Grass (Bai Juyi) / 草 (白居易)

离离原上草 一岁一枯荣

野火烧不尽 春风吹又生

远芳侵古道 晴翠接荒城

又送王孙去 萋萋满别情

The grass is spreading out across the plain/ open country,

Each year, it dies, then flourishes again.

It’s burnt but not destroyed by prairie fires,

When spring winds blow they bring it back to life.

Afar, its scent invades the ancient road,

Its emerald green overruns the ruined town.

Again I see my noble friend depart,

I find I’m crowded full of parting’s feelings.


草 (白居易)
Grass by Bai juyi

Have you grab your tea or coffee? If so, let’s begin. This is one of my favourite poems that I have came across last year in late September. I discovered it while researching extensively about Chinese philosophy and history for a module that I was very excited to be enrolled in. This poem was written by the renowned Chinese Poet Bai Juyi (白居易) in the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907) whose works have made contributions even in the Japanese literature classic the Tale of Genji

Ethnically as a south Asian ( Indian/ Sri Lankan), who was born and raised in Southeastern Asia ( Singapore) , I have happily immersed myself in a vast variety of Asian cultures including East, South and Southeast Asian literature, and this poem is undeniably one of my top five favorite poems of Asian origins. I believe that this poem fits the current situation of the world right now. I see this poem that was penned ages ago as a beacon of light for mankind. Now, you may ( or may not) be wondering why I am saying this.

Well, I personally feel that the grass symbolises our humanness, simple, delicate and is affected by the elements around us , sometimes elements that we cannot control even like this pandemic that we are all currently experiencing. These have been difficult times but just like the grass we will come back stronger , prepared and more united as brothers and sisters in humanity. I have been so touched by the immense love and outpouring of compassion that have surpass the desperation and fear that the pandemic have caused. Just like the grass we will overcome and in the event of other struggles, we will still nevertheless persevere on.

This is Thursday Tea with Stephanie and I thank you for reading this post. Do share your thoughts if you have any or would like to introduce me to some of your favorite literacy works or even your own works regardless of language ( because the more the merrier) and I would love to include them into this series. Thank you for having tea with me and I wish you a wonderful week ahead!


11 thoughts on “Grass (Bai Juyi) / 草 (白居易)

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