My Husband’s Eyes
Quan Deyu (759 – 818)
Last night I left my skirt and belt undone,
This morning now a lucky spider flies;
I start to gather scents and makeup quick
For soon I think I’ll see my husband’s eyes.
|玉臺體||Yù Tái Tǐ|
|昨夜裙帶解||Zuó yè qún dài jiě|
|今朝蟢子飛||Jīn zhāo xǐ zǐ fēi|
|鉛華不可棄||Qiān huá bú kě qì|
|莫是藁砧歸||Mò shì gǎo zhēn guī|
Transliteration and Notes
Jade Tower Style
Last night skirt belt undone
This morning spider offspring flies
Plumbum flower not able discard
Cannot be wood stone return
“Jade Tower Style” = the name of this style of poetry. “Plumbum flower” = cosmetic powder. “Spider offspring” = small spiders with long legs, considered a lucky omen. “Wood stone” = husband.
This poem is written from the perspective of a woman whose husband is away. She longs for him and loosens the girdle around her dress at night. In the morning she sees a lucky spider and takes it as an omen that her husband will return soon, so she quickly gathers her makeup to get ready and look beautiful for him.