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.
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 Song of the Palace.
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 Suggestion to My Friend, Liu.
After Collecting the Autumn Taxes
From my high castle I look at the town below Where the natives of Pa cluster like a swarm of flies. How can I govern these people and lead them aright? I cannot even understand what they say.
Flower No Flower
Flower no flower mist no mist arrives at midnight and leaves at dawn
A Foresaken Garden
I enter the court Through the middle gate— And my sleeve is wet with tears. The flowers still grow
Feelings on Watching the Moon
Time hard year famine life land empty Brothers live abroad each east west Fields gardens few fall shield spear after Bone flesh flow apart road road on
Eating Bamboo Shoots
My new province is a land of bamboo-groves: Their shoots in spring fill the valleys and hills. The mountain woodman cuts an armful of them And brings them down to sell at the early market.
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.
Night on the West River
No moon To light my way upon the stair, Cold comfort In the wine I drink alone.
Enjoying Pine and Bamboo
I treasure what front eaves face and all that north windows frame. Bamboo winds lavish out windows, pine colors exquisite beyond eaves,
Comments about Bai Juyi
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
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 ...