Butterfly in Love with Flower
In my back courtyard I transplanted a willow tree,
Like dancer’s waist, carefree.
In second moon green sprigs are short in view,
They’re not so long as those at the Bridge of Adieu,
Strewn east and west with broken twigs and catkins anew.
A few browlike leaves not outspread in cold are not long.
Don’t sing the farewell song!
Or it will break your heart.
Of sorrow leave to spring a greater part!
Each willow twig reveals the grief of those who part.
The poet describes the willow tree and compares it to a beauty with a willowlike waist.
“Butterfly in Love with Flower” is a lyric composed by Zhang Xian, a lyricist of the Northern Song Dynasty. This lyric records the experience of a song-and-dance girl who was treated well when she left the dusty world, and expresses her feelings of farewell when her master was away. The whole lyric combines the chanting of the willow with the writing of a human being, and by describing the suffering of Yiren in the dust, who is still dissatisfied with the change after moving into a home, it creates a moving image of a person who is all in one, showing a special affair of twists and turns and sorrow. The expression is very subtle, and the use of simile is very subtle, meaningful and long-lasting.