One Hundred and One Classical Chinese Poems

A Workbook for Practice in Translating, Analysis or Memorization.

By Terence B. Foley, Ph.D. Director, The Asia Center University of Kentucky

One Hundred and One Classical Chinese Poems provides materials for
practice in the translation of classical poetry. It is intended to augment the Chinese language textbook in a Chinese language course, not to be the principal textbook itself. This workbook implies no level of difficulty and could be used from elementary school through university so long as students can read and write Chinese characters. Those studying Classical Chinese poetry are cordially invited to download, print and reproduce, for academic purposes, all or portions of this on-line version of One Hundred and One Classical Chinese Poems. It has been converted to an Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) file so that Chinese characters can be displayed without the use of specialized foreignlanguage software,

I welcome your comments and suggestions. Terence B. Foley, Ph.D., Director The Asia Center University of Kentucky tfoley 1513@aol.com

Contents
1. Cao Cao (155-220) 2. Cao Cao (155-220) 3. Cao Zhi (192-232) 4. Anon Chi Le Ge Deng You Zhou Tai Ge Gui Sui Shou Hao

u Xing

Qi Bu Shi

5. Chen Zi'ang (656-698)

6. He Zhizhang (659-744) Yong Liu 7. Wang Zhihuan (688-742) 8. Wang Zhihuan (688-742) 9. Meng Haoran (689-740) 10. Meng Haoran (689-740) 11. Meng Haoran (689-740) 12. Gao Shi (700-765) Deng Guan Que Lou Liang Zhou Ci Guo Gu Ren Zhuang Su Jian De Jiang Chun Xiao

Bie Dong Da Za Shi Lu Zhai Song Yuan Er Shi An Xi Shan Ju Qiu Ming Jiu Yue Ri Yi Shan Dong Xiong Di Zhu

13. Wang Wei (701-761) 14. Wang Wei (701-761) 15. Wang Wei (701-761) 16. Wang Wei (701-761) 17. Wang Wei (701-761) 18. Wang Wei (701-761) 19. Wang Wei (701-761) 20. Li Bai (701-762) 21. Li Bai (701-762) 22. Li Bai (701-762)

u guan

Song Rie

Zao Fa Rai De Cheng Wang Lu Shan Pu Bu Zheng Wang Lun

23. Li Bai (701-762) 24. Li Bai (701-762) 25. Li Bai (701-762) 26. Li Bai (701-762) 27. Zhang Xu

Song You Ren Song Meng Hao Ran Zhi Guang Ling Wang Tian Men Shan Jing Ye Si Tao HuaXi

(8th Century)

28. Wang Han (c. 710) Jing Zhou Ci 29. Du Fu (712-770) 30. Du Fu (712-770) 31. Du Fu (712-770) 32. Du Fu (712-770) 33. Du Fu (712-770) 34. Du Fu (712-770) 35. Liu Changqing Jiang Ban Du Bu Xun Hua Chun Wang Deng Gao Qian Chu Sai Zi Jing Fu Feng XianXian Jue Ju (c.713) Feng Xue Su Fu Rong Shan Zhu Ren

36.Wei Yingwu (737-?) 37. Zhang Zhihe (c.756) 38. Lu Lun (748-800)

Chu ZhouXi Jian Yu Ge Zi

Sai Xia Qu Sai Xia Qu You Zi Yin Guan Lie Chu Sai Fu Rong Lou Song Xin Jian

39. Meng Jiao (751-814)

40. Wang Changlin (?-756) 41.Wang Changling (?-756) 42. Wang Changling (?-756) 43. Wang Changling (?-756) 44. Wang Ya (764-835) 45. Han Yu (768-824)

You Chun Qu Diao Zhang Jt

46. Zhang Ji (768-830) 47. Wang Jian 768-833 48. Liu Yuxi (772-842) 49. Liu Yuxi (772-842) 50. Bai Juyi (772-846) 51. Bai Juyi (772-846) 52. Bai Juyi (772-846) 53. Li Shen (772-846)

Feng Qiao Ye Bo Yu Guo Shan Cun Wang Dong Ting Wu Yi Xiang Mu Jiang Yin Yi Jiang Nan Cao Min Nong Chu He Jiang Xue

54. Liu Zongyuan (773-819) 55. Liu Zongyuan (773-819) 56. Jia Dao (779-843) 57. Li He (791-817) 58. Cui Hu (c. 796) 59. Du Mu (803-852) 60. Du Mu (803-852) 61. Du Mu (803-852) 62. Du Mu (803-852) 63. Du Mu (803-852) 64. Du Mu (803-852)

Xun Yin Zhe Bu Yu Yan Men Tai ShouXing Ti Du Men Nan Zhuang Shan Xing Chi Bi Bo Qin Huai Qiu Xi Guo Hua Qing Gong Qing Ming Ye Yu Ji Bei Chu Feng Qing Yu Lao Feng Sheng Le You Yuan Shang Tian Jia

65. Li Shangyin (812?-858) 66. Li Shangyin (812?-858) 67. Li Shangyin (812?-858) 68. Nie Yizhong (837-884?)

69. Cui Daorong (?-907) 70. Anon. Liu Shui

Jiang Ou

71. Fan Zongyan (989-1052) 72. Wang Anshi (1021-1086) 73. Wang Anshi (1021-1086) 74. Cheng Hao (1032-1085) 75. Su Shi (1036-1101) 76. Su Shi (1036-1101) 77. Su Shi (1036-1101)

Jiang Shang Yu Zhe Bo Chuan Gua Zhou Mei Hua Chun Ri Ou Cheng

Ti Xi Lin Bi Yin Hu Shang Chu Qing Hou Yu Hui Chong' Chun Jiang Xiao Jing' Jue Ju

78. Li Qingzhao (1081-1143) 79. Li Gang (1085-1140)

Bing Niu Xiao Chu Jing Ci Si Song Linj Zi Fang Xiao Chi

80. Yang Wanli (1124-1206) 81. Yang Wanli (1124-1206) 82. Lu You (1125-1209) 83. Lu You (1125-1209) 84. Lu You (1125-1209)

Shi Er Qiu Ye Jiang Xiao Chu Li Men Ying Liang You Gan You ShanXi Cun Si Shi Tian Yuan ZaXing

85. Fan Chengda (1126-1193) 86. Zhu Xi (1l30-1200) 87. Xu Yuanjie (c.1228)

Guan Shu You Gan Hu Shang

88. Yu Siliang (Song Dynasty) Heng Xi Tang Chun Xiao 89. Xiao Dezao (Song Dynasty) Qiao Fu You Yuan Bu Zhi Jiang Cun Wan Tiao

90. Ye Shaoweng (Song Dynasty)

91. Dai Fugu (Southern Song Dynasty)

92. Lin Sheng (Southern Song Dynasty) 93. Anon. Yue Zi Wan Zhao Jiu Zhou

Ti Lin An Di

94. Ma Zhiyuan (1260? -1333) 95. Gao Qi (1336-1374) 96. Yu Qian (1398-1457) 97. Li Xianfang (c.1522)

Tian Jing Sha

Tian She Ye Chong Yang Shi Hui You Shang Qiu Ru Yang Cheng Tu Zhong Zuo Jun Zhong Ye Gan Zhen Xi Chu Xia Za Shi

98. Zhang Jiayu (Ming Dynasty)

99. Shao Hengzhen (Ming Dynasty) 100. Gong Zizhen (Ching Dynasty) 101. Anon. Ming Ri

INTRODUCTION This volume is a workbook, an ancillary to assist instructor and students in the study of classical Chinese poetry. One hundred and one poems are presented, timehonored favorites that illustrate the major genres of Chinese poetry, accompanied by an introduction, a transcription of the poem in Chinese characters, a vocabulary list and a biographical sketch of the poet. The objective is to introduce students to a range of popular classical Chinese poetry while allowing the teacher to assign poems for study or memorization. Some allusions and grammatical points are accompanied by brief explanations however the book is intended to be an aid to the instructor and student not a work of scholarly research. The student will want to master prose before beginning the study of poetry. Classical Chinese prose and poetry have the same grammar which works through word order and the use of function words. Much poetic diction involves inversions or ellipses from prose structures. Chinese poetry does not use the function words so it must rely principally on word order. The teacher will need to give the student directions on how to read the poems and help with the interpretation of meaning, literally, figuratively and contextually. It is essential for the student to be aware of the context. In fact, there are often several contexts nested within each other. Almost every Chinese poem has many levels and types ofliterary allusion. The meaning is not simply on the surface of the line. The teacher should offer guidance on how to parse lines, identify parts of speech, recognize grammatical patterns and perform grammatical analyses of lines and expressions. It is in this area that the student will need the instructor's help, the areas of grammatical patterns and grammar/content contexts. The student is encouraged to consult these additional resources: Birch, Cyril, ed. Studies in Chinese Literary Genres, University of California, Berkeley, 1974, contains James R. Hightower's classic article on allusion in T'ao Ch'ien's poetry. Shadick, Harold and Ch'iao Chien, A First Course in Literary Chinese. Vols. I, II, III, Cornell University Press, Ithaca: New York, 1968. This uniquely valuable textbook contains two lessons on poetry which form an excellent introduction in the context of learning both prose and poetry. See texts 16 and 27 on pages 32 and 58 in Vol. I, with commentaries in Vol. II on pages 565 and 630. See the introductions to classical Chinese poetry in the Columbia anthologies by Burton Watson, Columbia Book of Chinese Poetry, Columbia University Press, New York, and Jonathan Chaves, Editor & Translator, The Columbia Book of Later Chinese Poetry: Yuan, Ming, and Ch'ing Dynasties (1279-1911), Columbia University Press, New York 1986.

