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Bai Juyi
- Qin Shi #125
 
白居易 1
琴史 #125 2
Old image of Bai Juyi 3  
Bai Juyi (772 - 846) is one of China's most famous poets. Originally from near what is today Zhengzhou in Henan province, he spent most of his life in the lower Jiangnan area. There is a grave said to be his near Luoyang in Henan province.

Ronald Egan in his article "Music, Sadness and the Qin"4 writes that Bai Juyi mentions the qin over 160 times in his poetry. Qinshu Daquan (QQJC, Vol V) includes at least 19 of these, as follows:

Folio 19A, #10 (詠琴; translated; V. 416)
Folio 19A, #19 (廢琴; also translated; V. 417)
Folio 19B, #48 - #54 (V. 426 [7 poems]),
Folio 20A, #15 - #20 (V. 443 [6 poems]),
Folio 20A, #79 (V. 450) and
Folio 20B, #10 - #12 (V. 451 [3 poems]).

One of his poems mentions guqin and tea.

Another Bai Juyi poem mentions 琴筑 琴筑 qin with the rarely heard zhu: 和夢遊春詩一百韻, which includes the line "莓苔上几閣,塵土生琴筑。" (The whole poem is in Chinese Wikisource).

The Freer Gallery has online his poem "Three Friends of the Northern Window", the friends being wine, poetry and the qin), in calligraphy by Bada Shanren. It includes a translation by Stephen D. Allee of the last 10 of the 34 lines.

The biography in Qin Shi begins:

Bai Juyi, style name 樂天 Letian, was from 太原 Taiyuan....5

His poem Bianshui Liu established the structure for the later ci pai Chang Xiang Si.

 
Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Bai Juyi sources
23191.309 白居易 includes the image above. Qin Shi gives no references. Online see Wiki and the New World Encyclopedia.
(Return)

2. 11 lines (Return)

3. Image of Baijui By Chen Honghou
The image at top was copied from 23191.309; it does not give the source but most commonly its images are from 三才圖會 Sancai Tuhui. At right are two online images of Bai Juyi attributed to 陳鴻綬 Chen Hongshou, but the sources made no apparent attempt to identify their provenance. See, e.g., NWE and Taizhou website
(Return)

4. HJAS 57, pp. 53-4 (Return)

5. Not yet translated. (Return)

Return to QSCB, or to the Guqin ToC.