Zhang Yanghao

Zhang Yanghao (simplified Chinese: 张养浩; traditional Chinese: 張養浩; pinyin: Zhāng Yǎnghào; 1270–1329), courtesy name Ximeng, was a writer from Shandong who lived during the Yuan Dynasty and authored prose, poems, as well as songs.[1] He is particularly well known for his Sanqu poetry.[1] Among his works is one of the most frequently anthologized poems of the "meditation on the past" (Chinese: 怀古; pinyin: huáigǔ) genre, a song poem titled "Meditation on the Past at Tong Pass" (Chinese: 潼关怀古; pinyin: Tóngguān Huáigǔ) and set to the tune of "Sheep on Mountain Slope" (Chinese: 山坡羊; pinyin: Shānpō yáng).[2] Besides his work as a writer, Zhang Yanghao also held high government posts and served at one time as head of the Ministry of Rites.[3] His tomb is in Shandong, to the north of the city center of Jinan.

Zhang Yanghao
Zhang Yanghao Drawing.jpg
Licheng District, Jinan
NationalityYuan Dynasty
Occupationwriter, government official
Known forSanqu poetry

Meditation on the Past at Tong PassEdit

The song poem "Meditation on the Past at Tong Pass" is Zhang Yanghao most well-known work. It reads:

峰峦如聚, Fēng luán rú jù, Peaks and ridges press together,
波涛如怒, bō tāo rú nù, waves and torrents rage,
山河表里潼关路。 shān hé biǎo lǐ Tóng Guān lù. zigzagging between the mountains and the river runs the road through Tong Pass.
望西都, Wàng xi dū, I look to the western capital,
意踌躇。 yì chóu chú. my thoughts linger.
伤心秦汉经行处, Shāng xīn qín hàn jīng xíng chù, It breaks my heart to come to the old place of the Qin and Han,
宫阙万间都做了土。 gōng qué wàn jiān dōu zuò le tǔ. now palaces and terraces have all turned to dust.
兴, Xīng, [Dynasties] rise,
百姓苦; bǎi xìng kǔ; the common folk suffer;
亡, Wáng, [Dynasties] fall,
百姓苦。 bǎi xìng kǔ. the common folk suffer.

List of poemsEdit


  1. ^ a b Kwai-cho Ho, A study of Zhang Yanghao (1270-1329) and his Sanqu, PhD thesis, The University of Hong Kong,1994
  2. ^ Zong-Qi Cai, How to Read Chinese Poetry: A Guided Anthology, Columbia University Press, 2008
  3. ^ Tian Yuan Tan, Songs of Contentment and Transgression: Discharged Officials and Literati Communities in Sixteenth-Century North China, Harvard University Press, 2010. p. 48