The Development of Chinese Poetic Forms Chinese poetry uses many of the devices we are accustomed to in Western poetry. Alliteration shuang sheng is common. Onomatopoeia ni sheng is also common especially in early poetry. But our overriding concern with Chinese poetry is meter which is shaped by the structure of the Chinese language. Classical Chinese is largely monosyllabic. The fact that each character has only one syllable dictates that the meter is determined by the number of characters in a line. The meter of the earliest Chinese poetry shi (shih)* is four characters to a line. This is the dominant form of the songs and ballads which appear in China's earliest poetry collections the Book of Songs Shi Jing (Shih Ching). Many of the songs have four lines with three verses. Ballads vary in length, running to four or six lines. But overall, the Chinese folksong meter was the four-character line. Rhyme appears at the end of the line but may appear elsewhere. Words may rhyme initially, internally or on all four lines. In a quatrain the second and fourth lines rhyme. Early Chinese poetry is basically syllabic and remained so from the Han to the Tang dynasties. A major event in prosody occurred during the Han when the four-character line began to evolve into the five-character (pentasyllabic) line. There was ample precedent for this. Five-character lines had cropped up in earlier poetry and the writing of prose in the five-character meter was a well-established literary form. But it was only toward the end of the Third Century that the five-character line established itself as a standard meter. Thereafter its features became set. Lines are usually end-stopped and are self-contained units or perhaps, more correctly, couplets are end-stopped. Rhyme occurs at the end of the line on alternate lines. Lines are read with a caesura usually between the second and third characters, giving a 2:3 rhythm. In time, parallelism came to be emphasized. Fivecharacter poetry became the norm until seven-character (heptasyllabic) poetry emerged during the Tang dynasty to rival it in popularity. Developments Between the Han and Tang Dynasties Among the important literary developments that occurred between the Han and the Tang, two in particular set the stage for the golden age of Chinese poetry: parallelism and matching tones. Parallelism pian li, long a feature of both old style poetry and prose, became systematized during this period. Although parallelism appears in the literature of many languages, the largely monosyllabic nature of Classical Chinese lends itself especially well to paired, contrasting binomes. Characters align precisely in opposition to characters in adjacent lines. Parallelism appears extensively in China's earliest literature, the preQin (Ch'in) dynasty philosophical treatises. Later, parallelism achieved great popularity during the Six Dynasties period. The fu or prose-poem, a hybrid mix of prose and poetry popular from the Han, employed parallelism extensively., Parallelism continued to be popular until a reaction against it set in during the Mid-Tang. Thereafter it disappeared only to re-emerge during the Qing (Ch'ing) dynasty.

Matching the tones of Chinese characters was the second important development that took place between the Han and the Tang dynasties. The Chinese began to have an awareness of the tonality of their language gained through translating Buddhist texts. Tones however, were naturally modulated. Through the fourth century there developed a preference for the arrangement of tones in poetry. The gifted poet-historian Shen Yue (A.D. 441-513) is credited with the "discovery" of the theory of matching tones. By his time, a tangle of prohibitions and regulations had evolved governing the arrangement of tones in verse. But whatever awareness of tonal euphony had predated him, his Table of Four Tones codified rules, definitively set forth tonal distinctions and prescribed rules for tonal sequence. From the Seventh Century, the "new style" poetry based on tones began to co-exist with the "old style" poetry which had not concerned itself with the arrangement of tones. Classical Chinese had four tones: level tone ping, rising tone shang, falling tone entering tone ru. These four tones are combined into two categories for the purpose of poesy, level and deflected. The high-level or high-rising tone constitutes its own group. The remaining tones which either rise, fall, or end abruptly in a glottal stop are collectively termed deflected.

qu, and

The Tang Dynasty The Tang dynasty is the high point of Chinese poetry and one of the great moments of world literature. It is also a period of immense literary output. The imperial Tang poetry collection contains nearly 50,000 poems by 2,500 hundred poets. Among its greatest poets, Bai Juyi has 2,800 poems extant, Du Fu 2,200 and Li Bai over 1,000. Those three are world famous but are only three among many in an age populated by poetic geniuses. The development of parallelism and tone-matching had paved the way for the grandeur of Tang poetry. In addition, several more features appeared which brought Tang poetry to a high level of sophistication and made its composition demand even greater technical virtuosity: the seven-character line, regulated verse lu shi (la shih) and the quatrainjue jt; (chueh chu). The Seven-character Line. The seven-character line appears as early as the Han dynasty but only came into the mainstream during the Tang after the five-character line had reigned for 400 years. It came to assume equal stature with the five-character line and was written by all major Tang dynasty poets. The seven-character line generally follows the shape of the fivecharacter line; rhyme occurs on alternate lines. The caesura is usually placed after the third character so that the line is read 3:4. Lii Shi (Lii Shih) or Regulated Verse

Both five-character and seven-character lines are employed in the two major verse forms of the Tang =Lu shi regulated verse andjue ju (chueb chu) the quatrain. Lu shi has a length of eight lines and might be termed a Chinese sonnet. Eight-line poems were common but had no tonal arrangement. The lu shi combined the two features. Strict rules of tonal sequence must be followed. In a five-character line the second and fourth characters must be of a different tone. The last three characters in a line cannot have identical tones. The eight lines are composed of four couplets and within each couplet the second character of the first line and the second character of the second line must differ. These in turn are to be the same tone as the corresponding characters in adjacent couplets. Rhyme occurs on the second, fourth, sixth and eighth lines. The Iii shi took the two basic tonal patterns for the couplet and alternated them through the four couplets of the poem as a fixed requirement. In some seven-character poems the first line also rhymes. The rhyme is maintained throughout the poem and all rhyming words are voiced in the level tone. Parallelism in regulated verse applies to the two middle couplets. It was common in the third and fourth lines and necessary in lines five and six. The last two lines, numbers seven and eight, were deliberately not paralleled. Lu shi can generally be divided into three parts. The first couplet establishes the theme and sets up our expectations; the middle couplets inform the reader of specifics; the final couplet expresses the poet's feeling. The impact of the poem depends on the final couplet, where the poet displays wit, remorse, parody or other sentiments and is intended to elicit a response from the reader. Jue Jii (Chiieh Chii) or Quatrain The jue ju or quatrain (also translated as "broken-off lines" or "snapped-off lines") can be either a five-character or seven-character poem but is only four lines long. It is the middle four lines of an eight-line lU shi and follows some of the same rules as a lu shi. The tones of each couplet are alternated, level and deflected. The rhyme can be AA-B-A or A-B-C-B. Because of its brevity thejue ju does not have a series of rhymed couplets. Parallelism is not compulsory. It is optional in lines one and two but not used in lines three and four. As the jue ju evolved during the Tang the first and second lines came to be complete sentences. The third and fourth lines may be complete sentences but the third sentence may not be a complete unit and may run over to be completed in the last line. In the hands of the Tang masters, the lean, compressedjueju came to compete with the ancient-style poetry and, like Japanese haiku, was compelled to accomplish as much as a longer poem in half the length by relying on the power of suggestion. Shi continued to evolve through the Tang dynasty. Early Tang poetry was written by imperial courtiers who flattered officials at court banquets with lofty artifice. Fu-gu poetry, translated as the Return-to-the-Ancient Style poetry, emerged to challenge the court style. The Confucian moralist Chen Zi'ang is the progenitor of the style which, in time, came to be absorbed into the High Tang style. Shi also became popularized. During the second half of the Seventh Century, Tang poetry ceased to be solely the property of courtiers. Literati at all levels wrote it.

People both in and out of office wrote it, and friends wrote it to friends. The subject area also broadened to include the commonplace: peasants, soldiers, firewood gatherers. Exotic elements appeared as Central Asian civilizations exerted a cultural influence. The relationship between poet and reader became more intimate. By the end of the dynasty Tang poetry had changed considerably, becoming dark and melancholy. Late Tang poetry is denser, more complicated, full of allusions. The poems are thick with references to earlier literature, place names and mythology, all of which imbue the poems with special associations to the Chinese reader. Late Tang poetry is also very imaginative. This great body of poetry is difficult to analyze. The dynasty was very long, many poets composed, many styles flourished and many moods prevailed. Chinese literary critics have divided the Tang into four periods: Early Tang 618-712, High Tang 713-765, Mid-Tang 766-846 and Late Tang 847-907.

The Ci (tz'u) or Lyric of the Song (Sung) Dynasty
The ci (tz 'u) became the verse style associated with the Song dynasty. The poetic forms which had preceded the ci are termed shi and are characterized by a regular meter. The ci is not a type of shi and has lines of varying length. The shi, ci and the Yuan dynasty qu (ch 'u) poetic forms were all originally sung to musical accompaniment but the ci in particular retains the character of a song-poem. During the Tang, singing girls from Central Asia had popularized non-Chinese songs in the entertainment districts of Chinese cities. The lu shi and jue ji; were sung to this new music and the Chinese began to write new lyrics to match. This evolved into the dominant form during the Song dynasty. There were a number of song patterns known throughout China. Chinese poets set a poem to an established song pattern and specified which song pattern was to be used to accompany their ci. Approximately 600 patterns exist, so there was great structural variation. Lines of unequal length ranged from one to more than ten syllables but rules fixed the number of syllables per line. Rhyme location varies. Popular origins are evident in the colloquial language of the ci. Song dynasty poets wove the vigor and color of the tavern and marketplace into their poems. The ci was not melancholy but it lent itself well to sentimental, lyrical composition. Early ci is also uncharacteristically concerned with romance, traditionally a minor theme in Chinese poetry. The melodies underlying the ci poems have long been lost. In fact, they were sometimes lost well before the time of the Song dynasty poet who wrote the ci. The poet then wrote the ci to match a newly composed melody or to match a standard literary pattern no longer associated with music. The ci was stretched by some poets to greater length than the shi. This verse form took its place alongside ta shi, jue ju and shi through the rest of Chinese history. It continues to be written. Mao Zedong wrote poetry in the ci style.

