Chinese Puzzle Box

Explorations in and about China

Yearning – Wang Wei

Yearning -Wang Wei (Tang dynasty poet)

In the south the love-peas grow.
Spring comes, with new green branches.
Gather them all, dear friend, please do
And through them know I yearn for you.


相思 【xiāng sī】 yearning between lovers; lovesickness.

唐代:王维 Tang poet Wang Wei

hong dou sheng nan guo
red peas grow south country
红豆 【hóng dòu】 ormosia; love pea; red bean (Abrus precatorius, Indian licorice or paternoster pea, a shrub famous for its red seeds which were used as love tokens, hence the variant name ‘lovesickness seeds’).

chun lai fa ji zhi.
spring come send out several twigs

yuan jun dou cai xie,
wish friend/colleague all gather,

ci wu zui xiang si.
this outside world most yearning between lovers.


The “Love peas” referred to are, ironically, deeply toxic.  The shrub itself is highly invasive in tropical climates, and has been seen in Hawaii and Florida where it may have originated from jewelry made from the berries and brought back by tourists.  Love is dangerous!


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