A Twig of Mume Blossoms
Fragrant lotus blooms fade, autumn chills mat of jade.
My silk robe doffed, I float
Alone in orchid boat.
Who in the cloud would bring me letters in brocade?
When swans come back in flight,
My bower is steeped in moonlight.
As fallen flowers drift and water runs its way,
One longing leaves no traces
But overflows two places.
O how can such lovesickness be driven away?
From eyebrows kept apart,
Again it gnaws my heart.
This lyric describes the poetess’ love for her husband who is far away from home.
“A Twig of Mume Blossoms” is a lyric by Li Qingzhao, a female lyricist of the Song Dynasty. The lyrics were written after the lyricist parted from her husband, Zhao Mingcheng. The lyricist first writes that after parting from her lover in the clear autumn, she was alone on an orchid boat to relieve her sorrow, looking at the moon from the west tower and hating the geese for coming without a book. The entire lyric is unadorned, clear as a word, with the unique sunken emotions of women, not at all clichéd way of expression, showing a kind of ebullient beauty, fresh tone, mood and beauty, which can be described as a masterpiece of exquisite parting love.