The last poem I loved

Kuan, the wife of the great Yuan painter Chao Mengfu, wrote this upon hearing her husband was to take a mistress.

Parting
By Madame Kuan, translated by Bruce Lee (yes him!)

Who knows when meeting shall ever be.
If might be for years or
It might be forever.

Let us then take a lump of clay,
Wet it, pat it,
And make an image of you
And an image of me.
Then smash them, crash them,
And, with a little water,
Knead them together.

And out of the clay we’ll remake
An image of you, and an image of me.
Thus in my clay, there’s a little of you,
And in your clay, there’s a little of me.
And nothing will ever set us apart.

Living, we’ll be forever in each other’s heart,
and dead, we’ll be buried together.

Chao Mengfu didn’t take the mistress.

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