A Newlywed

Wang Jian (766 – 831)
Now three days on, I step inside to cook,
Then wash my hands and stir the soup dispersed;
I do not know his mother’s taste for food,
So ask his sister, “would you try it first?”

新嫁娘Xīn Jià Niáng
王建Wáng Jiàn
三日入廚下Sān rì rù chú xià
洗手作羹湯Xǐ shǒu zuò gēng tāng
未諳姑食性Wèi ān gū shí xìng
先遣小姑嘗Xiān qiǎn xiǎo gū cháng

Transliteration and Notes
Newly Married Mother
Three days entered kitchen next
Wash hands make soup broth
Not acquainted mother-in-law food sense
First give small sister-in-law taste
This poem is an account of a newlywed bride’s first foray into the kitchen of her husband’s family. In traditional Chinese culture, the wife moves in with her husband’s family, who typically all live in the same house. A newlywed bride would usually be under her mother-in-law’s often demanding supervision and would feel stress about pleasing her. In this poem, she makes her first soup for the family but is too nervous to let her mother-in-law try it, so she asks her sister-in-law to try it first.

Author of original: 
Wang Jian