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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

For Love of Singing Poems (by Bai Juyi)

Here's another poem about poetry from Bai Juyi. As with many other Tang poets, Bai Juyi served for many years as a government minister, and his early poems address a broad range of personal and social themes.  But in his later years, after retiring form government service, he was drawn increasingly towards spiritual practice and his poems became far more explicit in identifying the inspiration for his poetry as being deeply connected to the Buddhist faith.

Reciting prose and poems
Through thousands of quatrains
My heart journeyed long 
Until it found refuge
In the Buddhist faith
Now resting on a hempen bed
Idly reading to myself
I ponder upon a prior lifetime
Being both a poet and monk



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