Thirteen poems by ancient Chinese ghosts
October 5, 2022 9:26 AM   Subscribe

Thirteen poems by ancient Chinese ghosts
I recently discovered that the 1707 collection Complete Tang Poems has, amid various miscellaneous subjects tucked in the back, two chapters of poems by ghosts and I’ve become obsessed. I just posted this sampler of thirteen translations, as an installment as I work my way through them. This stuff is awesome: there’s a poem thrown at general by a suit of armor, a poem written in blood in the front hall of a magistrate’s house, more than one riverbank lament over a lack of funeral rites, and a voice from the women’s quarters giving her reaction to hearing the story of Mulan.

This is a component of a project I posted about three years ago: as a way of practicing Chinese, I’ve been translating Tang Dynasty poetry. The folklore involved is wonderful. As are the ghost stories themselves.
Role: translator
posted by Quasirandom (3 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Lovely. Thank you.
posted by dng at 2:43 PM on October 6


Thank you for this. It's awesome. I love the idea of ghosts writing poems and of them being collected in a book! Thank you for taking the time to translate and share.
posted by BoscosMom at 1:57 PM on October 22


I love that idea, as well. I've gotten obsessed with it.
posted by Quasirandom at 9:05 AM on October 24


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