Mei Yaochen

Mei Yaochen

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Mei Yaochen (1002–1060) was a poet of the Song dynasty
Song Dynasty
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a...

. He was one of the pioneers of the "new subjective" style of poetry which characterized Song poetry
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...


Mei Yaochen was born in Xuancheng
Xuancheng is a prefecture-level city in southeastern Anhui province of Eastern China. It borders Wuhu to the northwest, Chizhou to the west, Huangshan to the southwest, and the provinces of Zhejiang and Jiangsu to the southeast and northeast respectively....

 in present day Anhui Province. His style name was 'Sheng Yu' (圣俞). He passed the jinshi
Imperial examination
The Imperial examination was an examination system in Imperial China designed to select the best administrative officials for the state's bureaucracy. This system had a huge influence on both society and culture in Imperial China and was directly responsible for the creation of a class of...

 exam in 1051 and had a career in the civil service
Civil service
The term civil service has two distinct meanings:* A branch of governmental service in which individuals are employed on the basis of professional merit as proven by competitive examinations....

, but was unsuccessful. He was a prolific poet, with around 3000 works extant; he was popularized as a poet by the younger Ouyang Xiu
Ouyang Xiu
Ouyang Xiu was a Chinese statesman, historian, essayist and poet of the Song Dynasty. He is also known by his courtesy name of Yongshu, and was also self nicknamed The Old Drunkard 醉翁, or Householder of the One of Six 六一居士 in his old age...


Most of his works are in the shi
Shi (poetry)
Shi is the Chinese word for "poetry" or "poem", anciently associated with Chinese poetry. In modern times, shi can and has been used as an umbrella term to mean poetry in any form or language, whether or not Chinese; but, it may imply or be used to refer certain classical forms of poetry, for...

form, but they are much freer in content than those of the Tang dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

. His response to the impossibility of surpassing the Tang poets was to make a virtue of his lack of ambition; his ideal was 平淡 (pingdan), or the pedestrian. His early verses are often socio-critical, advocating reform along Neo-Confucian lines; later he turned to celebrations of ordinary life and verses mourning the deaths of his first wife and several of his children.

See also

  • List of Chinese people
  • Chinese poetry
    Chinese poetry
    Chinese poetry is poetry written, spoken, or chanted in the Chinese language, which includes various versions of Chinese language, including Classical Chinese, Standard Chinese, Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Yue Chinese, as well as many other historical and vernacular varieties of the Chinese language...

  • Song poetry
    Song poetry
    Song poetry refers to Classical Chinese poetry of or typical of the Song Dynasty of China . This dynasty is sometimes referred to as the "Sung Dynasty", especially in older sources). It was established by the Zhao family in China in 960 and lasted until 1279...

  • Classical Chinese poetry
    Classical Chinese poetry
    thumb|right|300px|Attributed to [[Han Gan]], Huiyebai , about 750CE .Classical Chinese poetry is that type of poetry that is the traditional Chinese poetry written in Classical Chinese. It is typified by certain traditional forms, or modes, and certain traditional genres...

  • Chinese literature
    Chinese literature
    Chinese literature extends thousands of years, from the earliest recorded dynastic court archives to the mature fictional novels that arose during the Ming Dynasty to entertain the masses of literate Chinese...

  • Culture of the Song Dynasty
    Culture of the Song Dynasty
    The Song Dynasty was a culturally rich and sophisticated age for China. There was blossoming of and advancements in the visual arts, music, literature, and philosophy...