Hu Zhiyu (Chinese: 胡祇遹, 1227–1293), also known as Purple Mountain Hu (Chinese: 紫山胡), was a period writer of Chinese Sanqu poetry during the Yuan Dynasty. He was from Hebei and orphaned early in life. Nonetheless he applied himself to his studies and associated with others of exceptional ability. In the 1260s he rose to the high official position of Erudite of the Court of Imperial Sacrifices. However he earned the enmity of a Muslim high minister of finance Ahmad Fanakati (?-1282). Hu was then obliged to fill lesser official positions. Others wrote of him that officials feared him while ordinary people loved him. His writings were largely poetry. He was much influenced by Song poetry with its directness and lack or ornament. His sanqu (散曲) verses were highly literate, a characteristic of the time. He was likewise gifted at a variety of literary forms, as well as a skilled calligrapher.
(Shuangdiao: Chenzui tongfeng)
For the Actress Zhu Lianxiu
By the river stitched in colors,
Above the wool-dressed sea
There is a bright pearl.
When the moon is pale,
Where the wind is pure,
The dust from fallen crimson is shut away.
A bit of careless ease
Bears the strains of life,
My constant thinking
Of love’s morning clouds and evening rains.
- Hu Qiaomu ed., The Great Encyclopedia of China, Chinese Literature, vol. 1, Beijing-Shanghai, 1986, p 271.
- Lu Weifen ed., Complete Yuan Period Sanqu Lyrics, Liaoning, 2000, vol. 1, pp. 157–9.
- Ma Liangchun and Li Futian ed., The Great Encyclopedia of Chinese Literature, Tianlu, 1991, vol. 6, p. 4190.
- Carpenter, Bruce E. "Chinese San-ch’ü Poetry of the Mongol Era: I", Tezukayama Daigaku kiyo (Journal of Tezukayama University), Nara, Japan, no. 22, p. 34.