Bamboo Branch Song (竹枝词) was composed by Liu Yuxi (対禹锡) to express the mixed feelings of a maiden in love. She falls in love with a man and wonders anxiously about his feelings about her. Therefore, hope and worry are mingled, bringing her a complicated state of mind. The poem, narrated from the maiden’s perspective, used the homophonic puns artfully: i) “晴(qíng)” (literally means being sunny) and ii) “情 (qíng) ” (literally means love) as a pair of homophonic words to o vividly depicts the delicate and complicated feelings of the maiden’s nervousness and hope for her Mr. Right.
竹枝词 Bamboo Branch Song
yáng liǔ qīng qīng jiāng shuǐ píng，
Green, green are the poplars and willows, and placid is the river water,
wén láng jiāng shàng chàng gē shēng。
I hear my gallant on the river singing a song.
dōng bian rì chū xī biān yǔ,
In the east, the sun rises, and in the west, there is rain.
dào shì wú qíng què yǒu qíng.
Can it be said it is sunny or not?