About Zi You and Ku Yi


To explain who is Zi You and Ku Yi in poem A Snowy Day in Spring.

About Zi You

Zi You, also known as Wang Huizhi, was the son the Wang Xizhi, a Chinese writer and official who lived during the Jin Dynasty (265–420), best known for his mastery of Chinese calligraphy. His most noted and famous work is "the Preface to the Poems Composed at the Orchid Pavilion(Lantingji Xu)". Shen Yun once portrayed this great work in a dance piece called "Poets of the Orchid Pavilion".

Zi You was also very famous for his mastery of Chinese calligraphy. Legend has it that once on a snowy night, he suddenly woke up from a dream. Observing the beautiful scenery, he recited poems and suddenly remembered one of his friends who lived very far away. He immediately jumped upon a boat, traveled for the whole night and reached his friend's home by the morning. However, he didn't enter his friend's home. Instead, he returned immediately. When people asked him why, he replied, "I went to visit him when I was in the mood; and I came back because I was no longer in the mood. Why should I actually see him?"

About Ku Yi

Ku Yi can either refer to a Taoist mountain or a divine being who oversees the snow. Zhuangzi, a famous Chinese philosopher who lived around the 4th century BC during the Warring States period, wrote the following in his article "A Happy Excursion":

"On the Miao Ku Yi Mountain there lives a divine one, whose skin is white like ice or snow, whose grace and elegance are like those of a virgin, who eats no grain, but lives on air and dew, and who, riding upon clouds with flying dragons, roams beyond the limits of our mortal world. When his spirit gravitates, he can ward off corruption from all things, and bring good yields to our crops."