Lu Tong

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Lu Tong
Tang dynasty poet Lu Tong.jpg
Lu Tong, painted by Kanō Tsunenobu in the 18th century.
Native name 盧仝
Born 790
Jiyuan, Henan, China
Died 835
Chang'an, Shaanxi, China
Occupation Poet
Notable work Yuchuanzi’s Collection of Poetry
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese

Lú Tóng (pinyin; Wade–Giles: Lu T'ung; simplified Chinese: 卢仝; traditional Chinese: 盧仝; 790–835) was a Tang dynasty Chinese poet, known for his lifelong study of the tea culture. He never became an official, and is better known for his love of tea than his poetry.[1][2]


Lu Tong, also called by the self-ascribed art name Yuchuanzi,[3] was from the city of Jiyuan in the Chinese province of Henan. He was a mid-Tang Dynasty poet, four literati after the generation Lu Zhaolin. Most of his poetry was devoted to tea and tea ceremony.

Lu Tong when young was smart; before 20 years old he went into inclusion at Shaoshi Mountain, Songshan, and refused to be an official. He was in Han Yu's good graces later, and moved to Luoyang. November 20, 835, on the eve of the Ganlu Incident, Lu Tong was a guest in the home of Wang Ya who was a prime minister. He was killed with Wang Ya when the incident broke out on November 21. "Lu Tong had no hair, and died due to a nail in the back of the head". The Jiyuan County Annals that Xiao Yingzhi with friends written in Qianlong period records: There is a "Tomb of Lu Tong" in Wushantou and 12 miles away from the northwest county. In the poem Crying for Lu Tong, his good friend Jia Dao said: "He wore white clothes once in forty years of his life.".

The poems of Lu Tong are surprising, unusual, risky and strange, people call "Lu Tong’s Style". His Yuchuanzi’s Collection of Poetry is handed down to the world. He likes tea, and his Thanks Meng Jianyi for Sending the New Tea Handwriting is called "Tea Song of Yuchuan", and is as famous as the "Tea Classic" of Lu Yu. The poems that survive are about tea, a favorite being the "Seven Bowls of Tea", translated below.


Lu Tong's Seven Bowls of Tea 七碗诗 卢仝(唐. 790~835)

The first bowl moistens my lips and throat; 一碗喉吻潤,

The second bowl breaks my loneliness; 二碗破孤悶,

The third bowl searches my barren entrails but to find 三碗搜枯腸,

Therein some five thousand scrolls; 惟有文字五千卷,

The fourth bowl raises a slight perspiration 四碗發輕汗,

And all life's inequities pass out through my pores; 平生不平事盡向毛孔散,

The fifth bowl purifies my flesh and bones; 五碗肌骨清,

The sixth bowl calls me to the immortals. 六碗通仙靈,

The seventh bowl could not be drunk, 七碗吃不得也,

only the breath of the cool wind raises in my sleeves. 唯覺兩腋習習清風生。

Where is Penglai Island, Yuchuanzi wishes to ride on this sweet breeze and go back. 蓬萊山﹐在何處,玉川子乘此清風欲歸去。

(Steven R. Jones 2008)

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