Wang Wei

Wang Wei, a contemporary of Li Po and Tu Fu, is one of China’s best-loved poets. His clean and sharply-focused style has inspired American poets from Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams down to the present day. A rare example of a poet with real power, Wang Wei stood next to the Emperor in the Tang dynasty court, charged with correcting (diplomatically, no doubt) any mistakes he might make. And yet, devoted to nature, meditation, and poetry, he refused all the trappings of wealth: his chamber at court contained only a bed, a chair, and a teapot.