To Oak 致橡树 is a classic love poem that paints love as two trees standing side-by-side, supporting each other while remaining individuals, a love that is based on a common faith and goal that is beyond the surface. Misty Poet Shu Ting wrote the poem in response to a traditional view of love based on idolization and self-sacrifice, in particular by the female in the relationship.
I’m going to apologize in advance appropriating feminist poetry for a pair coming out of an amazing but unfortunately misogynist production team, but this poem fits the platonic love that is Ming Lou (Jin Dong) and Ming Cheng (Wang Kai) in The Disguiser so much. So close are their dreams that they can finish each other’s paintings of their ideal home; so deep their trust that they have had absolutely no secrets to each other even though they’ve had not a single honest conversation with anyone else in the show; so connected their souls that the main mode of communication is gazing into each other’s eyes.
by Shu Ting
translated by idarklight
If I were to love you —
I would never be the vines of the morning glory,
borrowing your tall branches to flaunt myself
If I were to love you—
I would never imitate the infatuation of the birds,
repeating monotonous tunes for the green shades
Nor would I be the springs that only
incessantly bringing cool solace,
nor the cliffs that only
elevate your height, showcase your grandeur
Nor even the sun,
nor even the spring showers.
No, those are not enough!
I must be a red cotton tree by your side,
standing with you as a tree.
Our roots intertwine in the earth;
Our leaves flirt in the clouds;
With every breeze that passes by,
we salute to each other,
but no one else
understands our language
You have your branches of bronze and trunks of iron,
like swords, likes daggers, and like spears;
I have my brilliantly crimson blossoms,
like a deep, heavy sigh,
yet like a heroic flame,
We share the chills, the storms, and the lightnings ;
We share the fogs, the mists, and the rainbows.
As if we’re always distinct,
but forever together.
This is a love that is great,
Faith and fidelity is here
not only loving your majestic figure,
but also the stance you firmly hold,
the earth under your feet.
photo cr: canufeelmyeyes@Weibo