Poems of Mi Fu
West River Moon
On the stream's surface, lotus-fragrant splendor.
At the wood's edge, distant peaks, dark blue.
Chu skies, autumn colors, call too much to mind.
Roiling clouds, gathering smoke, show which way the wind blows.
Quiet night, frozen moon; wish I could go there.
Dream over, hung over; I just woke up.
This virginal green bottle plays the sound of new wine,
A tune I invite you to come and hear.
The Song dynasty sat in the ruins of the Chu. The Chu were the northern Chinese's first beachhead south across the Yangzi River. Chu was defeated by the northern Qin. Song was subjected to the northern Jin. The Jin actually created a puppet state in the Song lands called Greater Chu (大楚). "Chu skies" is also "clear skies," but I'm giving you a slightly deeper slice of the poem than a moody autumn lament. This is an historical lament. The green (jade) bottle line actually reads, "Jade bottle, not yet shamed, makes a new sound." I suspect "jade bottle" of being something that was shamed (historically? in Chu?) but I can't track down anything substantial. So if there are deeper meanings in the last two lines, they are over (under?) my head and we only get the surface meaning here. Although, traditionally, Chinese poems tend to resolve back to the everyday world in the last two lines anyway.