Po Chu-I

Po Chu-I

Po Chu-I occupied several important government posts, rising to the presidency of the imperial board of wa. He wrote over 3,000 poems—brief, topical verses expressed in very simple, clear language. His poetry figures prominently in The Tale of Genji, the tenth century Japanese novel by Murasaki Shikibu. Po’s work gained wide popularity throughout East Asia. He continued to write despite partial paralysis and enjoyed great fame during his lifetime.

The Selected Poems Of Po Chu-I

by Po Chu-I

Translated from the Classical Chinese by David Hinton

Po Chü-i (772-846 C.E.) is the quintessential Chinese poet. For although clear thought and depth of wisdom inform the work of all major Chinese poets (as opposed to the complexity and virtuosity often valued in the West), Po makes clarity itself his particular vision. Po Chü-i rose from humble beginnings to high government office, but he was always a recluse at heart and spent many years in relative seclusion. Although some of Po’s most famous poems are those of social protest, many of his finest are private and meditative.…
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