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Suining in SW China: Hometown of renowned Tang poet Chen Zi’ang

By He Zhuoyan, Emily Holder, Li Yan, Chen Si, Yu Yang (People's Daily Online)    16:59, October 30, 2020

Soaked in the rhythm of the guzheng, a plucked instrument in China dating back over 2,000 years ago, poets in ancient China often composed ever-lasting classic poems just as graceful as the melodies of the era.

Shehong, a county-level city in Suining, southwest China’s Sichuan province, is the hometown of Chen Zi'ang, a poet from the early Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907). 

Baijiu was often incorporated in composing poems in Tang Dynasty. (People's Daily Online/ He Zhuoyan)

Working as a government official, the well-being of people and the development of the country was always on Chen Zi’ang’s mind. With many of his poems still carrying great significance for the world today, as a poet he helped bring to life a new style of poetry that later influenced generations of poets, such as Li Bai (AD 701-762) and Du Fu (AD 712–770) , from the golden age of Tang poetry.

A traditional calligrapher paints an ancient Chinese poem. (People's Daily Online/ He Zhuoyan)

Li Bai, dubbed as the Poet Immortal, and his friend Du Fu, referred to as the Poet Sage in China, were the two most prominent figures in the flourishing of Chinese poetry during the Tang dynasty, which is often called the "Golden Age of Chinese Poetry.”

As the popularity of drinking baijiu, a strong, colorless Chinese liquor, increased among those involved in the arts, poets during the golden era are known to have mixed this Chinese liquor with the making of their works, further freeing their creative spirit. 

Poets during the golden era of the Tang Dynasty often drank Baijiu to further free their creative spirit. (People's Daily Online/ He Zhuoyan)

With a cultural tourism attraction themed on Chen Zi’ang’s hometown and a cultural square reflecting his cultural heritage, Shehong hosts an International Poetry Week event to carry forward and preserve the culture of poetry.

Chen Zi’ang’s hometown is a national 4A-level tourism attraction in China. From January to October 2020, it received 60,000 tourists, realizing a ticket revenue of 277,000 yuan.

Producing numerous classic works, Chen Zi’ang has become an emblem of Shehong. 

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(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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