Poems of Meng Jiao
Song from the Heart
(Written because I feel like singing and because I miss having a home.)
In roiling waters, my heart overturns easily.
In clear waters, my feelings first emerge.
I dream of meeting men at the bottom of the sea.
I want to gather oysters on the moon.
These feelings are not yet harmonious.
This heart will find no rest in death.
There is a poem about a shipwreck, written by a woman in the Tang. It is unlike any other poem of its time. And now, this poem of Meng Jiao is also without precedent, at least to me. The beginning and ending couplets are not surprising. But this middle couplet.... He doesn't often bother with a prefatory note. I think this poem compelled him to write one. Not that it helps us understand it any better. The title, 永怀, is more or less a genre of heart-on-the-sleeve poetry. Line 5 can also be "These feelings are not entirely a joke." He may well have intended both meanings.