ThePlum-blossom is the first of the “hundred flowers” to open. It symbolizes the beginnings of things, and is also one of the “three friends” who do not fear Winter’s cold, the other two being the pine and the bamboo.
cited: Fir-Flower Tablets Poems Translated from the Chinese Trans: Florence Ayscough & Amy Lowell Project Gutenberg
A Winter night, a cold Winter night. To me, the night is unending.
I chant heavily to myself a long time. I sit, sit in the North Hall.
The water in the well is solid with ice. The moon enters the Women’s Apartments.
The flame of the gold lamp is very small, the oil is frozen. It shines on the misery of my weeping. ~Li t’ai-Poa Woman Sings to the Air: “Sitting at Night Fir-Flower”
excerpt: Trans: Florence Ayscough & Amy Lowell Fir-Flower Tablets Poems Translated from the ChineseProject Gutenberg
First snow! I see it young every winter, Yet my face grows old As Winter comes. ~ The Diary of Izumi Shikibu