The Qii (Ch'ii) or Dramatic Verse of the Yuan Dynasty

The Yuan dynasty was China's great age of drama. Although the country was shattered by the Mongol invasion, great creative energies were unleashed. Chinese drama reached great heights, the novel found its beginnings and fine poetry continued to be written. A new poetic genre emerged, the qu song or dramatic verse, written for drama. All the shi forms had been metrically regular. The qu, like the ci, has lines of irregular length, again reflecting its origins in song, but the qu diverges further than the ci from classical poetic norms. The Northern linguistic influence was changing syntax and vocabulary. The evolution of the Chinese language was also having an effect on poetry. Earlier rhyme schemes no longer worked. Tones were changing. Qi; are complex. Like the ci, poets wrote lyrics to established songs although the songs came from a different repertory than the ci. One rhyme is maintained throughout the sequence of songs. One tonality is maintained throughout the musical system. Qi; can vary in form and tune but are patterned in a particular order. The complexity of the qu is offset somewhat by its use of colloquial spoken language. Its folksong origins are apparent as it incorporates everyday speech, slang and common idioms. The Song dynasty ci had been based on popular songs but the range had broadened considerably with the quo The qu was chanted or sung by cabaret girls, storytellers and actors. In the hands of the literati it was written as much to express exuberance over scenery, wine, love, friendship, humor and satire as to express somber political or social concerns. There are two types of qu: the san qu which were songs written independently and not intended for use in a drama and xi qu which were songs written for inclusion in a drama. After the Yuan dynasty no new poetic forms evolved. Poetry in every previous form continued to be written through the Ming and Qing dynasties but no new forms emerged. The mainstream of Chinese literary creativity had permanently shifted away from poetry to the play, the novel and the short story.

Chinese Poetic Conventions Readers should become familiar with the historical context in which Chinese poetry was written. There is a difference between civilized north China and the uncivilized frontiers. Chinese culture emerged in north China and spread gradually toward the south. In Chinese poetry, travel to or residence in the South is often the result of official banishment and entails a forced relocation to an undesirable, even dangerous place. The South was provincial, malarial and semi-barbarian. In addition to departure from north China because of individual personnel assignments, the Chinese were pushed collectively off the Northern Plain by the invasions of Central Asian tribes. The Chinese languished in the South where, angry and homesick, they agitated to recover their lost homeland. Conversely the Chinese, when militarily strong, became expansionist and invaded the West, their armies carrying the Han and Tang empires across the Inner Asian steppes

to the fringes of Europe. Trips to the South, recovery of the North and military campaigns to the West should be understood in those contexts. Poetic Imagery Some Chinese poetic images will be unfamiliar to Western readers. Chinese poets describe the rivers as rising up to the clouds or to the sky. Color distinctions are between blue, blue-green and green-black. Poets admire peach and apricot blossoms rather than cherry or apple blossoms. Jade not the diamond is admired, and beautiful jade is white not green. Exquisite flowers are peonies or chrysanthemums not roses. Colors, fragrances, ornaments, warm mists, plum blossoms, the east wind and personal items such as combs are frequently erotic. Paper folding fans, because of their shape, allude to the moon, and the moon is frequently a metaphor for deserted women. Autumn, not winter, is the season of melancholy and death. Dragons are benevolent creatures that live under water. Phoenixes do not rise from the ashes. Poets are government bureaucrats. A Poetic Education Every educated Chinese was a poet. The aim of every Chinese male was to pass the imperial exams leading to an official career. Because passing the government entrance exams required proficiency, all prospective officials and all office holders were poets. Extensive study was required to pass the government exams which were given in order of ascending difficulty. By the time the exam system reached its highest level of development during the Qing (Ch'ing) dynasty it was also necessary to pass the three school-entrance tests as a precondition to taking the civil service exams. The first was the district examination. Successful candidates who passed the district exam went on to the prefectural exam and if they passed that they moved up to the qualifying exam. Thereafter one began the tests required to enter the bureaucracy. There were three main exams: the provincial, the metropolitan and the palace. Passing the provincial exam conferred upon the candidate the title ofju-ren (recommended man). The real focus of the series of exams was the metropolitan exam. If a candidate passed the metropolitan exam during the Tang dynasty he would be awarded the title ofjin-shi (presented scholar) and entry into an official career. During the Song dynasty the palace exam was added and the jin-shi degree was conferred upon its successful candidates. This prestigious exam was conducted by the emperor, emphasized form and the candidate's performance on it was an indicator of how the candidate would fare in official life. Most Chinese poets were scholar-officials who had gone through the education process and the ordeal of the exam. Some had to take the exam repeatedly to pass it. Others like Chen Zi' ang, Du Fu, Meng Jiao and Zhang Ji passed but did not have satisfactory public careers. Ironically, Meng Haoran, prominent poet of the High Tang, never managed to pass the exam, and China's most celebrated poet Li Bai never even sat

for the exam. But all were educated in the same body of literature and shared a common poetic tradition. The writing of poetry was both a vocation and an avocation. Poetry remains a prominent feature of Chinese culture. Nowadays educated Chinese do not have to write poetry to get government employment but they still read it and memorize it. An educated person can recite from memory poems from the standard poetic anthology Three Hundred Tang Poems Tang Shi San Bai Shou. Romanization Modem Mandarin Chinese little resembles the phonology of Chinese spoken a millennium ago. Those who are interested in the sound of "ancient" Chinese, as Tang-era Chinese is termed, may wish to read the extensive literature on the subject by Edward H. Schafer. This book uses Pinyin romanization. troublesome to English speakers are: c is pronounced ts q is pronounced ch x is pronounced sh z is pronounced dz zh is pronounced j In addition: i is shortened to an ih sound after c, ch, r, s, sh, z, and zh. u is pronounced u after j, q, x and y. *The use of Pinyin to represent personal and place names which are already well known by another system of romanization may be confusing, e.g. Chongqing for Chungking or Beijing for Peking. In such cases the older forms appear in parentheses. Some Pinyin symbols especially

The following

are the featured

poets

listed alphabetically.

Bai Juyi 772-846 Cao Cao 155-220 Cao Zhi 192-232 Chen Zi-ang 656-698

Cheng Hao 1032-1085 Cui.Daorong 1 -907

Cui Hu C. 796 Dai Fugu - Southern Du Fu 712-770 Du Mu 803-852 Fan Chengda Fan Zongyan 1126-1193 989-1052 Song

Gao Qi 1336-1374 Gao Shi 700-765 Gong Zizhen - Qing Dynasty

Han Yu 768-824 He Zhizhang 659-744

Jia Dao 779-843 Li Bai 701-762 Li Gang 1085-1140 Li He 791-817 Li Qingzhao Li Shangyin 1081-1143 8121-858

Li Shen 772-846 Li Xianfang C. 1522 Song

Lin Sheng - Southern Liu Changqing C. 713

Liu Yuxi 772-842 Liu Zongyuan 773-819

Lu Lun 748-800 Lu You 1125-1209 Ma Zhiyuan 1260?-1333

Meng Jiao 751-814 Meng Haoran Nie Yizhong 689-740 837-884? - Ming Dynasty

Shao Hengzhen

Su Shi 1036-1101 Wang Anshi 1021-1086 ?-756

Wang Changlin Wang Han C. 710

Wang Jian 768-833 Wang Wei 701-761 Wang Ya 764-835 Wang Zhihuan Wei Yingwu Xiao Dezao Xu Yuanjie Yang Wanli Ye Shaoweng 688-742

737-? Song Dyn. C. 1228 1124-1206 Song Dyn.

Yu Qian 1398-1457 Yu Siliang Song Dyn.

Zhang Ji 768-830 Zhang Jiayu - Ming dynasty Zhang Xu - 8th Century Zhang Zhihe C. 756 Zhu Xi 1130-1200

Chronology of Chinese History (Spellings according to the Pinyin system; traditional spellings in parentheses) Xia (Hsia) 2100-1600 BC Shang 1600 1066 BC Zhou (Chou) 1066-256 BC Western Zhou (Chou) 1066-771 BC Eastern Zhou (Chou) 770-256 BC Chun Qiu (Ch'un Ch'iu) (Spring-Autumn period) 770-476 BC Zhan Guo (Chan Kuo) (Warring States period) 475-221 BC Qin (Chin) 221 206 BC Han 206 BC -220 AD (Wang Mang Interregnum 9-23 AD) San Guo (San Kuo) (Three Kingdoms) Wei 220-265 AD Shu 221 263 AD Wu222280AD Jin (Chin) Dynasty West Jin (Chin) 265-316 AD East Jin (Chin) 317-420 AD Sixteen Kingdoms 304-439 AD South-North Dynasties South Dynasties Song (Sung) 420-479 AD Qi (Chi) 479-502 AD Liang 502-557 AD Chen 557-589 AD North Dynasties Northern Wei 386-534 AD Eastern Wei 534-550 AD Northern Qi (Ch'i) 550-577 AD Western Wei 535-557 AD Northern Zhou (Chou) 557-581 AD Sui Dynasty 581-618 AD Tang Dynasty 618-907 AD Five Dynasties & Ten Kingdoms Later Liang 907-923 AD Later Tang 923-936 AD Later Jin (Chin) 936-946 AD Later Han 947-950 AD Later Zhou (Chou) 951-960 AD Ten Kingdoms 902-979 AD Song Dynasty Northern Song (Sung) 960-1127 AD Southern Song (Sung) 1127-1279 AD Liao 916-1125 AD

West Xia (Hsia) 1032-1227 AD Jin (Gold) 1115-1234 AD Yuan 1271-1368 AD Ming 1368-1644 Qing (Ching) 1644-1911 AD Republic of China 1911People's Republic of China 1949-

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zhuang xin

bu
YI
v

8

See also poem No. 60 in this collection.

