Jia Dao (Chia Tao) 779-843

One of the poets who gathered around Han Yu in the Tang capital Chang'an in the early 9th century. The group's strong belief in the moral efficacy of poetry and the importance of traditional values led them to experiment with a wide variety of poetic styles in order to extend the range of themes, diction and vocabulary acceptable in a poem. Jia was born in Hebei, and entered a Buddhist order when young. He left the monastery around 810 when he met Han Yu, and spent the rest of his life in Chang'an, apart from taking up a few minor official postings in the years before his death. He was successful as a poet but some critics find his work lacking in intellectual depth.

Works available in English:

  • Colors of daybreak and dust: a selection of poems by Chia Tao (Mike O'Connor).
       Berkeley: Tangram, 1995.
  • One with the snowy night: selected poems of Chia Tao (Mike O'Connor).
       Berkeley: Tangram, 1999.
  • When I find you again, it will be in mountains: selected poems of Chia Tao
       (Mike O'Connor). Berkeley: Tangram, 1996.

    Studies and Biographies:

  • Catherine A. Witzling, The poetry of Chia Tao (779-843): a re-examination of critical stereotypes.
       Ann Arbor, Mich: UMI, 1983.