Lament of a Northwestern Woman (Qin Fu Yin), composed by Wei Zhuang after the Huangchao uprising, is a long poem that showcases the sufferings of the civilians and embodies the people’s character of the poem, which is the profound empathy and compassion of the poet towards the civilians’ plight. The poem was written during the reign of Emperor Xizong of the Tang Dynasty in the year Gengmao (883 AD). 2023 is also the year Gengmao, so this poem has existed for a remarkable 1140 years. For over a millennium, this long poem remained submerged in history until the opening of the Dunhuang Grottoes at the turn of the 20th century. The deep compassion and commiseration towards the underprivileged masses conveyed in this long poem are reminiscent of Du Fu’s renowned “Three Poems of Separation.” Moreover, it is widely believed that this poem foretells the decline of the Tang Dynasty.




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