1-2

B~ETIf, =flE~~~~ ~~B~-, ~~JirAH~

0

0

Cao Cao

Cao Cao's (Ts'ao Ts'ao's) cunning and cruelty are portrayed in endless plays, operas and movies. Unsurpassed at strategy and at reading his adversary's mind, Cao Cao used guile and treachery to defeat his enemies. Ironically he was also a man of refinement and culture. The Three Kingdoms period is regarded as an exciting and romantic time. Cao Cao and the other major figures associated with it have become popular heroes. Every school child is familiar with their exploits. This poem is also only an excerpt, the last four lines of a much longer poem.

2-1

hao

wormwood; plants mile; village; residence a tomb

II

xing

go white

~ gu

bone expose; be exposed; disclose

-yu
ye
v

at, in field; wild area thousand not have rooster

qian

-wu

rrunq sheng

;

to crow. sound made by bird to produce, be born; life, living person the common people hundred

yi yT

to remain one, a. One remains out of a hundred. think of, remember, recall

zhl
duan

it cut, cut short person intestines, entrails It cuts one's entrails. Conventional phrase similar to our saying "It breaks one's heart. " 2-2

-ren

Cao Zhl

Cao Zhi, son of general Cao Cao, was a talented poet and the first major poet to write in the five-character line form that had evolved during the Han. Cao Zhi and his younger brother both suffered persecution at the hands of their older brother Cao Pi, who had become emperor and to whom this poem is addressed. Cao Pi held the power of life and death over Cao Zhi and demanded, on pain of death, that Cao Zhi compose a poem within the time required to step off seven paces. Cao Zhi succeeded. Owing to this, and the intervention of their mother, Cao Zhi was not executed. Cao Zhi alludes to his brotherhood with Cao Pi, saying that they are beans in the same pot, grown from the same family root. Why is his brother in such a hurry to be rid of him?

3-1

qT bu
shi

seven a step, a pace a poem to boil beans, soybeans to burn bean stalk. Chinese, to this day, burn bean stalks as fuel. After crops are harvested, residual materials such as stalks, vines and roots are used as fuel. Here the bean stalk is burning and roasting the beans. at, in, on

zhu
dou
~ ran

fu
zhong
ql
-,

cooking pot middle, in, within to weep, shed tears. The beans begin to cry. For the rest of the poem, the beans address the burning bean stalks.

ben
shi
tong gen

originally, root, source, origin to be; here; we were the same root, origin to produce, be born, life, living mutual, reciprocal; towards; here, towards us to fry what, what reason, what for, why? great, extreme haste, harsh

sheng xiang jian

3-2

5f&¥nj r r, ~rlIT 7:{~~1lI, jii[[91f 7:fIi1i, If~~
0 0

0

mBJz¥f~J!~~

0

Anonymous

The vast northern prairies of China hold a fascination for the Chinese. This anonymous poem dating from the North South Dynasties (A.D. 420-581) captures that feeling. It is a very popular poem. It was also the first free-verse poem (ziyou shi § EBW') in Chinese. Remember the poem, because there is very little free-verse written in Chinese.

4-1

tQ: lJJ tQ:lJJ

chi

imperial order. Here used only for sound. to rein in a horse. Here used only for sound. the name of an ethnic nationality, the ancestors of the Mongols. During the North-South Dynasties (AD. 420581) they lived in the northern part of modern Qinghai Province.

Ie

Wz
ju tQ:i¥JJj
~ r[

ge chuan

song nver. Here it means a river plain. place name, in northern Inner Mongolia

yin shan

cloudy mountain place name, in northern Inner Mongolia

u..r ~u..r
T

xla
tlan
-,

.....

beneath, under; to descend, chi le chuan is located below sky, heaven resemble arched hut, house, cottage a yurt. Mongol felt tent with rounded top

7Z
1J;)
~

SI


fi
~

~.
[g

qionq

./

lu

long

cover, contain; literally a cage to cover to cover

..... gal

fi~
'" SI

four wild, wilderness, the wilds the four cardinal directions

If
[glf

ye

~

4-2

1i

cang

dark green. It can also be translated grey or blue. In poetry colors sometimes imply vast expanses of color, thus it may also be translated vast.

~

mang f'eng
chui

~

boundless wind to blow grass low. Here bent over low, because the grass is being blown by the prairie wind .

M
~ ~

cao
di

v

f~

.%
4$

jian

..,

to perceive; to appear cow, ox sheep

.~ nlu yang

4-3

~t§~~ffij~~T

~~:t~zf~f~ ,
0

mr~5!~A, Fo~5!*~;

Chen Zi lang was a low-ranking official of the early Tang Dynasty famous for both his poetry and his prose. He is regarded as the first major poet of the Tang. Chen reacted against the exaggerated style of court poetry popular during the Six Dynasties period and early Tang. His oppositional poetry, termed the fu-gu :tit! (return to the ancient) style, stressed lean, formal verse and conservative Confucian morality. Many contemporary poets revered and emulated his style. This poem is a song, therefore the lines are of uneven length. In this context gu ren b A and lai zhe both refer to heroes. The Tang expanded westward and needed stalwart soldiers to build empire.

*~

5-1

~ ~

dang you zhi5u

climb remote, secluded, mysterious an administrative geographical region place name. Old name for Beijing .

1'['[ ~1'[\[
..L>. Cl

tal

terrace; platform. If the reference is to the great wall it means a beacon tower (fanghuo tai

n:1<t=1).

~

ge
qran
./

song before, formerly no, not see ancient person after, hereafter; in the future come one who ... think of, recall heaven, sky earth of; go; personal pronoun long, prolonged; drawn out alone sad, sorrowful, disheartened an adverbial suffix; -ly; so consequently a tear, to weep beneath; under, to descend 5-2

1W
/f

bu
jian

.R.

......

3
A Fo

gu ren
/

v

hou
lai

~ ~

*
till Z
{[51: "CJ'

zhe man W3n dl
zhl
.....

X.

you du chuang ran
~ ~

1iJ

ti
~

rm
~ ~

er
ti
.....

xla

~fl~~ T~**~i
0

~~M~J7X~Wf%5 ,
=f§ ~~{tz~7J

:f~D*ffi~at~te ?
0

:t.lt=f!r..D~

ffi!7\ £FL He Zhizhang

He Zhizhang was one of a group of poets from the southeast, and a renowned eccentric. He is also known for being Li Bai's mentor, the statesman-poet who introduced the young Li to the great Emperor Ming Huang. He Zhizhang and Li Bai were bon vivants, two of the Eight Immortals of the Wine Cup, famous drinkers and carousers. Among the stories told about He Zhizhang is that while drunk he fell off his horse down a dry well where he came to rest snoring. Called the Madman of Si-Ming and the He-Devil, he led a life of jovial disipation but nevertheless wrote very high quality poetry. The following poem is certainly regarded as an example of superior poetry. He asks if you know who cut the tree's delicate leaves. Of course, more than the tree's life is implied.

6-1

~

yong
liu

~

sing, chant, sing of willow tree green; the color of jade jade to make up by use of cosmetics complete a, one tree. Here used as a measure word: one tree's worth of height.

ifW
~

bl yu
,

_:E

!&

zhuang cheng yl

PX
~

shu

--0--

raJ

gao wan
tiao ,

tall, high ten thousand measure word for long, thin things to droop, hang down down, below, under green silk braid. braided silk ribbon no, not know delicate, fine, thin leaf who cut go out, come out; here a verb complement to cut off

fj;

f~

¥:
'"f
~

chui
.' xla , 10 51

**
~~

tao bu
zhl
XI

::f

~O
$
~ ~ ~

,

.' Yle

shu)
cai

te ~te

chu

6-2

,

er

two, the second moon, month spnng wind resemble scissors, clippers knife SCIssors

A
~

yue
chun rang

M
{~
~

81
jan
••v

J] ~J]

dao

6-3

B B{t<rlr~, ~1EiJA~~1m ~~~Tm§, ~J:_'JlfI
0 0

Wang Zhihu~m

Wang Zhihuan was from Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, and traced his family origins to Shanxi and Xinjiang. Wang held an office of no particular importance, was slandered, and resigned the office in indignation. Thereafter he traveled over rivers and mountains, both north and south of the Yellow River. Gao Shi became a good friend to Wang and wrote a poem to him. Wang Changling and Cui Guofu were also good friends of Wang's, and the group wrote much poetry together. Toward the end of his life Wang Zhihuan held a low county office in Hebei. He was known for his good character. He never harmed anyone, nor was he corrupt. The Crane Magpie Tower was located in Shanxi Province.

7-1

it


m
8
B
{t(

deng guan
que
....
....

climb, ascend crane magpie multi-storied building a tower in Shanxi Province white

.~m

lou

n

....

sun lean against; descend; set mountain to exhaust, to finish yellow nver place name, the Yellow River

yi shan

Llr
~

Jin

huang he

ru

....

enter sea, ocean

liu yu
....

flow want exhausted; impoverished; used to the utmost. Here it means to use one's eyes to the utmost; in other words, to see as far as one can.

qiong

qian

thousand; many mile. An ancient Chinese mile is equivalent to one-third of a modern mile.

