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Chinese is romanised in hanyu pinyin.


(AD 751–814)
Wade-Giles phoneticisation Mêng4 Chiao1
Courtesy name 'Eastern wild man' Dōngyě 東野

Mèngjiāo lived in the latter half of the Táng dynasty 唐代. He is traditionally grouped with the poets Lǐ Hè 李賀 and Jiǎ Dǎo 賈島 as the 'Poets of Bitter Songs' 苦吟詩人. He was born in the town of Wǔkāng 武康 in Húzhōu 湖州 and spent his early life as a recluse on Sōng mountain 嵩山 before seeking official appointment. He passed the Imperial Examinations only on his third attempt, when he was 46, and was made a minor official in Lìyáng 溧陽 four years later. He was poor his whole life and his sons all died in infancy.

Meng Jiao was pre-eminent among the group of poets Hán Yù 韓愈 gathered around himself in Cháng'ān 長安. He was an important influence on Jia Dao who was 28 years his junior.

Meng Jiao's poetry is not to everyone's taste. Later poets did not think highly of his poetry, and two hundred years later, Sū Dōngpō 蘇東坡 went so far as to write


'I hate Meng Jiao's poetry,
And I hate even more, Meng Jiao's language.
A hungry belly always rumbling,
Hungry mice curled up along empty walls.
His poetry rises from his heart
And fills your heart with only worry.'
(This translation by gak 29 July 2003)

Dongpo grouped Jia Dao and Meng Jiao together, saying 'Jia Dao is lean, Meng Jiao is cold' (Dǎo shòu Jiāo hán 島瘦郊寒).

Thanks to Tongpoo for his list of pinyin unicodes.

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