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Bai Juyi (pinyin: Bái Juyì; Wade-Giles: Po Chü-i was a Chinese poet of the Tang dynasty. Many of his poems concern his career or observations made as a government official, including as governor of three different provinces. Bai Juyi was also renowned in Japan. Burton Watson says of Bai Juyi: "he worked to develop a style that was simple and easy to understand, and posterity has requited his efforts by making him one of the most well-loved and widely read of all Chinese poets, both in his native land and in the other countries of the East that participate in the appreciation of Chinese culture. He also, thanks to the translations and biographical studies by Arthur Waley, one of the most accessible to English readers". Today the fame of Bai Juyi is worldwide.

Name variants


Pinyin: Bó Juyì or Bái Juyì

Wade-Giles: Po Chü-i or Pai Chü-i

Zì : Lètian

Hào : Xiangshan Jushì

Zuìyín Xiansheng

Shì Wén (hence referred

to as Bái Wéngong )

Bai Juyi often referred to himself in life as Letian, the older English transcription version being Lo-t'ien, meaning something like "happy-go-lucky". Later in life, he referred to himself as the Hermit of Xiangshan.


Bai Juyi lived during the Middle Tang period. This was a period of rebuilding and recovery for the Tang Empire, following the An Shi Rebellion, and following the poetically flourishing era famous for Li Bo (701-762), Wang Wei (701-761), and Du Fu (712-770). Bai Juyi lived thr..
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