It was so beautiful that those who heard it felt like they had a beautiful image injected directly into their minds. They felt that they had been transported into the poem and that they were that tree themselves.
Even those who were not adults, amongst the middle and high school students, a portion of them had stunned faces. It was obvious that they had been stunned by this beautiful love poem that they had never heard of before.
“Wah! Mengmeng’s great!”
“Mengmeng’s too awesome!”
“This poem’s really beautiful! The love it describes gives everyone so much hope!”
“Go to hell! This is what you call a love poem! It’s 18000 times more powerful than the modern poetry that we have in our textbooks!”
Suddenly, someone took the lead!
Bba Bba Bba Bba! A wave of applause rang out!
Some students, who did not understand, also clapped along blindly, but many of the parents and teachers and also the school’s leaders had understood and felt the deep emotions of the poem. Some of the parents and teachers stood up as they continued clapping, leaving the fiercest applause for Cao Mengmeng!
The applause was too loud!
The entire hall was enveloped in a deafening sound!
This was the loudest applause heard since the New Year party started!
Teacher Leng and many of their class’ students and parents were tongue-tied.
The head teacher of the fifth class in front of them suddenly stood up and looked around. He spotted Teacher Leng not far from him and immediately asked, “Teacher Leng, what poem is this?” He, too, was also a language teacher and head teacher. He was not of the same year as Teacher Leng, so he felt ashamed that he had never heard of such a modern poem despite being a language teacher. He was too unprofessional. How could he not know of such an awesome love poem?
Hearing that, Teacher Leng said with wry smile, “I’m not sure either.”
“Ah?” The head teacher from Class 5 said, “Isn’t Mengmeng a student from your class?”
“Yes, but I…..don’t have any impression of this poem.” Teacher Leng thought of a student’s parent who might know. She turned towards the newspaper editor, “Brother Yang, you’ve seen more literary works than we have, what is the origin of this poem?”
But Brother Yang also laughed in ridicule, then said gravely, “I can solemnly say that I’ve never heard this love poem before. If it appeared before, it can’t be that no one has heard of it. I suspect…..could it be that it is an original composition?”
Mengmeng’s classmates were stunned!
“It was written by Mengmeng herself?”
“Knowing that there was a conflict in the line-up, she wrote it just then?”
“Impossible! Mengmeng’s never passed her language class more than a few times!”
Teacher Leng was getting dizzy. How could a middle school student, who had seldom passed her language classes, come up with such a moving and impressive poem? She wouldn’t believe it even if it killed her!
So what happened?
What’s the situation that led to this?
This included the Principal and a few school Leaders, who were perplexed. They stared towards the stage at Cao Mengmeng. They were filled with extreme interest!
Could it really be that the child had written this on her own?
If that was true, this group of teachers and principal would be overjoyed. This was a god-damn prodigy!
Seeing Mengmeng’s poem getting all the attention, Lili’s expression became sullen. She opened her mouth several times to say something, but couldn’t muster a single sound. Even she had to admit that Cao Mengmeng’s poem was too touching. With the same stunned expression that the Principal had and the shocked gaze in Teacher Leng’s eyes, she knew that this poem must’ve been really good. It might even be a love poem on par with “Flying bird and fish”! Lili might have finished reciting “Flying bird and fish”, and in terms of the poem, it was not much different from Cao Mengmeng’s. However, the crux of the issue was “Flying bird and fish” was too famous, resulting in sensory overload. There was nothing fresh and new about it, but the love poem recited by Cao Mengmeng was the first time anyone of them heard it! The difference was too great!
The reactions from the audience was too good!
Many parents, who were previously dozing off, were invigorated by this poem. No one expected to hear such a shocking love poem at an ordinary junior high school’s party in a common district. Everyone only had one thought in mind, they wanted to know where the poem came from!
Only Zhang Ye was smiling without a word. Zhang Ye was in no way surprised from seeing everyone’s expression. This poem was the famous “To The Oak” from his world. It was one of the representative pieces of obscure poems. It was Shuting’s work. In his world’s literary arena, it had an important place in history. Ignoring everything else, just from a pure literary standpoint, “To The Oak” even surpassed “Flying bird and fish”. Hence, it would be surprising if it wasn’t good. Any work from Zhang Ye’s brain would be earth-shattering, whatmore this “To The Oak”!
