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Tag: Chinese poetry

What did the garrulous Lao Zi know?

读老子

言者不如知者默
此语吾闻于老君
若道老君是知者
缘何自著五千文

dú lǎo zi

yán zhě bù zhī zhī zhě mò
cǐ yǔ wú wén yú lǎo jūn
ruò dào lǎo jūn shì zhī zhě
yuán hé zì ruò wǔ qiān wén

Reading Lao Zi

Speak person not know know person silent
This saying I hear from old gentleman
If Way old gentleman be know person
Reason what confident five thousand characters

Reading Lao Zi

Bai Juyi

Those who speak do not know, those who know are silent,
I heard this saying from the old gentleman.
If the old gentleman was one who knew the way,
Why did he feel able to write five thousand words?

Published Version

This poem is volume (juàn) 455, no. 1 in the Complete Tang Poems (quán táng shī).

My Source

Mark Alexander who has a book available at GBP 7.99.

MY CORRECTIONS

I am not a Chinese-speaker. Nor do I have a copy of the original poem. But I think there may be mistakes in the Chinese at the top. I have corrected the characters in three places.

言者不知, 知者默.
此语我闻于老君.
若道老君是知者,
缘何自若五千文?

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