Poems of Yu Xuanji
On Learning that Li Duan was a Fisherman, I Wrote Him this Poem
Boundless lotus fragrance stains your summer clothes.
Old musician, to where will your wandering boat return?
I'm ashamed not to be good enough to be your true companion,
Especially when, together, we could angle from these rocks.
Li Duan (743-782) was a poet. And his friend Lu Lun (737-799) was also a poet. Lu wrote a parting poem for his friend Li entitled 李端公. Somehow, Yu Xuanji has learned that Li Duan liked to fish. And from what we have seen, Yu doesn't miss a chance to go fishing. So she writes Li Duan, now dead some 80 years, this poem. And that's all we know. A ruan (阮) is an ancient musical instrument and so becomes a symbol for poetry which achieved a height to which Yu's cannot reach.