Do you believe "Preface to the Tengwang Pavilion" was spontaneously composed by Wang Bo on the spot? Isn't such a piece of writing something that was prepared last night?

Insights on Genius and Creativity

To be honest, for a genius, writing something on the spot is easier than memorizing something written the night before.

It’s like giving a lecture; spontaneous performance is easier and more brilliant, but sticking to a prepared script is harder due to the constraints.

From my own writing experience, there might be some brilliant ideas and a general direction before improvising, but the actual writing is unpredictable.

Su Shi’s words aptly describe this characteristic of creation:

My writings are like a spring of ten thousand measures, bursting forth without choosing its place. On flat ground, it flows rapidly and voluminously, easily covering a thousand miles in a day. However, when it encounters twisted mountains and rocks, adapting its shape to the objects around it, its path becomes unpredictable. What is predictable is that it always flows where it should and stops where it must. That’s all there is to it!

The final outcome depends on the performance at that moment.

And the prerequisite is actually the accumulation of knowledge and practice over time, a deep foundation for a sudden burst of creativity.

Geniuses like Wang Bo, just like Li Bai, don’t need much deliberate musing and patching up.

That’s what second or third-rate writers do, like Wang Anshi and Jia Dao.

Some might say how difficult it is to rhyme.

That’s because they don’t understand the ancients or geniuses.

They have been training in poetry and rhyming since childhood, coming naturally and effortlessly.

Not to mention, back in our dormitory days, the second oldest could rhyme off the cuff.

Eventually, it becomes like a sense of language, automatic and spontaneous.

The hard pondering and piecing together only happen because we truly don’t know how to write poetry.

Wang Bo: A Prolific Genius Beyond “Tengwang Ge Xu”

It’s widely known that Wang Bo was a short-lived genius. Many people regret that he didn’t leave behind many works. However, in reality, there are a total of 204 surviving works attributed to him, including 90 poems and 114 prose pieces.

He was not only a genius but also a highly productive one. He was, after all, one of the leading figures among the “Four Masters of the Early Tang Dynasty.”

The halo of “Tengwang Ge Xu” has overshadowed his other works, or rather, many people’s knowledge of Wang Bo is limited to “Tengwang Ge Xu.”

In my article titled “If Wang Bo had lived longer, could his literary achievements surpass Li Bai,” I mentioned that at the age of 27, Wang Bo’s literary achievements surpassed Li Bai’s, both in terms of quantity and quality, because Wang Bo excelled in prose.

Of course, his poetry was also excellent, and he was one of the most important figures in the literary reform of the early Tang Dynasty. Hu Yinglin said of him, “In terms of talent, he is undoubtedly the ancestor of early Tang poets,” and I believe this statement holds true.

Whether it’s “Sending Duke Du to His Post in Shu,” or “Tengwang Ge Xu,” anyone who has read these works during their nine years of compulsory education knows them well.

For someone with such extraordinary talent in both poetry and prose, creating a masterpiece like “Tengwang Ge Xu” on the spot is not surprising. It’s just that for ordinary people, it’s a case of “lack of talent limiting imagination.”

You should know that he was exceptionally gifted from a young age, writing essays at the age of six with fluent ideas and vigorous language. His literary talent was on par with his two brothers, Wang Ben and Wang Bu.

Moreover, for Wang Bo, he probably wouldn’t consider “Tengwang Ge Xu” as his best work, at least not the “only” best one. Works like “Cailian Fu,” “Chunsi Fu,” and “Yizhou Fuzi Temple Stele” are equally remarkable, albeit with a slightly higher aesthetic threshold. Of course, the most important thing is that “Tengwang Ge Xu” possesses a powerful spirit that resonates with and evokes empathy in readers, securing its classic status in literary history.

Truly, in Wang Bo’s era, there might not have been anyone more talented who was not as productive as him, and those more productive than him were not as talented. Moreover, I believe that among the “Four Masters,” the others did not surpass him in talent.

