Liu Yin Poem: On Seeing the Mume Flower – 刘因《观梅有感》










On Seeing the Mume Flower[1]

Liu Yin

The east wind blows up war dust and sand more and more;

I dream of mume-bloom-lover in his lakeside bower.

Spring beauty wanes, I fear, on southern river shore;

My heart longs for the poet more than for the flower.


[1]Written after the downfall of the Southern Song Dynasty capital where lived Lin Bu (967—1028), the mume-loving poet of the Northern Song Dynasty.


The poem “On Seeing the Mume Flower ” is a seven-line poem written by Liu Yin, a poet of the Yuan Dynasty. The first line of this poem uses the metaphor of “the east wind blowing down the war dust and sand” to describe the fall of the Song Dynasty. In the third line, the word “fear” expresses the author’s inner concern, while the phrase “Jiangnan’s spring mood is diminishing” implies that Jiangnan is being devastated; in the fourth line, it is clear that the poem’s deeper meaning has nothing to do with plums. The whole poem is based on the feeling of watching plum blossoms, which triggers the association, but the main idea of the whole poem has nothing to do with the plum blossoms in full bloom.

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