The Golden Age of Poetry in China was during the Tang Dynasty (618 – 906 AD). One book of Chinese Love Poetry edited by Jane Portal (© 2004) was published by Barnes & Noble Books (ISBN 0-7607-4833-0).
Most people outside of China don’t think of love poems when they think of China. However, there has to be a reason for more than 1.3 billion people, other than the Great Wall of China, the Pacific Ocean and the Himalayan Mountains that helped shelter China from global wars and invasions that rocked the rest of the world for centuries until the West invaded China during the 19th century Opium Wars to force, if possible, a different set of values on China’s collective culture.
For poetry lovers, China’s love poetry imparts a sense of the private passion that beats in the Chinese heart. The three arts of poetry, calligraphy and painting, the Triple Excellence, are represented on the pages of the book Jane Portal edited.
As you can see, the Chinese are a passionate people; they just don’t dramatize these passions publicly as many Westerners do.
The following poem by Du Mu (803 – 852 AD) is an English translation.
Deeply in love, but tonight
we seem to be passionless;
I just feel, before our last cup of wine
a smile will not come.
The wax candle has sympathy –
weeps at our separation:
Its tears for us keep rolling down
till day breaks.
Discover Wu Zetian, China’s only female emperor, who ruled during the Tang Dyansty.
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the unique love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.