So, many people think “Tengwang Ge Xu” is amazing, but that’s because later generations have added too much aura and legend through their aesthetic evaluations, deconstruction, and interpretations. In fact, for him, creating this timeless masterpiece on the spot was just a matter of course.

If he had lived a bit longer, the radiance of the High Tang literary scene would have shone even brighter, and he might have contended with Li Bai and Du Fu.

Li Bai composed three poems while intoxicated titled “Qing Ping Diao,” and no one doubts their authenticity. The skepticism surrounding Wang Bo’s “Tengwang Ge Xu” is simply due to a lack of understanding of him.

From Wang Bo’s other poems and prose, we can see that many of the phrases in “Tengwang Ge Xu” are consistent with his usual style, such as in “Farewell to Xue Hua”:

Sending off, on a long, impoverished journey, all alone, asking for no help. In sorrow, along a thousand-mile road, bitterly parting after a hundred years. Our thoughts wander as we drift through life, our fates entwined in hardship. Whether we depart or stay, we’re all just dreamers.

The lines “Our thoughts wander as we drift through life, our fates entwined in hardship” resonate with “Crossing the mountains is difficult, who pities those who lose their way; Meeting by chance on a vast sea, all strangers in a foreign land,” expressing similar emotions.

The famous lines from “Tengwang Ge Xu,” “The setting sun and the lone goose fly together, with autumn waters stretching to the infinite sky,” were inspired by Yu Xin’s “Hualin Yuan Ma She Fu,” “The falling petals and the scattered magnolia petals fly together, with willow trees all sharing the same spring colors.”


“Feng Tang ages easily, and Li Guang is difficult to reward. Jia Yi was banished to Changsha, but it was not without a wise ruler; Liang Hong was exiled to Haiqu, but it was not lacking in enlightened times.”

In Wang Bo’s other prose works, there are many similar expressions:

“Ji Ying’s longing for Wu, embarked on a journey to find guidance; Bo Lian’s visit to Yue, climbed mountains in search of clear waters.” — “Farewell to Ji Province, to My Friend Below the Lou Temple.” “Sometimes, when there’s no opportunity, Jia Sheng offers a tearful letter; When there’s no time for ambition, Meng Ke nurtures a resolute spirit.” — “To the Shangguan Siblings of Jingzhou.” “Chu Qu Ping gazes into the distance, his soul going somewhere; Wang Zhongxuan ascends a high peak, his spirit soaring.” — “Spring Day Banquet at the Residence of Scholar Sun.” “Few are like-minded, as seen in Ruan Ji’s clear eyes; Those who truly understand me are rare, not realizing Feng Tang’s white hair.” — “Farewell to White Seven.”

It’s evident that when Wang Bo wrote prose, whether in the use of allusions or in expressing his intentions, he had a tendency and habit rooted in his unfulfilled ambitions and desires.

Wang Bo’s “Tengwang Ge Xu”: A Spontaneous Creation

Certainly, it was an impromptu performance. If it wasn’t impromptu, given Wang Bo’s caliber, it would have been impossible to write with so many flaws.

If you’re interested, you can explore Wang Bo’s other writings. If “Tengwang Ge Xu” didn’t have to cater to the occasion and include some insubstantial clichés, it could have been even better.

Furthermore, don’t assume that ancient scholars were all bookworms from the imperial examination system. Many ministers and literary giants could vividly describe the local customs and scenery in various places, and they did so in great detail.

Ordinary people often struggle to understand the thought processes of elites, and elites frequently fail to comprehend the thought processes of geniuses.

Just as cats and dogs cannot comprehend the lives of ordinary people beyond simple situations.

Genius is only remarkable to ordinary people and elites, but for the geniuses themselves, it’s just business as usual.

Travel Writing and Spontaneous Inspiration

I often write travelogues and have published numerous short articles in various magazines.

My experience is as follows: before visiting any place, I always do some research, such as learning about the historical background of the city.

