Poems of Meng Jiao
A Pure East Tune
Cherry blossoms, rampant here, fall
Fragrant in a thick, pink rain.
And smiling women, in wet silk robes,
Compete to pick the branches.
In the luxuriance of a pure east tune,
Bright eyes are like imperial jade.
And blue-clad men, nearby in skiffs,
Can hardly get an eyeful.
Nanyang's head official's lyric
Recast as New Yuefu.
I think this was written in the last seventeen years of Meng Jiao's life. For starters, he is back in the east. So he is remarried and has official status. But most important is his reference to 新乐(府) or New Lyric Poetry. This was a poetry movement founded by Yuan Zhen and Bai Juyi and their poet friends. Bai Juyi started publically writing poetry at seventeen and Meng Jiao died when Bai Juyi was thirty-four. Do the math. Seventeen.
Also, this is a kind of answer-poem. But not of regulated poetry. Meng Jiao must be responding to the mayor of Nanyang's lyric written to the tune of Pure East (or similar title) which would have been a song heard in the streets. Meng Jiao has answered with not only a competing lyric but one in the New Lyric style.