Su Dongpo: The Vegetarian Poet

“In my dreams, I am a deer running to the land of bliss. In reality, I am a chicken to be thrown to a boiling pot”. 

Su Shi (1037-1101) wrote these lines when, facing deadly serious accusations, he was interrogated in prison. A life-changing experience, it even made the poet reconsider his diet! But how did a statesman of national prominence, once called by Emperor Renzong (1010-1063) a future grand councilor, get himself into this situation?

By Ilina Tatiana 

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A Flower In Seclusion: The Plum Blossom in Song Dynasty Poetry

Scrolling through social media, you might see pictures of cute cats. An interface between our personal and social lives, pets’ photos help us express ourselves while keeping a distance. An old trick. Just as we post pictures with cats, Song Dynasty literati (well-educated scholars and/or officials) exchanged poems about the reclusive flowering plum.

By Ilina Tatiana 

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