Family background and education
His ancestors were Xiongnu nomadic people. The putative ‘seventh generation’ family head, Liu Liang, was an official of the Northern Wei (386-534), who followed the Emperor Xiaowen (471-499) when he established the capital at Luoyang in 494. Following the government sinification policy, he became Han and register his surname as Liu. From then on the family was based in Luoyang.
Liu Yuxi’s father, Li Xu, was forced to leave Luoyang to avoid the An Lushan rebellion (755-763) and went to Jiaxing (in the north of present day Zhejiang Province). Liu Yuxi was born and grew up in the south. In his youth he studied with two renowned poets in Kuaiji (now Shaoxing), the Chan (Zen) monks Lingche (靈澈, 746-816) and Jiaoran (皎然, 730-799).
Just over 700 of his poems still exist, notable for their simple, 'folk' style. He was a friend of the great poet Bai Juyi, born in the same year as Liu Yuxi, who referred to "Liu and Po, those two mad old men" in at least one poem dedicated to Liu. Four of his poems are included in the classic Qing Dynasty anthology Three Hundred Tang Poems, which was first published in the 18th-century.
|Japanese:||りゅう うしゃく Ryū Ushaku|
|Zì (字):||Mèng dé (梦得; Meng-te in Wade-Giles)|
|Hào (號):||Shī háo (詩豪; Shih-hao in Wade-Giles)|
Lou Shi Ming
One of his most famous poems is 'Lou Shi Ming' 陋室銘, "The Scholar's Humble Dwelling", describing living in a simple dwelling, following a life that is refined in culture and learning:
山不在高， Who heeds the hill's bare height until
- Liu Yuxi short biography at Renditions.org
- 刘禹锡集 (Liu Yuxi Selected Works) 吴在庆 (Edited by Wu Zaiqing) Nanjing：凤凰出版社，2014 ISBN 978-7-5506-2009-4
- To Liu Yu-hsi (AD 838) from More Translations from the Chinese, by Arthur Waley, 1919, at sacred-texts.com
- "The Scholar's Humble Dwelling (Poem). Liu Yu Hsi. Translated by James Black.," The Open Court: Vol. 1911: Iss. 3, Article 7, available at: Open SIUC
- Lim, Chooi Kua [Lin Shui-kao]: A biography of Liu Yuxi, Chinese Culture, 36.2, 37.1 (1994, 1996), 115-50, 111-141
- Fang Li-Tian: Liu Zongyuan and Liu Yuxi. Theories of Heaven and Man in Yijie Tang, Zhen Li, George F. McLean, Man and Nature: The Chinese Tradition and the Future, CRVP, 1989, pp. 25–32, ISBN 978-0-8191-7412-3
- Red Pine (translator) (2003): Poems of the Masters: China's Classic Anthology of T'ang and Sung Dynasty Verse, Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press
- Richardson, Tori Cliffon Anthony. Liu Pin-k'o chia-hua lu ('A Record of Adviser to the Hier Apparent Liu (Yü-hsi's) Fine Discourses'): A Study and Translation. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Wisconsin, 1994
- Sping, Madeline K (1989): Equine Allegory in the Writings of Liu Yü-hsi, in Ti-i chieh Kuo-chi T'ang-tai wen-hsüeh hui-i Lun-wen chi 第一结国际唐代文学会议论文集, Taipei Student Book Company, pp 1–35
- Liu Yuxi in The Anchor Book of Chinese Poetry, Whittier College[dead link]
- Five poems by Liu Yuxi (Chinese only) at Chinapage.org
- Works by Liu Yuxi at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)