Before I went to Nanchang, I studied the Marquis of Haihun and Tengwang, discovering that they both came from Shandong.

After completing my business in Nanchang, I intentionally made my way to the Haihun Marquis Site Park in a dusty state, and before heading to the airport, I dragged my luggage to Tengwang Pavilion.

Before arriving in a new city, I have a framework and an outline. When exploring the city on the same day, there are more emotions intertwined.

Wang Bo, as a highly talented young genius, must have followed similar steps.

So, I tend to have an outline in advance, sentences like “In the old hometown of Yuzhang, a new capital stands tall” are preconceived, while expressions like “The setting sun and the lone goose fly together, with autumn waters stretching to the infinite sky” are born on the spot.

Evidence Supporting Impromptu Composition in the Tengwang Ge Xu

In matters of literary analysis, the importance lies in supporting evidence, and there is indeed evidence to suggest that the Tengwang Ge Xu was composed spontaneously.

This evidence comes from the concept of “Fen Yun,” a form of inscrutable on-the-spot composition in ancient Chinese literature. It can be quite baffling to those unfamiliar with literary nuances.

We know that the full title of “Tengwang Ge Xu” is “Autumn Day’s Farewell at the Hongdu Capital Tengwang Pavilion,” also known as “Tengwang Pavilion Poem Preface” or “Banquet at Tengwang Pavilion Preface.”

According to the “New Book of Tang, Biographies of Literature and Arts,” it was recorded that during a grand banquet at Tengwang Pavilion on the ninth day of the ninth month, the commanding general requested his son-in-law to compose a preface to praise the guests. He distributed paper and brushes to the guests, but none dared to respond. Then came Wang Bo, who, without hesitation, accepted the challenge. The general, displeased, left and sent officials to watch over Wang Bo’s progress. Wang Bo reported his progress several times, and the officials were amazed, saying, “He is a genius!” They requested that he complete the composition, and he did so with great enthusiasm.

This historical account vividly portrays the young and talented Wang Bo, brimming with confidence and bursting with eloquence, taking up the brush in an unexpected turn of events.

In literature, there is a state of preparedness, where an overall framework and outline may have been established in advance, but the specific writing often happens spontaneously in the moment.

Let’s examine the composition, which is divided into four sections.

The first section describes the grandeur of the Hongdu region, the time of the visit, the unique products, outstanding talents, and distinguished guests. It closely relates to the two characters in the title, “Hongdu.”

The key sentence of the first section is, “The majestic region, shrouded in mist, with brilliant stars shining.” This sentence serves as both a continuation and a conclusion of the preceding description, smoothly transitioning to praise “the beauty of the southeast enjoyed by both guests and hosts,” from a distance to up close.

The second section presents a vivid picture of the autumn scenery at Tengwang Pavilion, capturing both near and far views with bold and colorful strokes. It highlights the magnificent and picturesque scenery of Tengwang Pavilion, in line with the six characters in the title, “Autumn Day” and “Climbing Tengwang Pavilion.”

The key sentence in the second section is, “Unfolding embroidered curtains, gazing down at sculpted eaves.” After this sentence, the author changes perspective from looking up at the tall pavilion in the previous section to looking down upon the myriad scenes around from a higher vantage point, with a natural and flowing progression.

The third section shifts from describing the banquet to expressing reflections on life, aligning with the character “Farewell” in the title.

The key sentences in the third section are scattered in two places.

The author first uses phrases like “The sky is high, the earth is remote” and “Excitement reaches its peak, followed by sorrow,” transitioning from narrative and scenic descriptions to emotional expression and contemplation.

The phrase “Perceiving the boundlessness of the universe” represents admiration for the beautiful scenes witnessed above and below. It serves as a continuation of the previous section.

However, when the key sentence of this section appears, “Thanks to the gentlemen’s discernment and the wise person’s understanding of destiny,” the article shifts toward expressing valuable aspirations despite setbacks.

