The clouds float north: the complete poems of Yu Xuanji by Xuanji Yu

By Xuanji Yu

"Outside of her awesome poems, we all know subsequent to not anything approximately Yu Xuanji," David younger writes. "She used to be born in 844 and died in 868, on the age of twenty-four, condemned to loss of life for the homicide of her maid...We owe the survival of her forty-nine poems to the traditional chinese language anthologists' urge to be complete."The poems accrued during this bilingual (Chinese/English) version may be learn time and again for his or her good looks. The works protect Yu Xuanji's ardour, her sharp eye for aspect, her frequently witty diversifications on common chinese language topics, all of which offer the poems an immediacy one not often unearths in old, translated texts. Poems addressed to Yu Xuanji's husband and to different males (some well-known poets) and ladies supply us a few feel of her relationships; the publication additionally comprises different conventional chinese language kinds resembling meditations on landscapes and low poems commemorating banquet days. As famous within the advent, the poetry additionally provokes us to contemplate the act of writing, in regards to the tradition and politics of the T'ang Dynasty, and approximately gender.

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Sent to a Neighbor Woman Friend" (p. 2) Eight five-character lines. Title: Zeng lin nü First line: Xiu ri zhe luo xiu Yu Xuanji is in fact specific about the "great poets" and "handsome lovers" of the closing lines. C. poet, and Wang Chang, a Tang Dynasty government official known for his good looks. Page 62 "The Fragrance of Orchids" (p. 3) Eight five-character lines. Title: Ji guo xiang First line: Dan xi zui yin shen A poem that shows this poet's imaginative range and philosophical tendency.

The match of form to subject does not feel predictable. The four-line poems feel terse, of course, and the longer poems expansive, but both are used for the full range of her interest and attention. We do not, as mentioned earlier, know the chronology to all this variety. Did Yu Xuanji turn from longing for her husband to consolation with other men? Did she move from multiple relationships into a concentration on one? Were all these experiences and emotions coterminous rather than sequential? And how much does literary convention dictate details and emotions that we are tempted to ascribe to biography and subjective emotion?

Her response to their separation is consistent and strong, and the authenticity of her emotion is unmistakable, suggesting that he was indeed the great love of her life. She thus places herself among the sorrowful, separated wives whose situations, sympathetically represented by male poets, make for some of the most moving poems in the classical Chinese tradition. Such women had even, from time to time, been given a voice by the male poets who contemplated themLi Bai's (Li Po's) "The River Merchant's Wife, A Letter," is the most famous such example.

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