Bumping Into Li Guinian South of the River

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Du Fu drifting in Jiangnan

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Bumping Into Li Guinian South of the River
           Du Fu 712-770

At the Lofty Palace
        we sought each other out,
In the Nine Tower Hall
        many times I heard you play.
This South of the River scenery
        most certainly is grand,
Now in the autumn of our lives
        again our paths cross.
Jiāngnán Féng Lǐ Guīnián
Dù Fǔ 712-770

Qí wáng zhá lǐ xún cháng jiàn,
Cuī jiǔ táng qián jǐdù wén.
Zhèngshì Jiāngnán hǎo fēngjǐng,
Làhuā shíjié yòu féngjūn!
Translator: Dongbo 東波

Li Gunian was a famous singer in the court of the Tang emperor Xuan Zong. During the An Lushan rebellion of 756 he fled to Chengdu with the emperor. Years later, in 770, the poet Du Fu found him in more humble circumstances on the shore of the Dongting Lake in Jiangnan, the area south of the Changjiang.

See Dai Biaoyuan's poem 'Remembering An Old Troubador'.

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