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picture of Bai Juyi 722 to 846
Bai Juyi
772-846


Theme:  Wine Musings


NOTES:
Bai Juyi is also known as Po Chü-i and, in Japan, as Haku Kyo'i.  He was a government official in the Tang Dynasty, including posts as governor of three different provinces.  Many of his poems reflect his life in government.

Beginning with line 9,  Juyi is referring to a well-known legend concerning a Chinese sage by the name of T'ai-kung. This wiseman of China sat totally still for some seventy years while fishing, until that fateful day when the Prince of Chou, Wen Wang, happened upon him.  Sensing his inate wisdom, Prince Wang immediately employed T'ai-kung as a counselor in his Royal Court.

I practiced this same “fishing and meditating” discipline when I was 18 – until that “fateful day” when my father happened upon me and “suggested” that I try a more traditional job-hunting strategy.
- S. H. Bass  

Special Note:  The Wine Poems of China


more Bai Juyi at
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winepoems.com

After Passing the Examination (Waley)
Getting Up Early (Waley)
My Servant Wakes Me (Waley)
On Being Sixty (Waley)
Planting Flowers On The Eastern Embankment (Waley)
Rejoicing At The Arrival Of Ch’ēn Hsiung (Waley)
The Chrysanthemums  (Waley)
Thinking Of The Past (Waley)

To His Brother Hsing-Chien (Waley)



Stop Button Clutter!
Fishing In The Wei River
Bai Juyi (772-846), Chinese poet of the Tang Dynasty
translated by Arthur Waley (1889-1966), British scholar

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.
A gentle wind blows on my fishing-gear
Softly shaking my ten feet of line.
Though my body sits waiting for fish to come,
My heart has wandered to the Land of Nothingness.
Long ago a white-headed man,
Also fished at the same river’s side;
A hooker of men, not a hooker of fish,
At seventy years, he caught Wen Wang.
But I, when I come to cast my hook in the stream,
Have no thought either of fish or men.
Lacking the skill to capture either prey,
I can only bask in the autumn water’s light.
When I tire of this, my fishing also stops;
I go to my home and drink my cup of wine.


from More Translations from the Chinese (1919)


Project Gutenberg logoFREE E-BOOKS  at Project Gutenberg

170 Chinese Poems (1918)

More Poems from the Chinese (1919)


       

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