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Long, long had been my road and far, far was the journey;
I would go up and down to seek my heart's desire.

Qu Yuan (c. 340–278 BC) was a Chinese poet and minister who lived during the Warring States period of ancient China.

Contents

QuotesEdit

"The Great Summons" (trans. Arthur Waley)Edit

  • O Soul go not to the West
    Where level wastes of sand stretch on and on;
    And demons rage, swine-headed, hairy-skinned,
    With bulging eyes;
    Who in wild laughter gnash projecting fangs.
    O Soul go not to the West
    Where many perils wait!
    • Lines 27–33
  • O Soul come back to watch the birds in flight!
    He who has found such manifold delights
    Shall feel his cheeks aglow
    And the blood-spirit dancing through his limbs.
    • Lines 144–147

"Encountering Sorrow" (trans. David Hawkes)Edit

 
Enough! There are no true men in the state: no one to understand me.
  • 惟夫党人之偷乐兮,路幽昧以险隘。
    • The fools enjoy their careless pleasure,
      But their way is dark and leads to danger.
      • Line 17
  • 余固知謇謇之为患兮。
    • How well I know that loyalty brings disaster.
      • Line 21
  • 路曼曼其修远兮,吾将上下而求索。
    • Long, long had been my road and far, far was the journey;
      I would go up and down to seek my heart's desire.
      • Line 97
  • 世溷浊而不分兮,好蔽美而嫉妒。
    • The muddy, impure world, so undiscriminating,
      Seeks always to hide beauty, out of jealousy.
      • Line 107
  • 世溷浊而嫉贤兮,好蔽美而称恶。
    • For the world is impure and envious of the able,
      And eager to hide men's good and make much of their ill.
      • Line 127
  • 乱曰:已矣哉,
    国无人莫我知兮,又何怀乎故都?
    既莫足与为美政兮,吾将从彭咸之所居。
    • Enough! There are no true men in the state: no one to understand me.
      Why should I cleave to the city of my birth?
      Since none is worthy to work with in making good government,
      I will go and join Peng Xian in the place where he abides.
      • Lines 186–188

Quotes about Qu YuanEdit

  • Ch'u Yüan (B.C. 343–c. 290) ranks undoubtedly as one of the three or four greatest poets of China characterized by his intensity of feeling, his rich mythological details, and his somber imagination. The Songs of Ch'u belong in an entirely different category from either the poems of Confucian China, or from the later T'ang poems. His poems are at the same time among those most difficult to read in Chinese.
    • Lin Yutang, The Wisdom of China and India (New York: Random House, 1942), 'Chinese Poetry', Introduction, p. 869

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