II

mu

....

eye, to eye, to look at; a sight, a vision

7-2

J!
_t

" geng

more, still more above, on, to ascend one a story in a multi-storied building

shang
" yl

Ii

ceng

~

7-3

Ji1OJ~_tBEra~ , ~ J=1El:E~~{JJUJ 7E*fOJ~~?~mrPP , W&=F1!t~r~~Jj
0 0

Wang Zhlhu~m

Wang Zhihuan comes across as an engaging person, impetuous, guileless and open. He is remembered merrily tapping rythm on his sword blade while chanting his poetry. There is a story that his drinking companions, the famous poets Gao Shi and Wang Changling, used to playa trick on him. They would secretly meet with visiting composers and singers and get them to feign uninterest in using Wang Zhihuan's poems in their songs. Nevertheless, composers did base their popular songs on his poetry. Wang Zhihuan wrote very readable poems, intelligible even to the common people. He also wrote a large number of poems, but unfortunately only six survive in the Tang Dynasty Poetry Collection. They are considered excellent. The two in this book are his most famous. His poetry is widely known and often quoted.

8-1

1~ 1'1'[ 1~1'1'[
~~

liang zhou

cool an administrative geographical region place name. In modern Gansu Province

ci huang he

a poem in the ci (tz'u) style yellow nver place name. The Yellow River

:w
-ee-

1PJ Jfi1PJ
~

yuan sh~mg bai yun
/

v

far, distant over, above, ascend white clouds between, among a, one a piece, slice. In describing land it might be translated a stretch, a tract, a parcel, etc. Here it is a measure word for chenq !~, city, and need not be translated.

...t
8
E

rs~
Jt

jian

YI
.' plan

F.[
~

gu cheng
,

alone city a city alone

-JtF.[~
~

wan
" ren

ten thousand measure word meaning eight feet mountain proper name. The Qiang tribe of western China bamboo flute what, why to need 8-2

ill W

shan qiang

n
S3
foJ

dl
he xu

*
_,.,

r~
~

yuan yang
liu ~

...

find fault with; feel sad about poplar tree willow tree the title of a song. Its correct name was Zhe Yang Liu

1PfJ ~1PfJ

1JTmlPfJ,
parting.
~ ~

"Picking Poplars and Willows". It was sung when

chun fang

spnng wind no, not to pass, cross over jade gate, door gate, a pass place name. In modern Gansu Province.

:::f

bu

N
3S:

du
yu men guan
~
-,

F~

rm
3S:F51fl1

8-3

tJ)(A~~~, ~R¥rn* **Wf1~~, wUJ~~5}*4
0 0

1~1§Q5~* ~*~*J7Eo
0

..DII.. {t=T .I \

~~fr_1lk
\\

Meng Haoran

Meng Haoran was one of the most prominent of the High Tang poets, a philosophic poet highly regarded by his contemporaries. He waited until he was in his forties before taking the imperial exams and, unfortunately, did not pass. Disappointment over this failure led him to return to his mountain home in Hubei and live out his life as a recluse. Here Meng awaits the Double-Ninth Festival and will return to be close to the chrysanthemums. Chrysanthemums represent elegance and it is his friend he is referring to. They also represent dignity and modesty and are compared to gentlemen. The ninth month is the chrysanthemum month. Chrysanthemums are very popular in China. There is an annual chrysanthemum festival in modem Loyang.

9-1

~

guo gu
...

...

to pass old person an old friend

i!& A i!&A

ren

m:
J!t.

zhuang
JU
.'"

village prepare chicken millet. Millet is a feed grain not a food grain, and is normally used for chicken feed. Noone who can afford buy better grain would eat it.

s.
~

jI shu

~~ ~ ~

a simple meal yao wo
v-

to invite I, me arnve field. As an adjective it would mean rustic, country. home, family; establishment peasant house

zh] tian

EB * EB*

jia

*'
;fit

10
shu cun
blan

green tree village side, beside go together, merge; to close. Here to be surrounded by green mountain city wall, the outer city wall. Inner city walls are called chenq ~.
9-2

ft
~
A

cr

he qTng shan guo

~

Llr
~~

5'i~4
~

'. wai

outside. Here, outside the city slanting, tilted. Here the mountains slant to open house; door of house surface, face, to face ground, ground on which rice is spread to dry vegetable garden to take, to grasp wine speech; to speak mulberry hemp wait. Waiting for the arrival of the Double Ninth Festival arrive again sun day; sun Double Ninth Festival, during which one climbs a mountain and puts blossoms in one's hair

xla

.~

kai xuan
.' rnran

ff

00
~

chang pu
..~
~

tml

m
W
~ ~

be
JIU

hua sang rna dai dao chong yang
n
,

M
{~

~

¥D
m IWI B mlWIB
~

~

huan lai
JIU

return come then; be near to; approach; go, come enjoy the chrysanthemums with me

gt

*
~

.. ,

*i *i:ffi

JU

.~
hua

chrysanthemum flower, blossom chrysanthemum 9-3

~* , 1I~N iliA 1B1~~1ff B~~f~~JT 'fa.7(f~W,

.lJII...

0

0

-=:F-- ~&.5J}(

i\:=r

.I \ \ 'I

Meng Haoran

Following Meng Haoran's failure in the imperial exams, he made a long tour ofthe Yangtze region. The scenes he saw on that trip inspired many of his poems. Meng's nature poems encompass a wide aesthetic range, showing both a quietistic appreciation of nature and an awe at China's scenery. Here the poet lives on the Jiande River and moors at a misty islet.

10-1

su

-,

to reside; to spend the night to establish morality nver place name. The Jiande River

jian

de II
jiang

9l~ll
~

yi
zhCiu

to move across a boat to moor smoke, mist islet day, sun evening, sunset guest

ffi 18
j:I

bo
yan

m
B
~ ~

zhu

n

-,

... mu

chou xln

sad, melancholy new wild, the wilds. a field vast, spacious heaven, sky low

ye

~

kuang tian

shu jiang

tree. The sky comes down and meets the trees. nver clear moon; month near, close person. Here the moon is close to me.

qlng

yue

...

jln
~ ren

10-2

~§~7fjfB~,

~*Mm§,

~~MnWfJ~
1t~~D~:J;'

0

0

J:ITI.. 1"1=f

-f--~tf::~

) \ \'\

Meng Haoran

Meng Haoran has written a poem of the genre Xi .Jiin, melancholy poetry lamenting the passage of spring. The blossom 'petals fall, meaning spring will soon end. (The Chinese are equally fond of Be; Qiu poems, lamenting the passing of summer and the arrival of autumn.) This is a popular poem for memorization.

11-1

~ ~

chun
."" xiao rnian

spnng daybreak, dawn to sleep no, not feel. sense, be aware of a place everywhere, everyplace

§~

/f

bu
.~ jue chu

it
~ ~~

liD
[JiffJ
J~

wen

~

hear chirp, sound made by birds

ti
mao
.v

bird night come here meaning all night

:& 31( :&31(

ye
lai

-,

m , m
~

feng yu sheng hU8
IUQ zhi

wind ram sound flower, blossom fall know many few how many, how much; so many, so much know how many. Here perhaps better translated don't know how many.

fE
~

~D
~

duo shao

y

~y
~D~Y

11-2

~~

Gao Shl

Rising from poverty in Shandong Province, Gao Shi led an adventurous life. When young he fell in love with an actress, joined her theatrical company as a writer, and toured China with her. Later he went to Tibet as secretary to a high official. Eventually Gao became a soldier. Late in life he was made a marquis. Although he did not begin writing poetry until he was over fifty, he achieved fame as a poet. Gao Shi is known for poetry with a martial theme. Here he bids farewell to a friend, and advises him not to worry about not having friends on the road ahead. Everyone knows who he is.

12-1

J3U
]I

bie dong da

to separate, to part with, say goodbye to to direct, a director; surname great, large. Here a person's given name (Mr.) Dong Da (the oldest child of the Dong family)

* ]1*
T
£
W
A

qian

thousand miles yellow cloud white sun, day sunset. Here it should be translated as a color in order to retain parallelism with the third character huang

-B

II huang
" yun

8
at, ~t
j1.
~

bai
n
,

xun

N.

bei feng
chui
,

north wind blow goose snow confused, in confusion do not to grieve, be anxious before, in front of road not, not have know self intimate friends 12-2

JfI
SP-

yan xue fen
, ma
v

==r

*J}
~
~j(
J~"\

chou
qian
."

1m

n
4HE
J\Y\

lu
wu"
zhi
JI
.v

~O
C

~Oc

7C
~

tlan .' xta

heaven, sky beneath, under, to descend all under the sky, i. e. the world

7C~
~

shui
ren
/

who person no, not recognize you

A.
::f
~ ~

bu
shi
jim

12-3

*B *~i1mr, ~f~~1E*?
Wang Wei

§f3 §tr)(~~~*, ff!~Dtr)(~~~$
0

Wang Wei is one of China's great poets and a major poet of the High Tang. Born in Shanxi into a family of officials and literati, he left home for the capital at age sixteen with his younger brother. The Wang brothers achieved instant social success owing to their extraordinary literary talents. Wang Wei earned his jin shi degree at age twenty-three and was appointed Assistant Secretary for Music. Owing to a minor infraction he lost the position and was transfered to Shandong. Tiring oflife in the provinces, Wang returned to the capital, suffered the loss of his wife, and again took office in 734. He was sent on a mission to the north-west frontier for several years and returned to continue a moderately successful career. Here Wang Wei asks the stranger, on the day when he left, whether the scenery was beautiful outside the window in his hometown.

13-1

za

~

varied, mixed, miscellaneous poem, poetry gentleman. "You, Sir ... " from old town hometown come

shi

jiin
Zl

,

gu

,

xiang

yTng
zhi shi

should, ought to know matters, affairs, events come

8

n

,

day the day when you come

*8
ql
v

beautiful, gorgeous. silk damask.

The literal meaning is a woven, figured

chuang

window before, formerly cold

mel

plum to bear flower, blossom not yet

zhuo hua
wei

13-2

Wang Wei

Wang Wei bought a country estate about thirty miles south of Chang' an in the Zhongnan Mountains. He lived there intermittently and the contemplative, tranquil country life he led there figures prominently in his poetry. Wang Wei enjoyed solitude, and periodically withdrew to lead the life of a recluse. He was a devout Buddhist and spent years quietly studying the scriptures.

