Fàn Chéngdà 1126-1193

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A native of Suzhou, Jiangsu, Fan Chengda received his jinshi degree in 1154 and was a high official in the Southern Song Court. In 1170 he led a diplomatic mission to the the hated Jin (Jurched) emperor in Peking, passing through the lost capital of Bianliang (Kaifeng) on the way. He also served as military and civil governor in Sichuan, Zhejiang, Guangxi and Jiangsu.

He retired to his scenic villa at 石湖 Shihu, Stone Lake near Suzhou, Jiangsu. It was here in 1186 that he wrote his series of sixty poems on rural life in the four seasons. Fan Chengda is considered to follow in the line of 'garden and field' poetry of Tao Qian and Wang Wei. He and his compatriot Lu Yu were good friends.

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White Cloud Gorge 白雲峽

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