However, after some thought, Zhang Ye croaked with laughter and turned embarrassed. He was after all someone with status, but here he was at a junior high school, and used a love poem out of the representative pieces of obscure poems, just to help his cousin not lose face and stand up for her. Zhang Ye was also blushing from shame!
Cao Mengmeng was still standing on stage.
“What’s the name of the poem?”
“She isn’t done yet. Watch and see.”
“Right, she would end with the poem’s name and author, right?”
Indeed, Cao Mengmeng gave a deep bow and then adjusted her microphone, saying in a soft and tender manner, “Thank you everyone. I’ve finished my recital. This poem’s name is ‘To The Oak’. The author is…” Cao Mengmeng paused for a while, only when she saw everyone’s ears pricked up did she say, “The author is Zhang Ye.”
Saying that, she put down the microphone and stepped off the stage.
She left behind gasps off stage!
“Which Zhang Ye?”
“Who else can it be!? The one who does that talk show!”
“Who is Zhang Ye? I’ve never heard of him.”
“You have never watched ‘Lecture Room’? Its viewership in Beijing was so high!”
Some people knew Zhang Ye, but there were also people who had never heard of him. Ignoring those who did not know him, anyone who knew Zhang Ye immediately took a gasp of cold air!
“The author is actually Teacher Zhang Ye?”
“It can’t be! I have seen all his poems before! There’s no such poem!”
“Did you miss one?”
“Impossible! How can I miss any? Zhang Ye’s published works definitely do not have this ‘To The Oak’! I will swear on my personal honor!”
“Did she say the author was Zhang Ye?”
“Don’t tell me Zhang Ye specially wrote it for her? Holy sh*t! That’s impossible, right? Such an awesome poetry piece, and such a dignified poet like Zhang Ye specially wrote a poem for this young lady in her teens? Yet no one has heard of it before? It can’t be that exaggerated, right? Unless they are relatives!”
“That’s right. I’m also wondering. How can a junior high school student like her have Teacher Zhang Ye’s original poem? And one that has not been published yet? Zhang Ye’s poems are worth their weight in gold! It’s not written for anyone!”
Teacher Leng was also muttering this question to herself, “If this poem was written by Teacher Zhang Ye, then it’s not surprising. A work at the level of masters can only be written by Zhang Ye or other few famous authors in the literary scene. However, how did Mengmeng get Teacher Zhang’s unpublished work? Did she get it by chance?”
That Brother Yang was also experiencing an upheaval of emotions. He analyzed, “No, if Mengmeng had this poem to begin with, then she would definitely have recited it for her program, but she first chose ‘Flying bird and fish’ for her program. Why would she have not used such a good piece of work? And had to use it only after experiencing a collision with someone else? This is illogical. Man, why do I feel this ‘To The Oak’ was created on the spot?”
The head teacher of the fifth class was already beside him, “Created on the spot? Writing such a classic poem in a few minutes? Who can do that?” The moment he finished his sentence, he remained stunned, “Eh, to be able to come up with it on the spot in such a short time frame, and yet at the level of a master. Amongst the people I know, only Teacher Zhang Ye matches that possibility, right? No one else except him can do it!”
Teacher Leng carried on, “Unless Teacher Zhang Ye created here on the spot…” Upon saying this, Teacher Leng suddenly froze before turning her head suddenly, and stared at Mengmeng’s brother!
Everyone around her was not dumb either. They also had similar reactions and stared at Mengmeng’s brother with looks of surprise and suspicion. That guy who wore sunglasses despite being in such a dark auditorium!
Brother Yang said with his mouth slightly agape, “You.. You are Zhang Ye!?”
Teacher Leng also said in excitement, “Are you really Teacher Zhang Ye?”
Zhang Ye noticed that he could not hide it any further. Helplessly and out of respect, he took off his sunglasses.
The moment he removed his sunglasses, everyone saw Zhang Ye’s face!
“It’s really Zhang Ye!”
“Holy mother of god! It’s Zhang Ye!”
Before the teachers and parents could say a word, Mengmeng’s classmates already began shouting!