14-1

jJg
~

lu
zhal

deer firewood, brushwood. Usually pronounced chai,

jJg~
'Jb :::r::.

place name. Lu Zhai in modern Shaanxi Province

kong shan

empty mountain no, not see, perceive, appear person only to hear talk sound, noise return scenery; sunshine last rays of the setting sun

L1J ::f
~

bu
jian

......

A
{B

ren dan wen
yl
v

~

FlfJ
§E. ~I:t

~

~ ~
J§§!.
/~

xianq

.v

fan Jlng
E<.
.v

~J§§!.

A.
~

ru shen lin fu zhao qlng
tai

,

enter deep forest again, to go back, to retrace shine dark green moss above, on, to ascend

**
~ ~
:=E;.

P3

A p

.L

shang

14-2

The poet urges his friend Yuan Er to have another cup of wine, because when Yuan Er goes to the far west he won't have any old friends there. This poem inspired a song which is usually played on the erhu violin or the Chinese zither. The song, which may date back to the Tang Dynasty, is still popular today. This poem also inspired an item in Ezra Pound's Cathay.

15-1

" song
yuan
.... ,

to send off first, primary; unit; surname two, second (Mr.) Yuan Er. This would be a man's family nickname
(paihang

er

~Fr-r) which

shows his seniority among his

siblings. It is used by a man's family or close friends. His name means Yuan-the-Second, the second child of the Yuan family. (The oldest offspring would be named Yuan Da.) shl
an

to serve as an envoy tranquil west place name. In modem Xinjiang province Proper name. The Wei River, Shaanxi Province city place name. In modern Shaanxi Province

xT

zhao
yu
v

dawn, early morning ram to be wet light in weight dust guest cottage, shed, cabin

YI" qTng

qTng
liu

green willow tree color new, fresh 15-2

se

....

xTn

J1J

quan [iin geng
Jin
-,

,

persuade gentleman; "you, sir ... " more, even more utmost; to the utmost; entirely, here to drink up a, one cup; winecup wine west, westward go out, come out sun a pass, mountain pass Place name. Dunhuang in modem Gansu Province

;e
~

,

m

.'

YI

*1'
~

bei
•• v

JIU

XI
chu

te
~

yang guan

~

!flJ ~rJm
1m:
)1 \\

/

WU

not, not have old person old friend

t& A t&A

gu
/

,

ren

15-3

m~E_trm
~1}]T~fit 3:_f* Era} WI

~~8ffrl*fj(

0

0

0

0

Wang Wei

Wang Wei excelled at five-character lines and wrote much nature poetry. Partly because of his devotion to Buddhism, he withdrew from society for periods of seclusion. While in government service at Chang'an he would live in the Zhong Nan Mountains, and during a period of exile lived on Mount Song near Luoyang (Lo-yang).

16-1

u..r

shan ju qiu mlng kong xin yu
v

mountain reside, residence; cabin, cottage, hut autumn dusk, sunset empty new ram after sky, heaven aIr weather

g f.k
Bj!;
?'G

-=

m
1&
7( *I. 7(~
.=

*ff

hou
tian
" ql

H!d f.k
~

wan lai qiu mlng yue
-,

v

evening come autumn. Here autumn weather bright moon pine tree among, between shine clear a spring, a fountain rock, stone above, on; to ascend flow bamboo a noise. Here the noise of the bamboo rattling in the wind. 16-2

*
fj

ttl

song jian zhao qing quan shi shang liu zhu xuan
~

rs~
~

m
D 1:.

*
mt.
O'§

11

~

guT huan nO
v

return wash woman a washerwoman

in

'6

fr
~~fr
~

lian

lotus move beneath, under, to descend, here to go down river fish boat fishing boat

If]

-r
~

dong .... xla -yu zh6u

% ~%
~

SUI

follow; to accord with thought; meaning; desire in accordanace with one's desires. Here, the poet doesn't care whether the spring flowers wither or not.

=
J~'

yl

...

~~

* 7!f
~

chun fang xie wang sun
...

spnng fragrance finish; disappear king; royal grandchild Wang Wei here refers to himself

x m xm
Ef PI

ZI

self can, to be able to stay; leave behind

ke

Wi

liu

16-3

~1±~~~B~~~ , ~~{*i1J{~)~*Jl ~~D£3§~?&Jm ,

0

~1E8*~Y~Ao

The ninth day of the ninth month is Chongyang Jie m.~frJ, the Double Ninth Festival during which friends adorn their hair with sprigs of dogwood flowers, climb mountains together and drink toasts. The flowers are for protection from harm. The festival originated in the following folktale. A man met a fairy who warned him that on the ninth day of the ninth month death would come to the village. He should save himselfby climbing to a high place out of danger. The man got the villagers and together they climbed a mountain. Afterwards when they came back down the mountain they found that all the animals in the village were dead.

17-1

jiu , yue

nine moon, month sun, day recall, recollect. Here to miss. mountain east place name. This Shandong is in Shanxi Province, not the eastern coastal province.

n

,
,

yl

shan dong

xiong

elder brother younger brother brothers

di

du
'. zar
yl
,

single, alone at, in, on strange town to be guest. Refers to the poet.

xiang wei

mei rang

each, every; every time meet, encounter good, pleasant

jie

holiday twofold, double. He misses them twice as much because of the holiday.

51 qln

think: of; to miss a family relation

17-2

~

yao
zhl

far know climb high, tall place all to insert dogwood few, less a, one person. The "one less person" that is missing from the family outing is the poet himself.

~D
~
li -0

deng gao chu
bian

fi3J

~ ~

fEij

cha zhuyu shao yl
-,

*~
j;-

A

ren

17-3

j;J~~1im,

~~**A/f~D,

j'~1l~UIf
8AJj*!f§~

0

0

Wang Wei was not only a great poet, he was also a great landscape painter. The Sung Dynasty poet Su Shi remarked that in Wang Wei's poetry there is painting, and in his painting there is poetry. Landscape painting and Buddhism were major influences on Wang Wei's poetry.

18-1

t1
.£ ~g

zhu
IT

bamboo in, within, inside

guan

v

an inn, guest house, tavern. In this case it is more likely a small cottage constructed in a scenic glade by a bamboo grove or forest.

11]
~ ~ ~

du zuo
,

alone sit dark, secret, secluded bamboo grove to playa musical instrument Chinese 7-string zither agam long to hum, to whistle deep forest person no, not know, nobody knows I'm here bright moon, month come reciprocal; each other; toward me shine, shines on me

you huang tan qin

5'
~

1j
~

fu
chang
.' xrao

U,I
~

shan lin ren
~

** A
::f jD
~

bu
zhi

ming yue lai xiang zhao
,

Jj

if§
~

*

18-2

When the An Lushan Rebellion broke out in 755, Wang Wei was unable to flee with the government and was captured by the rebels. To avoid serving the rebel regime he feigned illness, pretended to be deaf and dumb, and is said to have attempted suicide. Eventually he accepted a position in the rebel government. When the imperial government took back the capital, Wang Wei narrowly escaped being executed for collaboration. Sad poetry he had written lamenting the fate of the nation and the court was cited as proof of his loyalty to the throne. Wang resumed his official career, and was promoted to a position in the Council of State several years before his death. Wang Wei sends off his friends. The grass will be green again next year, but will his friends return?

19-1

~

song
bie

...

send; send off to separate; to part to see someone off; a farewell visit

JjU ~JjU

rlI r:p

shan zhong xiang
ba ...

mountains middle, in, within reciprocal, each other; to me finish; after sun; day


tm
B
~

n

mu
v

...

to set to cover; to close sticks, firewood, brush gate a simple door for a hermit, made of firewood

3'ti
~

yan
chal

m ~m
~

fei

chiin

spnng grass bright year next year

]j[

cao
., rrunq

v

ty3 !tf. ty3!tf.

man
... Iii

.~

*3: m 3:m
iw
/f

green king; royal grandchild here the poet's friends, a polite phrase

wang sun

~

guT
bu

to return no, not return

iw

guT

19-2

!fi~mEIW5f~~ra~ ,

,~*8~~mLlr

mJ¥~~~o~/f1±,

=fm1I~~~BJi

0

0

*EI
Li Bai is the most famous of all Chinese poets, and his poetry is thought to represent Tang poetry at its highest level of development. He and Du Fu dominate Chinese poetry, and each is claimed to be the superior poet. The Chinese call Li Bai the Immortal of Poetry (shi xian) and Du Fu the Saint of Poetry (shi sheng). Li was born in 701, perhaps in Central Asia, to a scholarly family and grew up in Sichuan Province about a hundred miles northeast of Chengdu. Li left his family at nineteen and began a roisterous, vagabond life that would take him allover the country and eventually to the court of the Emperor. Bai Di Cheng is among colored clouds. A thousand miles lie between Bai Di Cheng and Jiang Ling. Li's name appears in most Western sources as Li Po, which reflects an earlier pronunciation in Wade-Giles Romanization.

20-1

£f~

zao fa bai

v

early to issue; send forth; depart white emperor city place name. City in Sichuan Province.

8

W
:tpX

di
cheng

BW~
~)j

zhao
CI
;

early morning; dawn bid farewell color, colored cloud among, in between thousand miles nver hill, mound; tomb place name. Jiangling in Hubei Province

m
~~

cal ... yun
jian qian
1'1

v.

=

ra~

T
~

IT
~

jiang ling

IT~
yl
;

a, one sun, day return. Here to arrive. He'll arrive in one day. two shore, bank ape sound cry of animals no, not stop; dwell 20-2

B
~

n

,

huan liang an ... yuan sheng ti bu zhu
,

m

~

Jf
OW /f

1j:

~

qing zhCiu
yl
v

light in weight boat already

:fit
8
~

guo wan
...

