Farewell to Liu Zongyuan in Exile
Recalled together after an exile of ten years,
Again we’re banished for long miles and say adieu.
We reappear but unlike our noble compeers;
Thrice in exile I feel I’m unworthy of you.
We watch returning wild geese till they’re out of sight;
We’re sad to hear the monkey wail with broken heart.
The Western River flows far from the Southern height.
Longing for each other, can we be kept apart?
The poet was banished to the south and his friend to the west for ten years, both were recalled and again banished together, but the poet said he was unworthy of his friend for he was not so straightforward.
The poem “Farewell to Liu Zongyuan in Exile” is a poem written by Liu Yuxi, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. The poem is a heartfelt reply to his dear friend Liu Zongyuan’s poem, “Farewell to Hengyang and Meng Score Road”, which was written in 815 AD when the author was relegated to his post. The poem has a tight and compact structure, a smooth flow, apt and natural use of allusions, and a heavy and condensed poem with deep sorrow and grievance, moving and touching the heart, reflecting the sincere friendship between the author and his friend.