Y: Yueh Fu


During the Han Dynasty (206 b.c.e – 220 a.d.) in China, popular songs were returned to prominence by the Music Bureau (yueh fu), a government bureau charged with the collection of folk songs, ballads and ceremonial music. These songs, marked by a spontaneous lyricism and a greater formal freedom, in turn exercised considerable influence on the poets.

While the music was lost, the verses became the basis of the yue fu form. These poems were significant because they consisted of lines of varying lengths, some having a regular form of five syllables per line rather than the then-standard four-syllable line.

Now, I know no Chinese and I am taking this to mean that poems of the yue fu form are lyrical in nature. Here’s my take and I have to mention that in case I have misunderstood the form or fail to do it justice, I clearly do not mean to offend anyone.

Neatly pressed.

I snatched this poem from the mouth of the Night

as it raced past me on its red-golden steed

into the deepening light

I stole these lines from the teardrop

on a white flower as it lay glittering and dying

in the morning sun

I will take these words to the bottom of the garden

where the toadstools groand light the fire

under the cauldron

I will gently breathe and watch the runes

as they tumble and fall softly into the laughter

of the fairies you say aren’t there

And you will know. Yes, you will know one night

when you wake and find my rhymes

neatly pressed.

waiting by your side.

One Comment Add yours

  1. latika fernandes says:


    Loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s