...

to pass ten thousand to repeat; a layer mountain

M

m
r1r

chong shan

20-3

Li left home at nineteen to make his way in the world. He first lived with an eccentric religious hermit. Later as a swashbuckling knight-errant he wandered about the country righting wrongs for the oppressed and, according to a contemporary, dispatched a number of adversaries with his sword. Li traveled for years throughout north and central China, becoming one of China's most widely-travelled poets. He had begun the bohemian style that was to characterize his life. His poetry took years to mature. It wasn't until he was forty years old that he finally reached Chang'an and was received by the emperor. A Chinese proverb says that good things come in three (hao shi cheng san). Three and nine are also lucky numbers.

21-1

~

wang

,

look at from afar; to see in the distance hut, cottage mountain place name. Mt. Lu in Jiangxi Province

&I

lu
shan

.u .rlr
~

pu

-,

waterfall cloth waterfall

;ffi ~;ffi

bu
rI

8
1\ \\

...

sun. day shine fragrance a stove, a burner place name. Xiang Lu is a mountain peak in the Lushan Range, Jiangxi Province.

BB

zhao xiang

• w.
±.
~

W

lu

sheng

to produce, be born; life, living purple smoke distant, in the distance look hang before, in front of nver to fly, flying flow direct, straight beneath, under; to descend

ZI
yan yao
/

1.1
~ ~

kan

ji~

gua

,

W1 JrI lR
~;t;; [L

qian

chuan fei

liu
zhi
.' xla

~ ~

21-2

san

three thousand measure word meaning a foot doubt to be silver river the Milky Way

T R
~

qian

chi

yi
shi

:@

~& ~OJ ~&v:rr
~

yin
he

IUQ

descend nine heaven the Ninth Heaven, the highest of Taoist heavens

11 "J( 11"J(

..~ JIU
tlan

21-3

~j~:ffi~.7j(~~-=P R,
~R13:{ffH~~)rW

*B**H~~J1J , ~MJ¥J:.~~~W
0 0

LI Sai

Li Bai was not distinguished as a scholar. Almost alone among Chinese men ofletters, he never took the imperial exams. There were famous Chinese poets who did not pass the exams but later obtained official positions by other means. Li Bai however, never had a real official career of the sort appropriate for a man of his social standing and talent. He nevertheless attained national fame from his poetry, was befriended by the great poets of his day including Du Fu, and was finally honored by the emperor. Li Bai says that although the lake is a thousand feet deep, it is not as deep as Wang Lun's feeling in sending him off.

22-1

M1
11: fim 11:fim

zeng wang lun

....

to give a present a pool; a surname constant; regular; ethical principles. Here a person's given name. Mr. WangLun

* 8 *8
:fit
~

LI
bal

surname white. Here a person's given name. the poet Li Bai (Li Po)

*

cheng zhou jiang yu
,

take boat nearly, about to; to take to want; here be about to to go suddenly to hear shore, coast, bank of a river above, on; to ascend to stamp the feet; to tread on song the name of a song of farewell

tt\
ff
f(g

xing hu wen an shang ta ge
....

M
,EF
'-'-'

..t.
~~ ~ ~~ ~

sheng tao hU8 tan shui

sound peach, peach tree flower, blossom a deep pond or lake water

;{?]t
-++-

1-t

~!.
7j(

22-2

~

shen
qlan

deep a thousand a foot in length no, not to reach to, to extend to to send; to send off I, me feeling; affection

=f

R
::f

chi

».
~

bu
jI
" song

ilt

wo

~

Ir~

qlng

22-3

FJl~~_m1lE m. B trJ:A)r~
••

E3 7J<~*:E~

0

0

0

FJfJ~~q~
0

Li Bai did not have a successful public career but not for political reasons. His poetry was immensely popular. The Brilliant Emperor patronized him and because of'Li's literary distinction made him a scholar of the Han-lin Academy. According to the commonly accepted story, Li is patronized by the emperor, given a horse from the imperial stables, writes enormously popular poetry, makes numerous court appearances, is constantly drunk, offends people at court, is discredited and sent away. Li Bai was a skilled writer of Jue Ju but here has writen a Lu Shi. Li tells his departing friend -- as soon as you leave this place you, like Gu Peng, are blown ten thousand miles by the wind. The traveller feels like a floating cloud, and sunset feels like your old friend.

23-1

~

song you ren qlng shan hang
bei ~
v

,

send, send off friend person green mountain horizontal; crosswise, at right angles north the outer city wall. Ancient Chinese cities were enclosed by two walls and were composed of an inner city and an outer city

tz
A
.:=E;.

FS

rlJ
fJ ~t
~~

guo

pg~

and

:9i-~.

Citizens lived in the inner city.

Soldiers lived in the extended outer city.

8
7J<.

bai

white water surround; to wind around east city the eastern part of the city

shul
"' rao

m

*
~

dong cheng

*~
tit
cI
di
YI
,

this place a, one; once. Used with J.¥;t it means as soon as or no sooner than. This common grammatical structure, yi X jiu Y, means once X occurs then Y is the result. In this poem jiu J.¥;t should appear before the word gu

till

fIll in the

fourth

line, but it is understood and has been omitted.

23-2

wei bie
gu

to be separate; apart alone tangles of wild underbrush; tumbleweed tangles of wild underbrush, tumbleweeds, which are blown around by the wind. Metaphor for a lone traveler.

peng

wan

...

ten 'thousand mile go; go on a journey or expedition float, drift cloud to swim, float. drift; a travel noun suffix a traveller

II zhang

fu
yun ,. you
ZI
v

_,

yl

-,

an idea, meaning, sentiment. Here a feeling. The traveller feels like ...

lUG
-,

descend sun; day

rJ

gu

...

old old friend

qlng
hui shou

feeling to wave hand wave goodbye to an old friend

23-3

§ H

" ZI zi

from this, this place, here. This character used alternately with

Itt.
§H from now on
qu xiao
-,

:::t:.

go neighing of horses; sound made by an animal separate from, depart, withdraw from horse sound made by an animal

If
tJI
,~

ban
rna mmq
v

~~

~

23-4

~ A1!3l¥jfit~ifI, ~lfE=~ T~1\r\r ]J1$fLi*~~~<uS, lll~~1I7(~~1frE

0

0

Li wrote poetry by invitation for the imperial court but, due to his intemperance, his court career was brief. Three years after his arrival in the capital Li set out for a tour of the country. By then he had become a famous figure throughout the empire. A national celebrity, scholars and poets vied for his companionship wherever he went. He had as his friends many of the famous poets of the day. Here Li bids farewell to the great Meng Haoran. There is a legend that Li inscribed this poem inside the Yellow Crane Tower.

24-1

" song
, meng

to send (off) proper name proper name

ran

~

proper name the famous poet Meng Haoran, whose poems appear in this collection -- poems No.9, 10 and 11.

zhi

to go broad hill, mound; imperial tomb place name. Modern Yang Zhou in Jiangsu Province

guang
ling

v

" gu

old person old friend

ren

~

XI
CI

west depart; bid farewell yellow crane

~

huang

lou

multi-storied building Yellow Crane Pavillion in Hubei Province. It still exists.

yan

smoke, mist flower, blossom three, third moon, month beneath, under, to descend. His friend is going down the Yangtze

hua
san ,

yue
.' xla

24-2

m

yang zhou

raise; scatter, spread a geographical region place name in Jiangsu Province

HI
m1'['1

ml
~}L ~ ~ ~
?U .=.

gu ran yuan ymg
v v

alone to sail far, distant shadow jade, the color jade green empty, emptiness. Here the sky utmost, entirely; to use up. The sailboat moves farther and farther away until it is no longer visible.

bi
kong Jm
....

~

01E
_%

wei jran

~.

only see long river place name, the Yangtze River

.....

:m:
IT

chang jiang

:m:rr
j(
~

tian JI liG
....

sky, heaven border, boundary to flow

~1t

24-3

7(F~tp[iJT~1Ir#J ,

~7j(*~frE¥lI:C@] fJfI;¥W LLpf§ W tB , tlL\$}L ~ h B

jf*

0

0

LI Bai

Li Bai was the great rebel of Chinese poetry. He rebelled against all conventions, insulted high officials and was even irreverent toward the emperor. Li abandonded himself to wine, the splendors of nature, revelry and romance. (He married three times). Li was a big man who recited poetry in a loud voice and had a gargantuan capacity for drink. His composing was inspired. He did not compose with deliberation but dashed off poems in great proliferation, even when dead drunk. He does not, like many other poets, write satire or allegory. Li does not write of death. His works have an exuberance, thrilling in flowers, birds, colors, the dawn, the night, stars, young women. His is a voracious appetite for life. Called an Immortal of Poetry (Shi Xian), Li Bai is also China's great romantic. Here Li Bai looks out over the waters of the Yangtze.

