Cui Hu Poem: Written in a Village South of the Capital – 崔护《题都城南庄》







Written in a Village South of the Capital

Cui Hu

In this house on this day last year a pink face vied

In beauty with the pink peach blossom side by side.

I do not know today where the pink face has gone;

In vernal breeze still smile pink peach blossoms full blown.

This quatrain is written in memory of a beauty the poet met with in the preceding year.


The poem “Written in a Village South of the Capital” is a poem by Cui Gu, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. The poem sets up two scenes, “Seeking for spring and meeting a beautiful woman” and “Seeking again and not meeting her”, although the scenes are the same, but things are different. The first two lines recall the scene of “last year today”, first pointing out the time and place, then describing the beautiful woman, using the redness of “peach blossoms” to emphasize the beauty of “human face”; the last two lines write The last two lines are about “today”, which is the same and different from “today last year”, with the same peach blossoms but no human face. The whole poem takes “human face” and “peach blossoms” as the thread of the whole poem, through “last year” and “today” when the same place and the same scenery The poem uses “human face” and “peach blossoms” as a series of clues, and expresses the poet’s feelings arising from these two different encounters through the contrast of “last year” and “today” in the same place and the same scenery, but “different people”.

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