Bai Juyi

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Bai Juyi
Bai Juyi.

Bai Juyi ( Chinese  白居易 , Pinyin Bái Jūyì / Bó Jūyì , W.-G. Pai Chü-i ; * 772 in Xinzheng , Henan , † 846 in Luoyang ) was a Chinese poet of the Tang Dynasty . His age of majority ( Chinese   , Pinyin ) was Letian ( 樂天 , lètiān ).


Bai Juyi was the son of a poor but educated family. He wrote his first poems at a young age. In 800 he became a lecturer in the Imperial Palace Library, along with Yuan Zhen , who became one of his closest friends. From 807 he was a member of the Hanlin Academy , but was transferred to exile in the provincial city of Jiujiang around 815 due to excessive criticism . However, Emperor Muzong reinstated him in high offices: Among other things, he served as prefect in Hangzhou from 822 and in the same function in Suzhou from 825 .


More than 2,800 poems by Bai Juyi have survived, more than any other poet of the Tang Dynasty. The best known is about the Empress Yang Guifei , who was killed by the emperor's entourage while fleeing from rebels. Due to his simple language, he was a poet very popular with the common people during his lifetime and gained fame beyond the borders of China.

In many of his poems there are socially critical allusions, through which he made many enemies.


In the Japanese Nō piece " Haku Rakuten " (Sino-Japanese for Bai Letian ), some 100 years after his time, the superiority of Japanese poetry over his is presented.

The Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai got its name inspired by the poem "Pipa Song".


  • Bai Juyi: Asking the crane: 155 poems . Edited by Weigui Fang. From d. Chinese trans. v. Weigui Fang and Andreas Weiland. Göttingen: Cuvillier, 1999 ISBN 3-89712-732-6

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