Bai Juyi Poems: A Flower in the Haze – 白居易《花非花》

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A Flower in the Haze

In bloom, she’s not a flower;

Hazy, she’s not a haze.

She comes at midnight hour;

She goes with starry rays.

She comes like vernal dreams that cannot stay;

She goes like morning clouds that melt away.



“A Flower in the Haze” is an ancient poem in miscellaneous languages (it can also be regarded as a lyric) written by Bai Juyi, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. The poem expresses the feeling that life is like a dream and a bubble, like fog and lightning, and expresses a feeling of remembrance and regret for the beautiful people and things that have existed in life but have faded away. The poem is composed of a series of metaphors, the descriptions are obscure but real, and there is a rhythmic and intricate beauty in the haze, which is a masterpiece among love poems. At the same time, the whole poem is a double entendre, with the imagery of fog, spring dreams and morning clouds being hazy and indistinct, and the articulation between the imagery is intentionally omitted, showing a large leap, and the words are airy and refined, making people chew on them. The poem was composed as a tune by later generations and has been widely circulated.

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