Huáng Tíngjiān (1045-1105)

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A native of Jiangxi province, both a poet and calligrapher. He passed his jinshi exam in 1067. He was a scholar official at the National University in Kaifeng, the capital of the Northern Song. A victim of political infighting he was exiled several times and died in exile in Yizhou, Guangxi.

"Huang's fastidious taste for unique states of feeling can be bizarre; it once led a critic to warn that his poems must be chewed like olives. His best work meditates on the vicissitudes of human life, and often strikes at the knowledge of death. Huang believed in detaching emotions from the artistic process and in organizing a method of composition that would allow the the creative tranmutation of ancient literature into contemporary poetry. He advocated the techniques of 'changing the bones' (huanku, borrowing certain images a phrases and from past writers but altering the meaning) and 'snatching the embryo' (tuotai, expressing the idea of another writer but altering his wording)." Michael E Workman in 'Sunflower Splendor', Indianna University Press.

Written at the South Tower of Ezhou 鄂州南樓書事

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