Occasional poems on the subject of parting are a well-known subgenre of classical Chinese verse. In this famous quatrain, Wang Wei commemorates a friend’s departure on an official mission to the distant (and culturally alien) oasis cities of the Tarim Basin.
Feel free to post here any questions, observations, or feedback that might have occurred to you as you took our brief course on Wang Wei’s poem. Whether or not you’ve seen the video, we’re interested in hearing your thoughts about the text. If you have a translation of your own, feel free to share it.