Form Follows Function: Clothes Free the Imagination

Some lines from Li Ho [Li He] (791-817) “The Grave of Little Su” translated by A. C. Graham in Poems of the Late T’ang

Grass like a cushion,
The pine like a parasol:
The wind is a skirt,
The waters are tinkling pendants.

recall for some strange reason Robert Herrick (1591–1674) “Upon Julia’s Clothes”

Whenas in silks my Julia goes,
Then, then (methinks) how sweetly flows
That liquefaction of her clothes.

Next, when I cast mine eyes, and see
That brave vibration each way free,
O how that glittering taketh me!

It was not for so strange a reason: the wind and skirt in combination reminded me of liquefaction and hence to the title and the juxtaposition we find here. Not so far apart for in some translations from the Chinese the images reference clothes.

Grass for her cushions,
Pines for her awning,
Wind as her skirts,
Water as girdle-jades.

“Su Hsiao-hsiao’s Tomb” translated by John A. Turner in A Golden Treasure of Chinese Poetry: 121 classical poems.

And so for day 1567

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