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China (699? - 761) Timeline

Poems by Wang Wei
Books - Links

Wang Wei is considered to be one of the three great poets of the Tang Period of China, along with Li Bai and Tu Fu. Wang Wei was also a great painter of the era.

Wang Wei's father was a local government official, and his mother was from a distinguished literary family.

Although Wang Wei's poetry speaks of the Buddhist and Taoist ideals of retreat and life amidst nature, he served most of his life at the Tang court. Through his work, he gained wealth, and donated generously to Buddhist monasteries. Like many government officials, he created a large country estate, to which he returned whenever possible.

His wife died when he was still a young man. In 750, after a full career at the court, and following the death of his mother, Wang Wei retired to meditate and write and paint.

In the late 750's, Wang Wei was captured by rebels of the An Lushan uprising -- and he joined their rebellion. When Imperial control was restored, Wang Wei was briefly imprisoned for his collaboration, but he was officially rehabilitated and returned to government service until his death in 761.

Poems by Wang Wei

Recommended Books: Wang Wei

The Poetry of Zen: (Shambhala Library) To Touch the Sky: Poems of Mystical, Spiritual & Metaphysical Light Sunflower Splendor: Three Thousand Years of Chinese Poetry Three Chinese Poets: Translations of Poems by Wang Wei, Li Bai, and Du Fu An Anthology of Chinese Literature: Beginnings to 1911

Related Links

Asian Topics: Wang Wei

Brief introduction & overview of Wang Wei and his poetry.

Wang Wei

Several poems by Wang Wei in both literal, as well as literary English, along with the Chinese originals.

Translated Chinese Poetry: Poems by Wang Wei

Several poems by Wang Wei in English.

Poem Hunter: Wang Wei

Several poems by Wang Wei in English.

Poetry Portal: Wang Wei

A good, but brief biography of Wang Wei.
Wang Wei