Gao Qi (Kao Ch'i) 1336-1374

One of the greatest poets of the early Ming. Born in present-day Suzhou, his talent was soon recognized, but he was unable to embark on a career as an official because of the turbulence of the times. He served briefly on the editorial board of the History of the Yuan Dynasty in the capital in 1369, but retired to live at home the following year. He was a gifted writer who wrote in the style of 'imitating antiquity' and demonstrated extraordinary inspiration of spirit. His life was cut short when, in the course of one of the first Ming emperor's purges of men of letters, he was hacked to death on trumped up-charges.