Jia Dao (traditional Chinese: 賈島; simplified Chinese: 贾岛; pinyin: Jiǎ Dǎo; Wade–Giles: Chia Tao) (779–843), courtesy name Langxian (浪仙), was a Chinese poet active during the Tang dynasty. He was born near modern Beijing; after a period as a Buddhist monk, he went to Chang'an. He became one of Han Yu's disciples, but failed the jinshi exam several times. He wrote both discursive gushi and lyric jintishi. His works were criticised as "thin" by Su Shi, and some other commentators have considered them limited and artificial.
According to Dr. James J.Y. Liu (1926–1986), a professor of Chinese and comparative literature, Jia’s poem "The Swordsman" (劍客) "seems...to sum up the spirit of knight errantry in four lines." "The Swordsman" reads in Liu's translation as follows:
- For ten years I have been polishing this sword;
- Its frosty edge has never been put to the test.
- Now I am holding it and showing it to you, sir:
- Is there anyone suffering from injustice?
Pine, Red, and Mike O'Connor. The clouds should know me by now: Buddhist poet monks of China. Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1999. Includes selection of dual-language poems.
- Works by Jia Dao at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
- Books of the Quan Tangshi that include collected poems of Jia Dao at the Chinese Text Project:
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