The Red Cockatoo

written by Bai Juyi

The Red Cockatoo

— Bai Juyi

Sent as a present from Annam
A red cockatoo.
Coloured like the peach-tree blossom,
Speaking with the speech of men.
And they did to it what is always done
To the learned and eloquent.
They took a cage with stout bars
And shut it up inside.

About the poet


Bai Juyi

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...

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