Friday, April 03, 2020

The weaker the wine... Su Dongpo (1037—1101)

Su Dongpo, or Su Shi (1037—1101).
Generally regarded as the greatest poet of the Song dynasty, an era in which urban Chinese lived lives that were strikingly modern in outlook, Su wrote on a wide range of subjects.
He led the life of a scholar-official and had broad philosophical interests. Chan attracted a great deal of his attention, especially in his later years.
Later, Zen monks in Japan treated Su Dongpo and his famous disciple Huang Tingjian not just as poetic inspirations but also as sources of Buddhist wisdom; Chinese critics have been more sceptical about this latter aspect of their work.
Su’s given name was Shi; he started calling himself Dongpo (“Eastern Slope”) in his forties, after a plot of land he farmed.

Source: Zen Poems (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets Series)

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