Bai Juyi (pinyin: Bái Juyì; Wade-Giles: Po Chü-i was a Chinese poet of the Tang dynasty. Many of his poems concern his career or observations made as a government official, including as governor of three different provinces. Bai Juyi was also renowned in Japan. Burton Watson says of Bai Juyi: "he worked to develop a style that was simple and easy to understand, and posterity has requited his efforts by making him one of the most well-loved and widely read of all Chinese poets, both in his native land and in the other countries of the East that participate in the appreciation of Chinese culture. He also, thanks to the translations and biographical studies by Arthur Waley, one of the ... more »
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Bai Juyi Poems
Song of Unending Sorrow.
China's Emperor, craving beauty that might shake an empire, Was on the throne for many years, searching, never finding, Till a little child of the Yang clan, hardly even grown, Bred in an inner chamber, with no one knowing her,
Song of the Guitar.
In the tenth year of Yuanhe I was banished and demoted to be assistant official in Jiujiang. In the summer of the next year I was seeing a friend leave Penpu and heard in the midnight from a neighbouring boat a guitar played in the manner of the capital. Upon inquiry, I found that the player had formerly been a dancing-girl there and in her maturity had been married to a merchant. I invited her to my boat to have her play for us. She told me her story, heyday and then unhappiness. Since my departure from the capital I had not felt sad; but that night, after I left her, I began to realize my banishment. And I wrote this long poem -- six hundred and twelve characters. I was bidding a guest farewell, at night on the Xunyang River, Where maple-leaves and full-grown rushes rustled in the autumn.
Autumn Thoughts, Sent Far Away
We share all these disappointments of failing autumn a thousand miles apart. This is where autumn wind easily plunders courtyard trees, but the sorrows of distance never scatter away.
A Song of the Palace.
Boundless grasses over the plain Come and go with every season; Wildfire never quite consumes them -- They are tall once more in the spring wind.
A Suggestion to My Friend, Liu.
A Foresaken Garden
I enter the court Through the middle gate— And my sleeve is wet with tears. The flowers still grow
At the End of Spring
The flower of the pear-tree gathers and turns to fruit; The swallows' eggs have hatched into young birds. When the Seasons' changes thus confront the mind What comfort can the Doctrine of Tao give?
A Lament for my Son, Ts'ui
You were a pearl In the palm of my hand, My tiny baby boy. Why is it that I,
To My Brothers & Sisters Adrift in Troub...
Since the disorders in Henan and the famine in Guannei, my brothers and sisters have been scattered. Looking at the moon, I express my thoughts in this poem, which I send to my eldest brother at Fuliang, my seventh brother at Yuqian, My fifteen brother at Wujiang and my younger brothers and sisters at Fuli and Xiagui. My heritage lost through disorder and famine, My brothers and sisters flung eastward and westward,
Flower No Flower
Flower no flower mist no mist arrives at midnight and leaves at dawn
After eating lunch, I feel so sleepy. Waking later, I sip two bowls of tea, then notice shadows aslant, the sun already low in the southwest again.
Startled at the cold stiffness of my pillow, I see that the window is a sheet of pure white. Deep in the night, the weight of snow increases Until I hear bamboo snapping in the darkness.
Fishing in the Wei River
In waters still as a burnished mirror's face, In the depths of Wei, carp and grayling swim. Idly I come with my bamboo fishing-rod And hang my hook by the banks of Wei stream.
Comments about Bai Juyi
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
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Edgar Allan Poe
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Song of Unending Sorrow.
China's Emperor, craving beauty that might shake an empire,
Was on the throne for many years, searching, never finding,
Till a little child of the Yang clan, hardly even grown,
Bred in an inner chamber, with no one knowing her,
But with graces granted by heaven and not to be concealed,
At last one day was chosen for the imperial household.
If she but turned her head and smiled, there were cast a hundred spells,
And the powder and paint of the Six Palaces faded into nothing.
...It was early spring. They bathed her in the FlowerPure Pool,
Which warmed and ...