25-1

wang
tian men shan
/

....

look, peer; see in the distance sky, heaven gate, door mountain place name. Tian Men Shan in Anhui Province.

zhong duan

middle, in, within break off to be cut in the middle. Here the mountain is cut in the middle by the river, thus it is called a men

r5.

chu
jiang

place name. Chu, feudal state 740-230 B.C. Modem Hubei river the Yangtze River

kal

open. Here the river goes through the mountain green, jade color water east, eastward to flow reach, arrive this; here return. Here the river flows around in a whirlpool two

bl 7..k
shu)

*

dong
liG
zh]
CI
v

hUI

an
qTng

....

riverbank, shore, coast green

25-2

:ttl

xiang

reciprocal, each other to face come out, go out, emerge. Here the mountains emerge alone, solitary a sail a, one a measure word for thin flat objects sun, day side, beside; boundary, border, edge come

It
tB

dUI
chu gu fan yl

RIl
$}L

J=t B
~

.' plan n
,

bian lai

*

25-3

J5R§fJ [ifj j§ JIG , ~JE~tiliJ:~
~Ej~[ifj

j§ ,

1~EJf J51\ trj(~~B

0

0

u Bai

Li was traveling in the Yangtze during the An Lushan Rebellion and was not involved. Later however, he was implicated in the insurrection of the Prince ofYong, a son of the Brillian Emperor. Li was imprisoned following the defeat of the Prince of Y ong and exiled to the extreme southwest of China. He returned to central China following an amnesty and died of illness in 762. A legend evolved about Li Bai's death. He is said to have leaned out of a boat to embrace the reflection of the moon on the water, fallen into the lake and drowned. Jing Ye Si is probably the most beloved poem in Chinese. If a Chinese knows only one poem by heart, it will be this poem.

26-1

mt
~

Jmg ye
51
...

....

silent night a thought; to think, reflect bed before; in front of bright moon brilliant unsure, uncertain; to suspect to be, is ground above, on; to ascend frost to raise, to lift head look at to lower old home, hometown

m
VR WI
~

chuang
qian

.~

ming yue guang yi
shi
dl ...

J=J

JIG
~ ~

t~
...t.
EI? ;f<S

shang shuang JU
.~

~ ~ ~

tau wang
dl
...

f~
ti5<:

gu xiang

...

~B

26-2

Zhang

Xu

Zhang Xu was a gifted poet and, as one of the Eight Immortals of the Winecup, was a carousing companion of the poet Li Bai. Zhang was a drunkard and wildly eccentric. Called the Immortal of Calligraphy, he was famous for his superb grass-style calligraphy which he could dash off even when completely drunk. This poem alludes to the famous poem Peach Blossom Spring by Tao Yuamning (AD. 365-427). That poem, a Shangri-La myth, tells the story of a fisherman who follows a stream to its source in a peach tree grove, and discovers a utopian community. Cut off since the Qin Dynasty, the community lives in peace, unaware of the outside world. The fisherman lived there a while, returned home to tell his story, but then could never find his way back to the Peach Blossom Spring.

27-1

peach
hua

blossom stream, river hidden, secret; to conceal. Here hidden from view; indistinct

XI
yin
v

fei

to fly. Here to span. The bridge which spans the river bridge

ge ye

~

separate( d) wild, the wilds smoke, haze, mist, wilds and mist lie between (separate) the poet and the bridge, so the bridge is seen only faintly.

~

yan

shi

rock, stone breakwater; rocks extending into the water; a jetty

XI

west bank, shore

" wen

to ask. Here the poet, who is on the west side of the jetty, asks ...

~

yu

~

fish boat fishing boat. Here people fishing from a boat, fishers.

00

chuan

~oo
iI
B
jln
" rJ

to exhaust, to use up. sun, day all day long

ilB

27-2

~

SUI

to follow flow, flowing water. The peach blossoms fall into the water all day and follow the current.

mt
7.1<.

liti
shu)

W!J

dong '. zat qlng
he chu bian

a cave, grotto, hole at, in, on green what place side, beside. The poet asks, where along the banks of this stream is the grotto that leads to the Peach Blossom Spring?

fr
.3;;.

p:j

fPJ
~

;iI

27-3

mJW~~gg~*ff , fr~~X!B~J~_l:{*
0

M~A1j)t~~*~ , r5*1lE'~JLAJQJ ?

Wang Han

Wang Han was from Taiyuan in Shansi. We don't know his birth or death dates but we do know that he had a turbulent career. As a brilliant young man, he was supported by the patronage of a powerful governor. Wang received an office and began a meteoric rise to high position--prime minister, secretary of war and even higher. But his patron fell from power and, lacking his patron's support, Wang tumbled down the ladder of success as quickly as he had risen. Sadly, Wang Han ended his days in a lowly army position, carousing with ruffians and ne'er-do-wells. Here Wang Han writes in the persona of a general on a military expedition to western China. The images are those of the far West. The general pleads--don't laugh at him for sleeping drunk on the battlefield.

28-1

~

liang zh6u

cold a geographical region Place name. In modern Gansu Province.

1'1'[ t~1'1'[
~~

CI

;

poem in the ci style; the lyric.

M
fiij

pu

".

vine, grape
character used to translate sound of foreign word grape

tao

MiD
~ ~

~. mel
JIU
••V

excellent; delicious wine night light moonlight

& 71: &71: ff &:Jftff

ye

...

guang

bei

a glass moonlight glass. A type of drinking glass made of jade. They are still produced in China.

w:
~

yu
v

...

want drink character used to transliterate sound of foreign words character used to transliterate sound of foreign words guitar used by barbarian tribes in western China

yin pi pa
".

m
~

;

m~
J~

rna

v

horse above, on; to ascend to urge. The sound of the pi pa urges him to mount his horse

...t.
~

shi?mg cui

28-2

M
~

ZUI
"' wo

,

intoxicated sleep sand ground sandy ground. Here a battlefield. Tang Dynasty battles were fought in the deserts of the far West, in Central Asia

19>
:f:~

sha chang

19>~
'3l5
jun
"' rno .' xrao

you don't laugh old, ancient come since olden times

*
~

ti * ti*
f.IE

gu
lai

v

,~
f.IE¥~
.t

zhang zhan

to reduce to submission, to conquer battle, war to fight a battle

JI ren
/

.v

how many? how much? person return

A
@]

hUI

28-3

~[9t~~ltmi~

=f:?k~:?kJE~f~ il~li~8~B~. , EJ ft~itJh~rJr~o*

,

0

0

Du Fu

Revered as China's greatest poet, Du Fu (Tu Fu) is the finest master of the art of poetry. He was born into a family of literary distinction. His grandfather was a prominent poet, his uncle a recognized Confucian scholar. Du Fu failed the imperial exams three times. He was unable to find a patron in the capital, nor did he impress the court sufficiently with his literary compositions to get a position. Finally in 755 he obtained a minor post. Soon however, the An Lushan rebells siezed the capital and Du Fu fled to serve the imperial court in exile.

29-1

IT
fII'#
~

jiang ban dG bu xGn hua huang
SI

river shore, bank alone a step; on foot search for flower, blossom yellow four mother a person's name.

?P~

1t
W

--IZ9

...

fr~ NlZ9fr~
~ ~ ~

ruanq

.~

jia man xi
qian
v

home, family, establishment to fill; full footpath one thousand; many measure word for flower ten thousand to press, weigh on branch low to keep, to detain, to entertain to connect, to join reluctant to leave; can't bear to part

T
~ ~ ~

duo wan ya zhi
di ...

;{Y:

f1t

Wi
~

liG !ian

W~

iX

XI

...

to play with butterfly

die

29-2

~

shi

time incessantly

~ffif


§

~ wu
,
ZI

to dance self at, in, on at base; comfortable

:tE
§:tE
~ ~ '~

zat

'.

jiao

lovely, charming oriole happily; fortunately to chirp; sound made by a bird

ying
.' qla

OW

ti

29-3

Du Fu

The An Lushan Rebellion captured Chang'an and set the Tang emperor to flight. Du Fu wrote this poem during the rebellion as insurgent troops occupied the capital. Although Du Fu's position--supervisor of a weapons storehouse--was too low to be affected, he couldn't leave Chang'an. F or the foliage to have been thick in spring has an ominous meaning for the Chinese reader of this poem. In China, trees and shrubs are pruned back severely in the spring. If they are growing thickly it is because order has broken down. There is no one to take care of them. Notice Du Fu's powers of description--how he personifies the scenery. He was so affected by the war that he felt empathy even for plants--the flowers shed tears.

30-1

chun wang
guo ... po
..-

spring to gaze at, to look at from afar country, nation to break mountain nver at, in, on city grass tree deep. Here luxurious feel; to be touched by events; current events. Shi means events of the time. flower to splash. Here water splashing from a plant when it is being watered. It is the verb of this sentence. tears

...

shan he
zar
-v ,

cheng cao
... mu
v

shen gan
shl
v

hua
jian

hen
bie niao

sorrow; to feel sorrow separate. Du Fu is separated from his family bird frightened heart. The poet hears the birds singing sorrowfully and thinks they also feel sorry for him. This parallels the sad current events touching the poet and the flowers shedding tears.

jTng

xTn

30-2

1:f
;k

feng hue

a beacon fire. Beacon fires set by sentries atop the wall to warn of the approach of the enemy. In other words, to be at war.

~

Han san

all together, continuously. three moon, month family write, writings. A letter (from the poet's family) worth ten thousand gold pieces white head. Here it means hair. scratch. In China, scratching one's hair indicates sorrow or mental anguish rather than confusion.

,F3
~ ~

yue jia

"-

shu dI wan jin
bal
"-

t~

M
~

8
~ ~

tau sao

]!

geng duan hun yu bu sheng zan
"-

"-

more short almost want no, not able to (bear or hold up) barrette, hair clasp. The poet is saying that his hair was already white and thin with age. Sorrowfully scratching his hair has made it even thinner, ... so thin that a barrette won't hold his hair up.

~.R i!!i l\ /f

WJ
~

30-3

Du Fu

Du Fu was given a post in the chancellery. Eventually his outspoken behavior got him demoted and exiled to Shensi. In 759 Du Fu resigned his post and traveled to Chengdu, Sichuan where he spent the final decade of his life. It was a productive period. Over half of his life's poetry was written in Chengdu. In this poem you will find both alliteration and parallelism. The parallelism is particularly pronounced; wu bian and bu jin, xiao xiao and gun gun. Du Fu is called the master of parallelism.

31-1

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