The final section self-describes the circumstances, expressing that during this farewell moment, meeting with kindred spirits requires commemorating through poetry and writing. This section closely relates to the two characters in the title, “Farewell” and “Preface.”

The key passage in this section is as follows:

“Alas! Scenic spots do not last forever, and grand banquets are difficult to repeat. The gathering at Lan Ting has already become a thing of the past, and Chong’s Zize has turned into ruins. Grateful for the favors of this banquet, I shall compose this preface as a parting gift. As for ascending to greater heights and composing poems, that is what I hope from all the distinguished guests. I dare to present my humble thoughts, with due respect and brevity. Let’s each pour out our talents, just like Pan Yue and Lu Ji.”

The pivotal point here is the phrase “Pour out our talents, just like Pan Yue and Lu Ji.”

The passage “The gathering at Lan Ting has already become a thing of the past, and Chong’s Zize has turned into ruins” emphasizes the transitory nature of famous places and events.

The fact that they received rhyme words in advance is crucial. Wang Bo also received a set of rhyme words, namely:

“Tengwang high pavilion, overlooking the Jiang River, Adorned with jade and resounding with phoenix songs. Painted beams soar towards the southern river’s clouds, Pearl curtains roll up with the western mountain’s rain. Carefree clouds mirror in tranquil waters, days flowing leisurely, Seasons change as stars move, autumn countless times. Where are the emperor’s sons today? Beyond the railing, the Yangtze River flows endlessly!”

These rhyme words were distributed in advance, and they functioned as the first rhyme in each of the four lines. Participants had to compose poems based on these given rhyme words. Sometimes, an existing sentence was provided, and participants had to take a designated word as their rhyme to create a poem.

This element adds a degree of chance to the composition, as not every word in a given sentence may be suitable. The person who received useful words was considered lucky. It’s a form of competition where some win and others lose.

In summary, this “Fen Yun” style of composition is akin to real-time mathematical calculations, and it would have been impossible for Wang Bo to have known about it before the banquet. The mention of “four rhymes, eight lines” indicates that Wang Bo also received rhyme words for his participation.

The Article’s Natural Origin and the Accidental Stroke of Genius

The article itself is a product of innate talent, achieved through a fortuitous stroke of genius.

A Few Conclusions

  1. Wang Bo was one of the foundational figures of the Tang Dynasty’s poetry development. If he hadn’t died young, had more years, and left behind more works, he could have stood on par with Li Bai and Du Fu.

  2. Wang Bo’s regulated verse, especially “Hai Nei Cun Zhi Ji, Tian Ya Ruo Bi Lin” (“The sea knows the secrets within, and the ends of the earth seem nearby”), is among the top five regulated verses, if not in the top three. Furthermore, all well-known regulated verse works followed his lead.

    The precedence in literary style is something that doesn’t happen without a significant breakthrough.

  1. “Tengwang Ge Xu” belongs to a specific form of Chinese prose known as “pianwen,” and it’s the first of its kind throughout history.

  2. The “pianwen” style, using the 4-6 sentence structure, thrived during the Han, Wei, and Six Dynasties periods. However, in the early Tang Dynasty, one could say that Wang Bo single-handedly concluded the era of “pianwen.”

    It’s like how Tang poetry and Song lyrics came to an end with Mao Zedong.

Wang Bo’s relationship with “pianwen”… for those not familiar with the history of poetry, it’s akin to drawing a parallel between Jin Yong (a famous martial arts novelist) and the genre of martial arts fiction.

  1. “Tengwang Ge Xu” falls into the category of formulaic literary works—a bit like writing a standardized essay for intellectuals.

    Was it prepared? Yes.

    Was it rehearsed? Yes.

    Was it written in advance? No.

    Wang Bo was the person who turned a standardized essay into a masterpiece for the ages. It’s even more astonishing than ordinary folks writing a high school essay and winning a Nobel Prize.

