Yan Jidao (Yen Chi-tao) 1030/1041-1106/1119

Important poet of the Song dynasty. A contemporary of Su Shi, little is known about Yan's life. The youngest son of Yan Shu, another renowned poet, he grew up in an aristocratic household, but his fortunes declined dramatically after the death of his father. Yan's ci poetry is preserved in a collection entitled Xiaoshen ci [Lyrics of Little Mountain] containing 258 pieces. According to one critic, his mature poetry "captures the elegance and poise of the refined, aristocratic setting, yet the tone is characterized by a profound melancholy and nostalgia".