Wēn Tínɡyùn 813?-870

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In his lifetime Wen Tingyun was a musician and poet of considerable renown. His interests were not Confucian; he did badly in the examinations and he served without distinction in the bureaucracy. Rather, his interests were in music and nightlife and he spent much of his time in cafes and bordellos playing and singing 詞 ci, lyric poems set to music. At this time 詞 ci were not considered serious art, rather like Country music today. it was Wen Tinyun who is credited with bringing ci into the mainstream. In the Northern Song poets like Su Shi and Wang Anshi continued to develop and expand this form. Wen was also an accomplished flutist and 琴 qin player.

He is best remembered as the first poet to adapt 詞 ci to serious literature. His 詞 ci depict the pains of separation, joys of young love, neglected women and folk songs. However his 詩 shi poems, 200 of which servive are also noteable.

Lament of the Inlaid Lute 瑤瑟怨

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