Poems of Yu Xuanji
A Fairy Tale
Peach blossoms everywhere is the color of spring.
Jade willows stand in every moonlit courtyard.
Upon a tower, newly dressed, I await the night.
In my room, I sit alone, and cherish my heart.
By these water lilies beneath the moon, fish play.
Of that rainbow on the horizon, sparrows are singing.
In this world, joy and sadness are entirely a dream.
How about we dream this dream together?
I would say that Yu Xuanji wrote this during her courtship, sending it as an informal gift to Li Yi, her husband-to-be. It could be a poem for someone later. But between the evidence of all her poems, including her continuing love for Li, and her relatively short time where any "later" is possible, I can't place it during any other period with confidence.
I have been meaning to say for a while that Yu Xuanji has an amazing vocabulary. Without using formal or official language, without using classical references, her use of Chinese is very broad. She seems to embrace not education or literary status or even poetry but the world as a whole. She is very often specific in natural detail, more so than even Bai Juyi. Where he would begin solidly in the world and move into the need for justice and dignity in mankind, she remains in the world, where her heart lives. She dreams with her eyes open, sort of like Henry David Thoreau.