The foreword of this poem stated:
During the reign of Kaiyuan (AD 713-741), palace ladies/maids made cloaks as gifts for soldiers serving in the frontier. One of the soldiers found a poem within the cloak and reported it to his marshal (commander), who in turn reported the matter to the Court.
The Emperor Xuanzong had the poem distributed to the Inner Palace to find out the identity of the person who composed the poem and hidden it within the cloak. One palace girl confessed and expected to be put to death. The emperor took pity and had her marry the solder.
I will post a translation as published in Tales of Empresses and Imperial Consorts in China, compiled by Shang Xizhi, translated & edited by Liang Liangxing, published by Hai Feng Co., ISBN 962-238-218-5
Poem in the Cloak
Those who fight on the frontier
Can hardly sleep through the cold nights.
I have made this battle gown,
But I know not to whom it will belong.
Carefully I have sewn it with thread
And added cotton along with my love.
In this life I have missed the chance,
So I pray for our union in the next.
Does anyone know if this was a fictional composition, folklore or based on some historical accounts?
The composer of the poem was given only as "Palace maid from the Kaiyuan Era".
Edited by snowybeagle, 07 July 2008 - 12:03 PM.