Poems of Meng Jiao
Weaving Woman Lyric
You are a farmer's boy.
And I am a father's girl.
When they married me off to that boy,
I took up weaving for you.
I wake up already aching,
Never rest at the window-side loom.
How can these threads be so white
When my own clothes are shabby and blue?
And the edict now out on the roadside,
Demands we plant more mulberries, too.
Meng Jiao is a bit like Bai Juyi here. But more subtle. His criticism in the last two lines is not elaborated. And it is not self-referential. Simply reporting a matter of fact suffices for critique here. The 辞 in the title is the kind of lyric poetry that is built on popular songs. It's hard to tell whether Meng Jiao uses these indicators, like 辞, 吟, 曲, and so forth, in a standard way or as his own categories. I think often they are the latter which he uses to sort out his thoughts on what poetry can and should do.