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This is a poem by Bai Juyi, written in China about 800 AD, during the late T’ang Dynasty. It’s about the famous philosopher Lao Tzu.

“Those who speak know nothing;
Those who know are silent.”
These words, as I am told,
Were spoken by Lao Tzu.

If we are to believe that Lao Tzu
Was himself one who knew,
How did he happen to write a book
Five thousand words long?

(adapted from a translation by Arthur Waley)

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More about Bai Juyi
Song of Everlasting Sorrow
The Grain-Tax (a poem)
Chinese Literature
Ancient China
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Chinese literature
Ancient China