A Gold Orchid is a rare collection of classical Chinese erotic and love poetry translated for the first time.
Chinese erotic poetry was at one time thought to be nonexistent, simply because it was considered unfit to translate from the imperial anthologies, This translation of poems of Tzu Yeh, a 4th-century wine shop girl, exposes a world the emperors may not have cared to record for posterity. But it is precisely this world that has fascination for the Western reader, who will discover in it, perhaps a shock of recognition, the same currents of feeling that rippled beneath alluring surfaces wherever girls like Tzu Yeh have offered entertainment and flattery, beauty, wit, and sometimes love-to paying customers.
Following Tzu Yeh through the pleasure-chasing seasons into her years of bitter memories, the reader places together, but he left her "with a bitter heart still beating to each day’s sun." She weaves. She remembers. "In thin silk dress, red sleeves a flutter" she searches for "a bold someone with a heart of mine"--her gold-orchid friend.
These beautiful and original poems are made available to Western readers in a translation that fuses the imagery of age-old China with a supple, lively modern idiom.