  2. For centuries, countless great minds have invested their entire lives in writing, but none have surpassed “Tengwang Ge Xu” in the genre of “pianwen.” Not even those who gave it their all.

  1. Timeless masterpieces often result from a sudden burst of inspiration by a genius who jots down their thoughts casually.

    Suffering and laboring over it… only produces second-rate work.

    Don’t even compare them to the likes of those poets who have left their mark on history…

    Just look at the various content creators nowadays, they can produce entertaining content effortlessly. But once they take on advertising and are constrained by platforms and creative processes, their work often becomes lackluster.

The Person Who Could Write Such an Excellent Article Last Night Seems to be a Genius

The person who could write such an excellent article last night seems to be a genius.

Wang Bo: A Literary Genius of His Era

Wang Bo possessed an exceptional talent as a literary figure, a caliber seen only once in five centuries, making him a rare gem in the history of civilization spanning thousands of years.

Don’t forget how young he was when he displayed his remarkable talents. At the age of sixteen, he composed the “Qianyuan Temple Ode.”

With flying cranes, he painted the sea’s image; In the Guixu mountains, he cast his fishing lines. He turned the dragon banners and saluted the mountain’s grace; He trimmed his robes by the pine brook, seeking decorum. In the abyss, he explored the rites and rituals; He crouched like a dragon stirring the waves of the jade waters. At the Jixia Academy, he discussed classics; His words leapt like hares darting through the ring of trees.

Furthermore, the Ode celebrates military valor and scholarly excellence, embodies the utmost sincerity, and unites the Six Harmonies, representing greatness through generations. It showcases the scale and grandeur for a hundred ages and the flourishing of numerous talents. It is no wonder that he was able to ascend to the heavens and pacify all beings, crossing a thousand miles to unify the vassals.

When you contemplate these stanzas, they may appear somewhat enigmatic, but for Wang Bo, they were composed effortlessly in a matter of months, or even through a couple of all-night sessions, followed by a week of fine-tuning.

Wang Bo’s official career began as a “Chaos Disperser,” a title that, when considered within the context of the Sui and Tang Dynasties, was unimaginable for most aspiring scholars. Wang Bo earned this distinction at a young age, demonstrating his exceptional prowess in the art of parallel prose.

In Wang Bo’s body of work, there is a clear hierarchy of difficulty. Long, elaborate ceremonial odes and inscriptions such as “Qianyuan Temple Ode,” “Monument to the Confucian Master of Yizhou,” and “The Legend of the Enlightenment of Shakyamuni Buddha” are the most demanding.

These lengthy pieces of panegyric prose require extensive research into historical events, emperors, and the political milieu, making them more labor-intensive. The difficulty in crafting these pieces lies in the need for precise information and historical accuracy.

Conversely, texts like “Tengwang Pavilion Preface” or the well-known “Autumnal Ode for Farewell to the Hongfu Tengwang Pavilion” are more relaxed. They require less research and can be produced with more ease, allowing for spontaneous composition. Wang Bo’s literary foundation was strong in this area, thanks to his practice in parallel prose, making it possible to write these pieces swiftly.

In Wang Bo’s works, there was a mix of styles, from the highly structured and ceremonial pieces to more informal and spontaneous compositions. Each served a different purpose and was suited to its specific occasion. Wang Bo’s ability to adapt to various styles and write with both depth and spontaneity is a testament to his versatile talent.

Wang Bo’s compositions for various occasions, whether elaborate or spontaneous, reveal the depth of his literary skill and knowledge. His ability to produce exceptional work across a range of genres and styles solidifies his position as a literary genius of his time.

So, while “Tengwang Pavilion Preface” is a remarkable piece of literature, it is important to explore Wang Bo’s entire body of work to gain a deeper understanding of his versatility and talent as a writer.

Conclusion: Belief in Excellence

First, let’s state the conclusion: Believe.

Excellence is not achieved overnight, so “Tengwang Pavilion Preface” could not have emerged out of thin air. A brilliant piece of writing is the result of countless articles being forged and refined.

