Poems of Yu Xuanji
Yang Festival and Blocked by Rain
Courtyard full of chrysanthemums, I pick some off the fence.
Two blossoms of lotuses, here they open in my mirror.
My hat fell off in the courtyard. It's too rainy to go out.
So I don't know in what place I should hold my drinking bout.
Ow, I rhymed again. Yang festival is the ninth day of the ninth month. And it's raining cats and dogs. No hints of Yu Xuanji's life here beyond the continuing evidence that she liked to drink. What get's translated as wine in Chinese poetry is rarely grape wine. The Chinese, like the French, made spirits out of everything fermentable. And the resulting alcohol content could very from "not too much" to "way too much." I wonder how much of the drinking of the literati comes from the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove who, in the Jin dynasty, retired to the wilds to preserve culture and consume vast quantities of "wine." Note that America's love of guns began when the Texas Rangers famously defeated Mexican troops left and right with their new Walker Colts. After that, everybody wanted their own gun. So maybe after the Seven Sages everyone literate wanted their wine. It could happen....