Biography of Meng Jiao
Meng Jiao (Chinese: 孟郊; Wade–Giles: Meng Chiao; 751–814) was a poet of the Tang Dynasty, in China. Two of his poems have been collected in the popular anthology Three Hundred Tang Poems. Meng was the oldest of the Mid-Tang poets and is noted for the unusual forcefulness and harshness of his poems.
Meng Jiao's courtesy name was Dongye (traditional Chinese: 東野; simplified Chinese: 东野; pinyin: Dōngyě).
Meng Jiao was born into difficult times. His pursuit of poetry and reluctance until late in life to write and pass the imperial examinations (which if taken earlier in life might have eventually lead to a well-paid political career) resulted in his living a life in which necessities were scarce. Nevertheless, his commitment to poetry resulted in him becoming an influential leader in terms of poetic innovation.
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Meng Jiao Poems
Song Of A Traveling Son
Thread in the hands of a loving mother Turns to clothes on the traveling son. She adds stitch after tight stitch until he leaves and worries about his return. A grass blade is bathed in spring sun; how can its inch-sized heart return such love?
The thread in the hand of a kind mother Is the coat on the wanderer's back. Before he left she stitched it close In secret fear that he would be slow to return.
On Failing The Examination
The dawn moon struggles to shine its light. the man of sorrows struggles with his feelings. Who says in spring things are bound to flourish? All I see is frost on the leaves.
Song Of Fidelity
Parasol trees age side by side, Mandarin ducks die together in pairs. A pure woman would die with her husband, just give her life away, no waves stirring in her heart calm as water in a well.
Lonely bones can't sleep nights. Singing insects keep calling them, calling them. And the old have no tears. When they sob, autumn weeps dewdrops. Strength failing
Laments Of The Gorges
Triple Gorge one thread of heaven over ten thousand cascading thongs of water, slivers of sun and moon sheering away above, and wild swells walled-in below,
Write bad poems and you're sure to earn a post, but good poets can only embrace the empty mountains Embracing mountains makes me shake with cold.
Despise poetry, and you'll be named to office. But to love poetry is like clinging to a mountain: frozen, holding tight, facing death, days of sorrow followed by sorrow.
Let's compete with our tears, let them pour into a lotus pond; then we'll wait this year and see whose flowers drown in salt water.
Departure In Ancient Times
I clutch your clothes when you leave. Please tell me where you are going. I don't complain if you come back late. Please don't go to the brothel.
Lonely bones can't sleep nights. Singing
insects keep calling them, calling them.
And the old have no tears. When they sob,
autumn weeps dewdrops. Strength failing
all at once, as if cut loose, and ravages
everywhere, like weaving unraveled,
I touch thread-ends. No new feelings.