You are here > Home > Quick Navigation > Literature > Poets

Tao Yuanming

Tao Yuanming (AD 365-427), also known as Tao Qian, is a famous landscape poet. He had been a minor official for several years during his youth. Weary of the corruption in government, he resigned his post and lived a recluse's life ever after.

Many of his poems reflect his disgust of the negative of social reality and a strong love for the quiet and simple life in the countryside. In Back to Nature he compares officialdom to a net and life in official circles to that of a "caged bird" and a "ponded fish" and the recluse's life is likened to "breaking the birdcage" and "returning to nature."

Engaging in farm work himself, his poems are full of the joy of labor For example, the third poem in Back to Nature lucidly reflects on the happiness drawn from work.

Disappointment with the real world drove Tao Yuanming to construct an ideal world in his poems, as in his Peach Blossom Spring which evokes from his imagination the form of a utopian society.

Apart from his landscape poems, Tao Yuanming's works, which cover various Subject matters, also include poems lauding warriors, poems full of love for the nation, and poems revealing his wish to hide from the world.

Tao Yuanming often drew his materials from the surrounding landscape and his daily life and used simple language to write them out. His poems, therefore, sound natural and sincere, conceived in tranquillity and peace.

Quick Navigation

New Article