Excellence erupts at a specific moment in time. Like water slowly wearing away stone, it accumulates power without being noticed. Daily efforts may seem ordinary, but incremental changes can lead to a remarkable transformation. In one sudden and splendid moment, excellence shines through.

In summary, through the accumulation of time, excellence erupts at a specific moment, giving birth to timeless masterpieces.

Is it so difficult to acknowledge others' excellence?

Is it really that challenging to acknowledge someone else’s excellence?

Don’t say it was written last night. This kind of article cannot be crafted even with a team of writers working for a decade.

It cannot be crafted! The imagination in word choices, the natural rhythm, it cannot be crafted.

With works like these, when they emerge, you know, a genius has arrived. A genius!

It must have been spontaneous, otherwise it wouldn’t have stolen the show from others.

In fact, to be honest, this composition, “Tengwang Pavilion Preface.”

With only 773 words in the whole text, it contains 40 idioms.

Saying it was written last night is actually an insult to the early Tang Dynasty literati!

Can you believe he wrote it last night?

It’s better to believe that he wrote it spontaneously…

“Tengwang Pavilion Preface” is a piece of prose that is both poetic and literary. Before the early Tang Dynasty, if you wanted to compose this “Tengwang Pavilion Preface,” you would have to read and reread the poetry and prose of the early Tang Dynasty over and over again…

Then check again and again…

In modern times, even a few poetry doctors wouldn’t be able to compose it.

Currently, in 2023, artificial intelligence cannot even accurately translate classical Chinese into vernacular Chinese, let alone understand poetry and prose, let alone compose it.

“Jin Sanjiang and Five Lakes,” “Kong Manjing and Ouyue,”

“Floating in the Five Lakes, winding in the Three Rivers.” ——Early Tang Dynasty, Wang Ji, Gu Yi Six Firsts, Third One “Stupid in the mountains and jungles, great nations are enemies.” ——Spring and Autumn Period, Book of Songs, Cai Qi “Just bring out of the capital, looking forward to Yue and Yue.” ——Southern Song Dynasty, Xie Lingyun, Near Aloysius Mountain Poem

“Flourishing in a time of treasure, dragon light shines on the constellation of Taurus; outstanding talents and spiritual land, Xu Ru under Chen Fan’s couch.”

“The way is not as good as the years; the number of years is not as good as the years. ——Its Five “far-reaching benevolence, far-reaching enlightenment.” ——To the faithful “Mix the six harmonies and combine the six harmonies.” ——Great achievement “Scale for hundreds of generations, prosperous for many times.” ——Number “Therefore, he can inherit the nine emptiness and pacify all things, draw a thousand miles and govern the vassals.” ——Number “Restrain the martial arts with literature, contain the mystery with the light; mix the six harmony and combine the six harmony, prosperous for a long time.” ——Number “Therefore, he can inherit the nine emptiness and pacify all things, draw a thousand miles and govern the vassals.” ——Number “Therefore, he can inherit the nine emptiness and pacify all things, draw a thousand miles and govern the vassals.” ——Number “Therefore, he can inherit the nine emptiness and pacify all things, draw a thousand miles and govern the vassals.” ——Number

So, when you accumulate over time, at this node, you can produce immortal works that last forever.

For ordinary people, even if it was written well last night, they still can’t reproduce it from memory the next day.

Yeah, Wang Bo had it written in advance and memorized it.

Li Bai used to copy his poems from a secret manual called “Three Hundred Tang Poems” every time he wrote.

Luo Binwang must have been a literature professor reincarnated from a web novel on Zhihu, so he could write poetry at the age of seven.

Not only did Wang Bo reincarnate, but at the age of 26, he finished “Tengwang Ge Xu.” Unfortunately, he couldn’t establish a good relationship with Emperor Tang Gaozong, who was also reincarnated. When it came to secret signals, because he was a literary person, he didn’t get the signal right and didn’t play with Emperor Tang Gaozong.

