Meaning of T'AO CH'IEN in English

born 365, Hsin-yang district, now in Kiangsi province, China died 427, Kiangsi Pinyin Tao Qian, also called (Wade-Giles) T'ao Yan-ming one of China's greatest poets and a noted recluse. Born into an impoverished gentry family, T'ao Ch'ien while in his 20s took a minor official post in order to support his aged parents. After about 10 years at that post and a brief term as county magistrate, he resigned from official life, repelled by its excessive formality and widespread corruption. With his wife and children he retired to a farming village south of the Yangtze River. Despite the hardships of the farmer's life and frequent food shortages, T'ao Ch'ien was contented, writing poetry, cultivating the chrysanthemums that became inseparably associated with his poetry, and drinking wine, also a common subject of his verse. The taste of T'ao Ch'ien's contemporaries was for an elaborate and artificial style, while his poetry is simple and straightforward, with a minimum of artifice. Hence he was not fully appreciated until the T'ang dynasty (618907). A master of the five-word line, T'ao Ch'ien has been described as the first great poet of t'ien-yan (fields and gardens). Essentially a Taoist in his philosophical outlook on life and death, he also freely adopted the elements of Confucianism and Buddhism that most appealed to him.

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