Poetry of Bái Jū-Yì (白居易)

Reading Chinese poetry with a warm cup of wū lóng tea seems very fitting these days with the arrival of winter and its short, dark, and wet days. The following are two personal favorites of mine written by Bái Jū-Yì (772-846) of the tang dynasty known for his plain, direct, and easily comprehensible style of verse, as well as for his social and political criticism.

Thoughts, interpretations, and comments are always welcome and encouraged.



A Bloom is not a Bloom

Bái Jū-Yì

A bloom is not a bloom,
The mist not mist.
It comes at midnight,
And leaves again at dawn.
Arrives like a spring dream, but for how long?
Departs like morning clouds, without a trace.



Reading Lǎo Zǐ

Bái Jū-Yì

Those who speak do not know, while the ones that do are silent.
These are the words I’ve heard from the old gentleman (Lǎo Zǐ).
If the old gentleman knew the way,
Then for what reason did he write five-thousand characters.

6 thoughts on “Poetry of Bái Jū-Yì (白居易)

  1. Thank you for reading brother!!!Roni, I know you like to dabble in the poetry yourself, so if you've got some stuff you like and want to translate, I'd love to post it here. Eran

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