Later, he encountered a typhoon in the South China Sea and disappeared, believed to have died young.

However, in reality, he was blown to Massachusetts, USA, where he met the oldest minister of Atlantis and received help.

They talked happily and became good friends. Wang Bo explained various military strategies and tactics from the book “The Art of War” to his friend, who gradually became wise. In the end, he left behind a Tang Dynasty five-pointed spear, which passed through thousands of years and ended up in the hands of Queen Atlanna.

Take a closer look, the man in front of you is called Xiao Shuai…

If you’re exposed to stories like this every day,

short videos like this, web novels like this,

then naturally, you’ll have such thoughts.

Such amazing people surely don’t exist; they must have copied it from somewhere last night.

You’re different from others, so don’t waste your time on studying.

First, there’s a sentence in the text that indicates it was improvised:

I dare to exhaust my humble thoughts, respectfully and concisely, with just a few words forming four rhymes.

Then, there’s the anecdote from the Five Dynasties period mentioned in Wang Dingbao’s “Tang Zhiyan,” which your teacher should have told you in class:

Wang Bo wrote “Tengwang Ge Xu” at the age of fourteen. The commander-in-chief, Yan Gong, did not believe it was his work. Although Wang Bo was present, Yan Gong intended for his son-in-law, Master Meng, to do it, and he had already prepared for it. When paper and pen were brought out, they invited guests, and Wang Bo did not decline. Yan Gong was greatly angered, he stood up and ordered someone to watch him as he wrote. The first line he wrote was: “Nanchang, the former capital, and Hongdu, the new prefecture.” Yan Gong said, “This is just old and ordinary.” Then he wrote: “Stars are distributed like wings, and the land reaches Henglu.” When Yan Gong heard this, he fell into deep thought and said nothing. He continued to write: “As the sunset and solitary swans both take flight, the autumn water shares the same color as the sky.” Yan Gong suddenly stood up and said, “This is true talent; he is destined for immortality!” He promptly invited Wang Bo to a banquet, and they enjoyed themselves to the fullest.

In other words, there were people who wrote things the night before, but it wasn’t Wang Bo. This little story is obviously more plausible than the assumption made by the author, as it’s more common for relatives of commanders to know the topic in advance.

Here are some of his achievements:

“Old Book of Tang, Biographies of Literary Figures”: Bo began composing at the age of six, and his ideas flowed freely with no obstacles. His prose was swift and his words came easily. He had a particular fondness for writing books and authored several works, including “Elaboration on the Zhouyi” in five volumes, as well as “Additional Discourses,” among others. Many of Bo’s writings were lost after his death. His collected works span thirty volumes. Bo was exceptionally bright and surpassed his peers, excelling in mathematics and calendrical calculations. He even created the “Thousand-Year Calendar of the Great Tang.”

“New Book of Tang, Biographies of Literary and Artistic Figures”: At the age of six, he was proficient in literary style and, at nine, he studied Yan Shigu’s commentary on the “Han Shu” and composed “Pointing Out Errors” by noting its mistakes. Bo was a literary talent who didn’t start with deep thinking but would first grind a few liters of ink, drink heartily, cover himself with a quilt, and fall asleep. Upon waking, he would take up his brush and complete an entire composition without changing a single word. People at the time referred to Bo’s works as “belly drafts.” He especially enjoyed writing books.

Others are naturally gifted from a young age while you, despite preparing for half a year, can’t produce the same results. Some people can complete tasks effortlessly on the spot, and this difference arises from years of accumulation. Many of the allusions he used were from his extensive knowledge, so if you say he prepared in advance, that’s indeed a form of preparation, but it’s generally referred to as knowledge.

Lastly, when someone cries heavily while watching a movie, is it fun to say it’s all scripted and fake? Isn’t the key to appreciate the content of what others are experiencing?

Research materials are for those who love using their brains; wherever they put their minds to, they excel!

