Po Chü-i

(redirected from Bo Juyi)

Po Chü-i

(bô jü-ē), 772–846, Chinese poet. He occupied several important government posts, rising to the presidency of the imperial board of war in 841. He wrote over 3,000 poems, brief, topical verses expressed in very simple, clear language. Perhaps his most noted poem is the Song of Everlasting Regret (806), which recounts the sufferings of Emperor Ming Huang on the murder of his concubine by rebels. The poem figures prominently in The Tale of Genji, the 10th-century Japanese novel by Murasaki Shikibu; Po's work gained wide popularity throughout East Asia. He continued to write despite partial paralysis and enjoyed great fame during his lifetime.


See A. Waley, The Life and Times of Po Chü-i (1949); E. Feifel, Po Chü-i as a Censor (1961).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Po Chü-i


Born, 772; died, 846. Chinese poet. Born into an impoverished aristocratic family.

Po occupied high government posts and was ruler of Chiangchou (present-day Ch’iungchiang). He was famous for being a lover of the people. He wrote about 3,000 poems. The first collection of Po Chü-i’s works was published during his lifetime. Po’s lyrics are characterized by their love of life and of humanity. In his letters, he pointed out the role that literature plays in life. He wrote the famous long narrative poems Song of Unending Sorrow and Lute. Po wrote verse exposes in which he criticized corruption, feudal lawlessness, and war: these included ten poems under the title Ch’in Melodies, and 50 New Popular Songs. Yuan Chen, Liu Yü-hsi, and other outstanding poets gathered around Po. In Chinese poetry he ranks in importance with the great eighth-century poets Li Po and Tu Fu.


In Russian translation: Stikhi. Moscow, 1958.
“Pesn’ o beskonechnoi toske.” In Vostok, collection 1. Moscow, 1935.
“Liutnia.” In Antologiia kitaiskoi liriki VII-IX vv. Moscow-Petrograd, 1923.


Eidlin, L. Z. “Iz tanskoi poezii (Bo Tsziui-i).” Tr. Voennogo in-ta inostrannykh iazykov, 1946, no. 2.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
A direct reference to a Tang Dynasty poem by Bo Juyi, the title may be seen as an allusion to the travails of the putative main character, Wang Qiyao, but it is the subtitle, "A Novel of Shanghai," that names the tale's true center--the city itself.
IN A LETTER TO HIS FRIEND Bo Juyi [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in 815, the poet Yuan Zhen [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] described a collection of "over eight hundred" of his own poems that he had presented to an official visiting his area a few years earlier, in 812.
Scholarship on the literary and political thought of Yuan Zhen has long lagged behind that on his friend and contemporary, Bo Juyi (772-846), who is regarded as a more important contributor to mid-Tang intellectual life.
The transmission of the "poems of seductive allure" begins with the collection Yuan made in 812 and Yuan's 815 letter to Bo Juyi, in which he mentions the category of yanshi.
Whether he owned or had simply seen a copy, Chen describes a sixty-juan edition of Yuan's works that also had a two-juan collection of "yishi" [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], "remaining poems." After paraphrasing Yuan's letter to Bo Juyi, Chen says,
As mentioned above, Hong Gua, in his colophon to the 1168 edition of Yuan's works, cites Yuan Zhen's own description of his "ten categories" of poetry described in the 815 letter to Bo Juyi, the last category of which was, in fact, the "poems of seductive allure." However, despite the fact that the letter itself seems to have been transmitted intact from the Tang down, and despite his own faithfulness to the rest of the letter, Hong Gua substantially edits the sentences on the yanshi, most notably omitting the introductory phrase defending the poems: "And then there are those [poems] that provoke so as to instruct and transform We find no further mention by Hong of these yanshi in the colophon, although they may have been part of the appended juan mentioned by his brother Hong Mai.
In 802, the next reliable date we have for his biography, Yuan passed the bacui [CHINESE CHARACTERS NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] examination along with eight other candidates, including Bo Juyi. Yuan spent the next four years in Chang'an as a collator of texts in the palace library, working alongside Bo; then, in 806, Yuan passed a special palace exa mination that won him an important post in the censorate--a post in which he expressed all too strenuously his own views on the conduct of the emperor and the imperial household.
(30) However, we have no preface or other presentation document to Li Jingjian for the 812 collection, only Yuan Zhen's letter to Bo Juyi about the collection, a letter that was written three years later, on Yuan's transfer to a better position.
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