To The Tune: Beautiful Barbarian
The peonies are heavy with dew.
She pauses in the court to pick a flower,
Then coyly asks her lover,
“Which do you think most pretty?”
Because he likes to tease,
he says, “I think perhaps the flower.”
She pretends offense in any case,
crushes it, and throws it in his face.
-Unknown (Song Dynasty A.D. 960-1200)
Clouds circle the moon,
breezes ringing wind chimes,
deepening my doubt.
I lit the lamp to write
my broken heart for you.
My sobbing blew it out.
-Ma Chih-yuan (1260-1324)