Poems of Meng Jiao
Late Autumn, Missing You
West winds blow the lifting willows,
Each branch brittle as lotus root.
Upon them are a racket of cicadas,
Urging men to achieve old age.
I'm afraid this journey will be hard.
Why does only the beautiful turn ugly?
I want someone to comfort me
Not just three more years of drinking.
It's these island geese I hold in high esteem,
Content to nurture their own life,
Not eating from the government granaries,
Nor drinking from the city waterworks.
With wings piercing the floating clouds,
Nets and traps are left behind.
It sounds to me like Meng Jiao is still missing the lover who didn't mind his leaving. Apparently, he's been drinking for three years since he left her. Which makes him thirty-five years old in this poem. Although, given that his fame as a poet is rising and that he continues to work, it's not as if he spent the last three years staggering drunk and becoming a cautionary tale of wasted affection. But his solace has apparently come from the bottle rather than a new pair of arms. Isn't love amazing?