Free Chinese Lesson - Chinese Proverb: One Person's Poison is Another's Honey




"One person's poison, another person's honey" is derived from the story of Emperor Tang Xuan Zong (Li Long Ji) and concubine Yang Yu Huan.

Yang Yu Huan is ranked as the four most beautiful women (in Chinese history), said to be comparable to the beauty of flowers. In addition, she was also proficient in music, playing the lute, chimes and other musical instruments. Tang Dynasty Emperor Xuan Zong took pride in his creation of the "Song of Rainbow Skirt and Feathered Dress", which requires a large lineup, multiple musicians and ten female singers. The "Song of Rainbow Skirt and Feathered Dress" not only needs many types of musical instruments, the dance tempo starts slow and then becomes fast, and is very demanding on the dancer. However, Yang Yu Huan could immediately understand the mood of the song, she was able perform this magnificent song and dance perfectly with enthusiasm. This not only made her proud, but also made Xuan Zong enchanted with her, he accompanied her performance, and she was considered his soulmate.

Concubine Yang was naive and indulgent, with no political ambitions, she was beautiful, young and had a certain talent, she danced and sang with Xuan Zong and was considerate toward him. Thus his honey, another's poison. She could understand Xuan Zong, but did not understand her countrymen's needs. Her family grew powerful, and acted insolently, her "adopted son" bullied others, and caused a coup, her lover Xuan Zong was seduced by her beauty, and ignored his government duties. Finally, their world was in chaos, the people reviled her, the courtiers rebelled, and the imperial army launched an attack.