Poems of Xue Tao
Leaning on this balustrade, I recall the man who rode a whale.
I raise my winecup into the wind. I've brought this on myself.
Through the sound of fine rain, I hear someone rein in his horse
As among the evening shadows, cicadas make their racket.
This is an example of Xue Tao's unsatisfying artistic efforts, as in "unsatisfying for her." She's trying to do something here. But it doesn't work. It's somehow too oblique. Or opaque. Or the "one error for every three copyists" rule has unfairly singled out this poem for multiple errors. Or something.
So were the hundreds of Xue Tao's poems in The Brocade River Collection any good? I think there is some chance that they were included in such a collection by men because they were average poems. Poems that men found unthreatening. Li Ye, Yu Xuanji, and Yuan Chun all wrote poetry as fine as any of the male poets of the Tang. Funny how their poetry didn't survive. Xue Tao's workaday approach to poetry was something men could be comfortable with. I could be wrong about this. But I think we would see more art in these nearly eighty poems if her hundreds of lost poems were really very good.