Wen Tingyun (Wen T'ing-yun) 812-870?

Tang-dynasty poet and writer. Born in Shanxi province, Wen hailed from an influential family. When he arrived in the capital in his twenties to take the jinshi examinations, he was already known for his literary and musical talents. Despite such credentials, he failed to pass the exam, but found minor posts on the basis of personal connections. Wen is known as the first poet to seriously explore the potentials of the ci form. During his lifetime, two collections of his ci poems were in circulation: the Wolan ji [Plucking the orchid collection] and the Jinquan ji [The golden fish-trap collection]. Although both of these have been lost, seventy of Wen's ci poems survive. Besides these, there are around 300 extant shi poems as well as a number of fu, letters and miscellaneous prose writings.

Works available in English:

  • Writing Another's Dream: The Poetry of Wen Tingyun (Paul F. Rouzer). Stanford:
       Stanford University Press, 1993.