Li Bai: To a Faraway One (No.6 of 11)
Darkening clouds screen off the Chu Water,
Swivelling weeds scatter on the Wei River.
Missing you day and night witout end,
Swaying and expanding like a heaving tide.
The current flows eastward to the sea,
There is no return for anyone to revisit.
Only a dewdrop of tear can be sent
To the faraway one who is a flower.
李白： 《寄远 (之六)》
In fact, Li Bai’s love poems were not particularly good, not as good as his friendship poems. But he surprisingly wrote some lines which were considered very “blunt” according to the classical decorum. His writing of women was usually very sensual and specific, sometimes like The Song of Solomon in the Bible. It can be said that women in Li Bai’s poems were of flesh rather than of soul, which was perhaps the result of his Daoist ideal about women. For him, the relation with a woman had to be physical. In another poem (No.7 of the 11 poems in this suite), he wrote “How to steal a meeting/ And off with the candle and clothing”(何由一相见，灭烛解罗衣) while in yet another poem “Song About A Meeting”(相逢行) he wrote that “A meeting with no chances for intimacies/ Is no better than no meeting at all” (相见不得亲，不如不相见).