Yuan Hongdao 1568-1610

Ming-dynasty poet and critic and one of the "three Yuan brothers", all well-known writers. After passing the jinshi examination at twenty-four, Yuan was made a magistrate but resigned a year later out of boredom. He went travelling instead, a journey which resulted in a collection of poetry entitled Jietuo ji [Collection of one released]. Yuan and his brothers emphasized clarity and sincerity in literature; their ideas attracted the attention of like-minded poets and led to the formation of what became the Gong'an School. In 1600, after the death of his brother, Yuan Hongdao retired to a small islet in the middle of a lake to meditate and write the poetry that was later collected in his Xiao-bi tang ji [Jade-green Bamboo Hall collection].