A noble lady pining for her lover


My music flies towards the coloured clouds
I do not know my lover’s whereabouts
The pigeon loft is empty not a note
Do not get lost my song in misty shrouds

The pose of shamisen player Kanako Otani reminded me of noble women in Chinese court poetry, who are neglected by their lovers or due to adverse circumstances cannot meet for a long time and as a pastime play on the lute. The phrase “coloured clouds” is taken from a Tang poem by Lang Shiyuan, in which someone hears a flute melody and does not know where it comes from. Poems about hearing a flute at night time from a walled city under siege are also known. So why not imagine a lady of nobility with refined features and bearing composing and playing an air of pining and send it through the open windows.
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