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Chinese poem illustration: 寄扬州韩绰判官/ A Letter to Officer Han Chao of Yangzhou city by Du Mu


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A letter of poem to one of his best friend Han Chao. The two indulged themselves for two years in the infamous penthouse(青楼) in Yangzhou city, and this poem is a reminiscence of their happy hours.

Yangzhou city in Tang dynasty is just like Shanghai today, the biggest commercial city of the time, far away from the political power and hierarchy, which in turn make its entertainment and nightlife more outstanding.

It is hard to tell if the Yangzhou image was created by Du Mu or Yangzhou cultivate the fame by itself. Anyhow, when ever a Chinese thought about Yangzhou, this lively, a tiny bit of erotic atmosphere poem emerges, the words 24 Bridges(二十四桥), Beauty Teach Playing Flute (玉人教吹箫) apparently become the signature of Yangzhou. The beauty in this poem is more likely refers to Han Chao.

Reading in Shaanxi dialect(秦腔) at 2:25.



CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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