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June 2, 2008

Bai Juyi on the Daodejing

The Chinese Tang-poet Bai Juyi wrote the following tongue-in-cheek poem about the Daodejing, the Daoist wisdom book that claims that "those who know, don't speak":
Reading Laozi

Those who speak do not know, those who know are silent,
I heard this saying from the old gentleman.
If the old gentleman was one who knew the way,
Why did he feel able to write five thousand words?

(from Chinese Poems)