Note: I re-sung the poem in English and in Chinese and re-recorded the music, the poem and the singings in a professional music company, also I re-recorded the new words in Sep, 2012, for protecting the copyright, before it is published formally, it will not be online. But You can listen to the two samples via the poem Chun Xia and another poem Hui Chong Chun Jiang Wang Jing
Listen to Me Singing the Poem in English & Chinese Jan 16, 2012
Listen to Me Singing the Poem in Chinese & English Jan 16, 2012
Listen to Me Explaining the Poem
Follow Me to Read the New Words & the Poem
Together with Me to Learn the Meaning of the Poem
See Shirley Created Paintings for the Poem Sep 29, 2012
See Shirley Created Paintings for the Poem Jan 12, 2012
See Shirley Created Paintings for the Poem June 12, 2011
See Shirley Created Paintings for the Poem Aug 28, 2010
Chinese people love flowers and in our culture we have endued flowers with many different human qualities.
-- When we praise someone who is strong, brave and able to hold on to his or her dreams in the hard environment, we compare him or her to the plum blossom.
-- When we admire someone who keeps his or her unsullied and honest personality in a bad situation, we compare him or her to the water lily.
-- When we wish to express admiration for someone who is aloof from politics and material life, and keeps his or her clean quality, we compare him or her to the orchid.
Now I would like to introduce another flower, one that relates to the love between man and woman, the peach blossom.
Background of the Poem
In Chinese culture, if you heard it said that someone has the "Luck of the peach blossom ", it would mean that he or she is loved by someone.
“Luck of the peach blossom” is from a Chinese folk story that relates to a little poem by Tang Dynasty(618 -907) poet Cui Hu.
According the literary sketches Ben Shi Shi, Qinggan by Meng Qi in the Tang Dynasty, a poet named Cui Hu took a walk in a suburb south of the capital on Tomb-sweeping Day. At a yard gate where peach blossoms were in full bloom, he stopped and asked for a cup of water and a beautiful girl warmly granted his request. They both found each other attractive. On the same day in the following year he went to the same house but the girl was not there, there were only the peach blossoms blowing in the spring breeze, Cui was disappointed and wrote a poem on the left part of the gate.
A few days later he took a casual walk through the same suburb and heard crying from the yard, so he knocked on the gate. An old man came out and asked: “Are you Cui Hu?“ Cui said “Yes”. The old man cried again and said : “You have killed my daughter.“ Cui was surprised and did not know what to say. The old man said, “My daughter has grown up, she is educated and intelligent, she has not gotten married yet. Since last year, she has often been in a trance and felt disturbed as if having lost something. Recently, I went out with her and when we came back, found some words on the gate. After reading them she was sick, abstained from food and passed away. I am old and she was my only child. She wanted to find a perfect gentleman to marry and to look after me. Now she is dead, did you not kill her?” Then he cried again. Cui was touched and asked if he could also enter the room and cry for her. Then he found her, lying dignified on the bed. Cui rested her head on his leg and said “I am here”. Instantly, the girl opened her eyes and came alive again. The old man was very happy and he married his daughter to Cui.
By the good help of his wife, Cui became a successful candidate in the highest imperial examinations and then a good officer.
Since then, people started to compare the situation where a man gets the sincere love of a lady to “Luck of the Peach Blossom". And the story of "Ren Mian Tao Hua -- a girl's face and peach blossoms" has become a typical Chinese Love Story, and has been adapted to many different art works.
Enjoy the Poem
The first two lines:去年今日此门中, 人面桃花相映红Qunián jīnrì cǐ mén zhōng, rénmiàn táohuā xiāng yìn hóng - This day last year at the same gate, a girl’s face and flowers reflected red.
These two lines are retrospection. The first line writes about the time and place, it is very lifelike and detailed and shows us this place is deeply remembered in the heart of the poet. The second line writes about the girl, who was among the peach blossoms the previous year. The peach blossoms were already bright-colored and beautiful in the spring breeze, but the girl’s face reflected the peach blossoms with a redder hue. Both of the beautiful things reflected each other, showing us a more wonderful vision and atmosphere.
The last two lines: 人面不知何处去, 桃花依旧笑春风 Rén miàn bù zhī héchù qù，, táohuā yījiù xiào chūn fēng。No one knows where the girl is now; the peach blossoms are still smiling in the spring breeze.
At the same place and the same day this year, something is the same and something is different. The peach blossoms are still there but the girl is not there this time. There is only the beautiful memory and a touch of sadness in the heart of the poet.
This little poem is written in a natural style and uses the girls face and the peach blossoms to link the time he wrote the poem with the same time in the previous year, to compare the similarity and difference. It indirectly expresses the sigh of emotion from the bottom of the poet’s heart in a lucid and mellow way and there is much aftertaste.
Comparison, reflection and personification are important methods to help the poet to express his feelings in the poem.
To help you enjoy this poem, I wrote a piece of music for it in 2006, and painted two paintings to match the music and the poem in 2011 and 2012. I really hope that my effort will be of some help to you to learn Chinese culture and language...
Main Meaning of the Poem
This day last year at the same gate,
A girl’s face and the flowers reflected red.
No one knows where the girl is now,
The peach blossoms are still smiling in the spring breeze.
Chinese Characters & Pronunciations:
You can click on any Chinese Character to open the New Character Board and to see its Chinese pinyin, meaning, pronunciation and follow me to read it, you can also click the links over to enter the Painting Column,or you can directly enter the art notes on the painting that I created for this poem to see my painting and art notes for the poem
题都城南庄 - Tí Dūchēng Nán Zhuāng
唐 – Táng (618 - 907)
崔护 - Cuī Hù (Time of birth and death is unknown )
去年今日此门中 - Qunián jīnrì cǐ mén zhōng,
人面桃花相映红 - rénmiàn táohuā xiāng yìn hóng。
人面不知何处去 - Rén miàn bù zhī héchù qù，
桃花依旧笑春风 - táohuā yījiù xiào chūn fēng。
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Shirley Wrote, Painted, Translated, Sang & Recorded the Content over Sep 29, 2012 / Jan 16, 2012/ Aug 29, 2010/ July 30, 2006