Red Beans 1

Wang, Wei (700 A.D.-761 A.D.)

Red beans grow in the southern kingdom.
I wonder how many branches they sprout in Spring.
I hope you will gather as many beans as possible
Because they make you long for a friend the most.

1 Guangdong's New Vocabularies say, "It is said that a woman, who was searching for her husband, stopped at a tree and cried. When her tears fell on the tree, they turned into red beans." Thus, a red bean is also known as the seed of longing. Essential Medical Herbs, written by Shi-zhen Li, say, "The seeds of longing grow south of Wu-ling (five mountains). A red bean tree is more than ten feet tall. Its trunk is white. Its leaves look like those of a pagoda tree. Its flowers look like those of a honey locust. Its pods look like those of snow peas. Its seeds are as small as a pea. One half of the seed is red, and the other half is black. Local people embed them in their jewelry."