Not long ago the Sanchon Hunjang posted about a poem by 황진이 that spoke of how she and her love kept missing each other in their dream visits
. Then this morning I was reminded of another verse that is similar in tone and message. Fortuitous timing, no?
近來安否問如何, These days are you well or not? I ask how you are--
月到紗窓妾恨多. As the moon reaches my silk [curtained] window, this wife’s resentment is great.
若使夢魂行有迹, If the dream spirit I send only left footprints,
門前石路半成沙. The stone path before your door would be half turned to sand.
☞ 近: 가까울 근, 來: 올 래, 安: 편안할 안, 否: 아닐 부, 問: 물을 문, 如: 같을 여, 何: 어찌 하,
月: 달 월, 到: 다다를 도, 紗: 깁 사, 窓: 창문 창, 妾: 첩 첩, 恨: 한할 한, 多: 많을 다,
若: 같을 약, 使: 부릴 사, 夢: 꿈 몽, 魂: 넋 혼, 行: 다닐 행, 有: 있을 유, 迹: 자취 적,
門: 문 문, 前: 앞 전, 石: 돌 석, 路: 길 로, 半: 반 반, 成: 이룰 성, 沙: 모래 사.
In her dreams, she has gone to see her love so many times that, if her dream self only had physical feet, she would have worn those paving stones nearly to sand already.
I said "she." And the persona in the poem is clearly a woman, as a male persona can't refer to himself with that humelific female pronoun "妾." Indeed, this poem was written by a woman, 이옥봉
(c. 17th century). But there's that Korean poem/song (Korean, as in it's in a Korean genre, not Chinese) 思美人曲 사미인곡
that talks in the persona of a jilted woman longing for her fickle love. That poem was written by a certain Mister 정철
... and it takes its name from an even older poem/song, called, (surprisingly enough) 思美人曲, that is recorded in the 《楚辭 초사
☞ 思: 생각 사, 美: 아름다울 미, 人: 사람 인, 曲: 굽을 곡, 楚: 가시나무 초, 辭: 말 사.
Turns out that there is this popular tradition that goes waaaay back where the author writes from the point of view of a woman who had been jilted by her love and using the situation as parallel to an official who is loyal to his king and wants to serve the king, but has been put out to pasture because the king doesn't see his (her?) heart. Usually backstabbing sycophants also figure in the scene of the author's dismissal.
The next time somebody misunderstands you, write them a long letter in the persona of a woman whose lover had suspected she is not true, as a metaphor for the situation. Then send it. When they come to lock you up for being a homosexual psychotic stalker, explain how it's an ancient Chinese tradition. Best to leave out the part about how you've sent your spirit over to his house so many times that you could've worn the asphalt away, though... ^^