How to Read Chinese Poetry Podcast

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Pre-Qin Times

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Tao Qian (365–427) is premodern China's most famous recluse. After relinquishing his official career at around age 40, Tao returned to his rustic hometown to hide away from what he often suggested was a corrupt court and society. In the hermitage he made for himself at the foot of Mt. Lu, Tao wrote poetry that, on the one hand, extolls his enjoyment of life on the rural margin between the human world and the wilderness and, on the other, narrates the difficulties he had making a living there. For the first time in Chinese history, this is a poetry that grapples in a realistic way with both the beauty and the recalcitrance of the natural landscape.


Episode 23



Recommended Citation

Bender, L. R., & Cai, Z. (2022, Jul 5). Pentasyllabic Shi Poetry: Landscape poetry: Tao Qian's "Fields and Gardens" [23]. In How to read Chinese poetry podcast. Hong Kong: Lingnan University. Retrieved from