About the Crab-Flower Club

In Dream of the Red Chamber, Jia Bao-Yu forms a poetry club with his female cousins. Because it is inappropriate for women to discuss poetry in public, and also because Bao-Yu is indifferent to his more formal studies, the club is a safe haven for them all. They meet irregularly, write poems about whatever pleases them at a given moment, and except for the brilliance of Lin Dai-Yu, always exceed their grasp with their reach. They call it the Crab-Flower Club, after a plant that gives blossoms in the spring and fruit in the fall. Sometimes, the latter even last through the winter.

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