A Weekend Diary

…words and images from England's green and pleasant land…

Archive for the day “March 17, 2013”

Awaiting Gu Taiqing…

Gu Taiqing

Gu Taiqing

Composed at Random

Human life is an endless struggle—
The post-horse and plow-ox.
On the brows of the Daoist sadness never grows:
Quietly holding a book of immortality, seated by the window,
What else is there to seek?

Prospects disappear, far, far away,
Months and years are hard to detain.
In a hundred years’ time everyone will be a pat of mud,
So arrange a firm and safe place in your own mind
And let the boat float with the stream.

Gu Taiqing (1799-1877)

From ‘Poems Written in Tianyou Pavilion’.

I’ve loved this poem since the very first day I read it, and have been intrigued by its author ever since. No surprise then that I ordered the following book from Amazon UK when I very recently became aware of it, as it includes biographical information about Gu Taiqing ;).

‘Biographical Dictionary Of Chinese Women: The Qing Period, 1644-1911’
Edited by Lily Xiao Hong Lee, A. D. Stefanowska and. Clara Wing-chung, 1998

[The image above is from Wikimedia]


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