Wang Bo: A Tale of Genius and Opportunity

I absolutely believe that Wang Bo’s work was spontaneous. There’s simply no reason for Wang Bo, who tragically passed away at the young age of 27, to have prepared in advance, nor did he have any ulterior political motives.

Let’s take a look at Wang Bo’s remarkable achievements. He was a prodigy, composing poems at the age of 6 and completing the annotated “Han Shu” by the age of 9, pointing out errors in the text. By the age of 10, he had mastered the “Six Classics,” and at 12, he studied traditional Chinese medicine in Chang’an for just two years before becoming a certified practitioner. According to the “History of the Song Dynasty - Arts and Literature,” he also authored “Yi Yu Zuan Yao,” a treatise on medicine.

Two noteworthy points emerge here. First, completing the “Six Classics” in the Tang Dynasty was roughly equivalent to graduating from a modern university. Second, his rapid two-year journey to becoming a certified traditional Chinese medicine practitioner was impressive.

Wang Bo did not participate in the imperial examinations, and it’s hard to believe that someone who achieved so much at such a young age would need to prepare in advance. Instead, his talent and intellect were evident from an early age.

At the age of 16, Wang Bo entered the bureaucratic world with ease. He initially worked as a document secretary in the residence of Prince Pei, Li Xian. This position was similar to that of a personal secretary. Working as a secretary for a prince was a dream job that many aspired to have.

Shortly after entering this role, Wang Bo was entrusted with the important task of compiling “Ping Tai Chao Lüe” on behalf of Prince Pei, as a way to please his father, the reigning emperor. This was an extremely significant task, and it was fortunate for Wang Bo that he was chosen for it. His exceptional writing skills and the trust placed in him by his superiors were key factors.

Wang Bo did not disappoint; he completed the task successfully and received the appropriate rewards. His talent was finally being recognized, and he continued to progress along the path of success. It was as if he had found his calling, and he eagerly showcased his talents whenever the opportunity arose.

Prince Pei and his younger brother, Prince Ying, were both fond of cockfighting. As Wang Bo served as their personal secretary, he was naturally present at these events. At one such event, Wang Bo felt compelled to write a message of encouragement for a cock owned by Prince Ying.

At that time, documents like this message were considered important communications. This event quickly reached the ears of the emperor, who became furious. Wang Bo, this audacious young man, had intentionally incited discord among the royal brothers.

The emperor angrily exclaimed, “Get rid of this troublemaker!” And just like that, Wang Bo found himself expelled from his beloved career, unemployed!

Wang Bo was not one to give up easily. He went to Guozhou and joined the army as a junior officer, determined to start afresh. However, he got himself involved in a mysterious case, sheltering criminals, and ended up being executed. It was a grim situation, and had it not been for the emperor’s decision to change his reign’s era name, Wang Bo might have perished.

The famous phrase, “When you can’t make it, ask your father,” rings true. Wang Bo decided to visit his father, who was in a remote location. On his way to see his father, Wang Bo coincidentally entered a celebration hosted by Commandant Yan, who intended to promote his son-in-law.

But unexpectedly, Wang Bo wrote a brilliant piece of literature, overshadowing the intended purpose of the gathering. It wasn’t Wang Bo who had prepared in advance; rather, it was his son-in-law who had planned to shine at the event. Wang Bo, not understanding the opportune moment, had inadvertently stolen the spotlight.

Commandant Yan, seeing the situation, shed tears and remarked, “Are you suggesting that I leaked the content?”

To which the knowing crowd replied, “Exactly!”

Commandant Yan died of despair…

In summary, there is no basis to suggest that Wang Bo had prepared in advance for his masterpiece. His life story is one of extraordinary talent and unexpected opportunities.

Last Night’s “Well-Written” Piece

The one who had “written well” last night was the son-in-law of the Commandant (probably, he didn’t know how many “last nights” he had spent).

As a result, despite preparing for many days, his article was far from matching the spontaneous brilliance of Wang Bo.

That’s how it went.