Wang Jian Poem: The Woman Waiting for Her Husband – 王建《望夫石》









The Woman Waiting for Her Husband

Wang Jian

Waiting for him alone

Where the river goes by,

She turns into a stone

Gazing with longing eye.

Atop the hill from day to day come wind and rain;

The stone should speak to see her husband come again.

The legend goes that a woman waiting for the return of her husband turned into a stone statue by the riverside. Thus the stone becomes a symbol of lovesickness.


Wang Jian, a poet of the Tang Dynasty, wrote this poem in seven lines, celebrating the steadfast love between a husband and wife. It is a lyrical poem based on an ancient folk legend. The first four lines together paint a vivid and touching picture of the Looking Stone. The fifth stanza depicts the enduring quality of the stone, and the sixth stanza imagines the stone after the return of the husband.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *