Where’s that Girl?

Taohua yijiu xiao chunfeng. Love and be loved.

A peach blossom face, a sudden look. The moment is magical. But when a poor poet doesn’t seize the opportunity, the moment is forever gone. A year later only the peach blossoms remain, fluttering in the wind.

Topic: a Village South of the Capital

At this very moment, last year, at this gate,
A peach blossom face I saw, suddenly we turned bright red.
Where did she go …, for
peach blossoms still flutter in a spring breeze?

Cui Hu (Tang dynasty, 772-846)


去年今日此门中, 人面桃花相映红。
人面不知何处去, 桃花依旧笑春风。


For fun in French

une cafe au sud de la capitale
en ce moment, l’année dernière, à cette porte,
J’ai vu un visage de fleur de pêcher, tout à coup nous sommes devenus rouge.
Où est-elle allée…,
alors le fleurs de pêcher encore flottent sous le vent de printemps?

Cui Hu, poète chinois

Notes on Translation

Title. (title) dūchéng (Tang capital Chang’an) nánzhuāng (south village)
1. Qùnián (last year) jīnrì (today, at this hour) cǐ mén zhōng (at this door, gate),
2. rén miàn (human face) táohuā (peach blossom, figuratively, lucky in love) xiāng (mutually, corresponding to, each one) yìnghóng (suddenly becoming bright red).
3. Rén miàn (human face) bùzhī (literally, to not be, ) (where) chù qù (verb, go),
4. táohuā (peach blossoms) yījiù (still) xiào (smile, changed to flutter) chūnfēng (spring breeze).
Taohua yijiu xiao chunfeng, an idiom for “to love and be loved.”

In Western Literature

Who can explain it, who can tell you why? Spring is in the air. When a boy and a girl exchange a look in a crowded room, at a cafe, suddenly you know something is in the air. In Western literature, one can look to West Side Story, where Maria spies Tony, and he spies her. The song is Maria. Or Some Enchanted Evening from the musical South Pacific where a nurse named Nellie falls in love with the suave but older Emile de Becque.


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