A Weekend Diary

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

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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One thought on “Awaiting Gu Taiqing…

  1. The most famous female Chinese poet is Li Qingzhao (from the Sung Dynasty I seem to remember), but I’m more drawn to Gu Taiqing, not least I suppose because she’s evidently a Daoist. I’ve since found another book on Amazon UK, on Gu Taiqing’s poetry, but it’s entirely in Chinese!

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Taiqing-read-poetry-dictionary-Chinese/dp/7514600566/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363946711&sr=1-1

    However, I’ve ordered it anyway, as I’m intending to become fluent in the language eventually… 😉

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