Yongming poetry

Yongming poetry refers to a poetic flowering during the brief existence of the fifth century China Chinese state of Southern Qi (one of the Southern Dynasties). Yongming (Chinese: 永明; pinyin: Yǒngmíng; Wade–Giles: Yung-ming; literally: "Forever Bright") was an era name of Emperor Wu of Southern Qi. The Yongming period was from 483-493.[1] However brief this era, it is now associated with a major movement within Classical Chinese poetry.


Despite the disturbances and instability which preceded and followed the Yongming era, there was also something special about it. In his Zizhi Tongjian, Song Dynasty historian Sima Guang characterized the Emperor Wu and his Yongming era, saying that:

during his era of Yongming, the people were rich and peaceful, and there was little crime. However, he also favored feasting and gaming, and while he expressed displeasure at luxuries and wastefulness, he could not avoid them himself.

This was also an era that came to be associated with significant poetic achievements.


Rebuilt tomb of Su Xiaoxiao.


The life and poetry of Su Xiaoxiao was a source of inspiration for later poets and artists including Tang dynasty poets Bai Juyi, Li He, Wen Tingyun, and the Ming dynasty writer and poet Zhang Dai.

See also


  1. Davis, viii
  2. Davis, vii - viii


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