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“Ershisi fan huaxinfeng” 二十四番花信風 by Dong Gao 董誥 pt. 7

Picture credit: National Palace Museum, Taipei






As mid-spring draws close, [these] blossoms start to unroll,

In a profuse scarlet mist that outshines embroidered clouds.

“Brilliant are the flowers”[2], radiating immense glamour -

An expanse of the immortals’ realm where [one] rows the fishing boat.[3]

First pentad after Awakening of Insects: peach blossoms






Kerria in bloom flutters in spring wind,

Pistils rubbed with golden yellow, gently bedewed.

Lush green leaves envelope [their] quiet fragrance,

With the same bearing as wordless peach and plum [trees].[4]

Second pentad after Awakening of Insects: Kerria japonica

[1] Coloured characters rhyme. [2] The expression zhuo zhuo qi hua 灼灼其華 (brilliant are the flowers) is a line from the poem “Tao yao” 桃夭 in the Shijing 詩經: [3] Legend has it that the sea is somewhere connected to the Milky Way and that one may travel between the human world on earth and the immortals’ realm in heaven on a boat. [4] The last line draws on the proverb: “Tao li wu yan, xia zi cheng xi” 桃李無言,下自成蹊 (Peach and plum [trees] say nothing, yet walking paths take shape naturally thereunder), which suggests that a person of virtue earns appreciation without the need of words.


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