The slender beauty’s dressed in emerald all about;
A thousand branches droop like fringes made of jade.
But do you know by whom these slim leaves are cut out?
The wind of early spring is sharp as scissor blade.
This is a fine picture of the willow in which the imaginative poet compares the tree to a beautiful woman dressed in emerald and its branches to the fringes of her skirt, and its slim leaves cut by the sharp wind as by the scissor blade.
“The Willow” is a seven-line poem written by He Zhizhang, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. It is a poem about a living thing. The poem depicts the new willow in February, with its soft and delicate leaves blowing under the spring breeze, fully expressing the vigorous vitality of early spring and the poet’s joy at the arrival of spring. The poet’s original analogy of the “February spring breeze” as “scissors” and the anthropomorphic action of “cutting out” turns the invisible spring breeze into a concrete and vivid image. This is not only a novel idea, but also full of rhyme.