T'ao Ch'ien, T'ao Ch'ien poetry, Buddhist, Buddhist poetry,  poetry,  poetry, Taoist poetry T'ao Ch'ien
China (365 - 427) Timeline

Poems by T'ao Ch'ien
Books - Links

T'ao Ch'ien, or Tao Qian, also sometimes called T'ao Yuan-ming, was born in the Kiangsi district of China, into a family of modest wealth. But as he was growing up, the family income declined. As a young man, he failed in his attempts to get a decent government position, so T'ao Ch'ien retired to the life of a poor gentleman farmer.

His poetry suggests that, despite his material hardships (in one poem T'ao Ch'ien describes having to beg for food) and political turmoils, he seems to have cultivated a melancholy sort of contentment in his life.

His writing shows a deep communion with nature, helping to open the way for the great Chinese nature poets centuries later during the Tang dynasty. Chrysanthemums often appear in his poems.

T'ao Ch'ien exhibits a deeply philosophical nature in his poetry. He had Taoist and Buddhist leanings, including among his friends monks of the White Lotus Society, an early society of Ch'an Buddhism.

In addition to themes of nature, T'ao Chien is also known for his wine poetry.

Poems by T'ao Ch'ien

Recommended Books: T'ao Ch'ien

Sunflower Splendor: Three Thousand Years of Chinese Poetry The Selected Poems of T'ao Ch'ien

Related Links

Tao Yuanming - Wikipedia

Short biography and links.

Tao Chien (Tao Yuan-ming), Poet of Reclusion - House of Hermits

An interesting article on the poetry of Tao Chien.

Tao Qian | William P. Coleman

A few verses translated by William P. Coleman
T'ao Ch'ien