Li Yu (Li Yü) 937-978

The last Emperor of the Southern Tang, also known as Li Houzhu, he was one of the earlier and best-loved master of ci poetry. He came to the throne in 961 and was taken as a captive to the Song capital in 975 when the Song dynasty annexed his kingdom. His captivity effected a change in his poetic style towards the melancholic and nostalgic. This expanded the scope of the genre from 'popular' topics, like love and nature, to more serious matters.

Works available in English:

  • Poems of Lee Hou-chu (Liu Yih-ling and Shahid Subrawardy). Bombay: Orient
       Longmans Ltd, 1948.