Qu Yuan
Nationality: Chinese poet
Region: China
Notable works: "Lisao"

Qu Yuan Facts

Biography

Qu Yuan, Wade-Giles romanization Ch'u Yuan, (born c. 339 bce, Quyi [now Zigui, Hubei province], China--died 278 bce, Hunan), one of the greatest poets of ancient China and the earliest known by name. His highly original and imaginative verse had an enormous influence over early Chinese poetry.

Qu Yuan was born a member of the ruling house of Chu, a large state in the central valley of the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang). While still in his 20s he was appointed a trusted, favoured counselor of his kinsman Huaiwang, the ruler of Chu. Qu Yuan advocated the unpopular policy of resistance to Qin, the most powerful of the Warring States, causing his rival courtiers to intrigue successfully against him. Estranged from the throne through the malice of his rivals, Qu Yuan was banished to the south of the Yangtze River by Huaiwang's successor, Qingxiangwang.

In despair over his banishment, Qu Yuan wandered about southern Chu, writing poetry and observing the shamanistic folk rites and legends that greatly influenced his works. He eventually drowned himself in despair in the Miluo River, a tributary of the Yangtze. The famous Dragon Boat Festival, held on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar year, originated as a search for the poet's body.

The works of Qu Yuan have survived in an early anthology, the Chuci ("Elegies of Chu"; Eng. trans. The Songs of the South, 1959; also translated as Elegies of the South, 2011), much of which must be attributed to later poets writing about the legendary life of Qu Yuan. The anthology begins with the long melancholic poem Lisao ("On Encountering Sorrow"; Eng. trans. Li sao and Other Poems of Qu Yuan, 2001), Qu Yuan's most famous work, which initiated a tradition of romanticism in Chinese literature. Qu Yuan's other works available in English include The Nine Songs: A Study of Shamanism in Ancient China (1955, reissued 1989), translated by noted sinologist Arthur Waley, and Tian Wen: A Chinese Book of Origins (1986), translated by Stephen Field.

Qu Yuan essays

Read more informative topics on our blog
Analysing Chinese Food Culture Cultural Studies Essay
Introduction Numerous cultures are scattered about the world today, and among one of the oldest civilizations is the Chinese language culture. China has a known history of over 4000 years and has experienced more than 15 dynasties. Because of its broad history and an isolated natural geography, it has accumulated a rich culture using its own unique characteristics not the same as others. Among its culture, food takes a huge part of computer. Going through the annals, Chinese food has developed from basic cooking to an extremely complex area of the Chinese language culture. (Chinese language..
Subscribe to our updates
79 345 subscribers already with us

Related authors

William H. Gass
William H. Gass
William H. Gass, in full William Howard Gass, (born July 30, 1924, Fargo, North Dakota, U.S.--died..
Yasar Kemal
Yasar Kemal
Yasar Kemal, Yasar also spelled Yashar, original name Kemal Sadik Gogceli, (born October 6?, 1923,..
C.P. Snow
C.P. Snow
C.P. Snow, in full Charles Percy Snow, Baron Snow Of The City Of Leicester, (born Oct. 15, 1905, Leicester,..
Wilhelm Uhde
Wilhelm Uhde
Wilhelm Uhde, (born Oct. 28, 1874, Friedeberg in Neumark, Ger. [now Strzelce Krajenskie, Pol.]--died..
Vasily Pavlovich Aksyonov
Vasily Pavlovich Aksyonov
Vasily Pavlovich Aksyonov, Aksyonov also spelled Aksenov, (born Aug. 20, 1932, Kazan, Russia,..
Andre Philippus Brink
Andre Philippus Brink
Andre Philippus Brink, (born May 29, 1935, Vrede, South Africa--died February 6, 2015, in an airplane..
Abraham Cowley
Abraham Cowley
Abraham Cowley, (born 1618, London--died July 28, 1667, Chertsey, Eng.), poet and essayist who..
Nikolaus Lenau
Nikolaus Lenau
Nikolaus Lenau, pseudonym of Nikolaus Franz Niembsch, Edler (nobleman) von Strehlenau, (born..
Anais Nin
Anais Nin
Anais Nin, (born February 21, 1903, Neuilly, France--died January 14, 1977, Los Angeles, California,..
Walafrid Strabo
Walafrid Strabo
Walafrid Strabo, (born c. 808, Swabia--died Aug. 18, 849, Reichenau, Franconia [now in Germany]),..
Carl Jonas Love Almqvist
Carl Jonas Love Almqvist
Carl Jonas Love Almqvist, Almqvist also spelled Almquist, (born Nov. 28, 1793, Ed, near Stockholm--died..
Dame Beryl Bainbridge
Dame Beryl Bainbridge
Dame Beryl Bainbridge, in full Dame Beryl Margaret Bainbridge, (born November 21, 1932?, Liverpool,..
Wladyslaw Broniewski
Wladyslaw Broniewski
Wladyslaw Broniewski, (born December 17, 1897, Plock, Poland, Russian Empire [now in Poland]--died..
Jeremy Collier
Jeremy Collier
Jeremy Collier, (born Sept. 23, 1650, Stow by Quy, Cambridgeshire, Eng.--died April 26, 1726, London),..
Louise Closser Hale
Louise Closser Hale
Louise Closser Hale, nee Louise Closser, (born Oct. 13, 1872, Chicago, Ill., U.S.--died July 26,..
Shirley Hazzard
Shirley Hazzard
Shirley Hazzard, (born January 30, 1931, Sydney, Australia--died December 12, 2016, New York,..
Mazisi Kunene
Mazisi Kunene
Mazisi Kunene, in full Mazisi Raymond Kunene, (born May 12, 1930, Durban, S.Af.--died Aug. 11, 2006,..
Phyllis McGinley
Phyllis McGinley
Phyllis McGinley, (born March 21, 1905, Ontario, Ore., U.S.--died Feb. 22, 1978, New York, N.Y.),..
Yambo Ouologuem
Yambo Ouologuem
Yambo Ouologuem, pseudonym Utto Rodolph, (born August 22, 1940, Bandiagara, Mopti region, French..
Louis Simpson
Louis Simpson
Louis Simpson, in full Louis Aston Marantz Simpson, (born March 27, 1923, Kingston, Jamaica--died..