Amorous Adventure in the Capital: Lu Zhaolin and Luo Binwang Writing in the ‘Style of the Time’

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Lu Zhaolin 盧照鄰 (634?–686?) and Luo Binwang 駱賓王 (627?–684?) are the two earliest poets to write in "the style of the time" (dangshi ti 當時體), a notion first discussed by Du Fu 杜甫 (772–770). The uncertainty about how and when this "style" debuted inspires us to probe some important issues, such as what motivated Yang Jiong 楊炯 (b. 650) to call Lu Zhaolin a "talented elite in the human realm" and what role Li Rong 李榮 (fl. 660) and Xue Yuanchao 薛元超 (622–683) played in the political, intellectual, and poetical picture in the early 660s.

Lu Zhaolin's poem "Chang'an, in Ancient Style" 長安古意 is one main source of the "style of the time." This poem rejuvenated the yuefu tradition of writing amorous themes but from an autobiographic perspective, in heptasyllabic verse, and at a greater length. Luo Binwang's interaction with Lu Zhaolin and Li Rong resulted in his two poems in the same style, written on behalf of two jilted ladies to their respective lovers, Lu and Li, entitled "Amorous Feelings, on Behalf of Ms. Guo Presented to Lu Zhaolin" 豔情代郭氏贈盧照鄰 and "Presented to Daoist Adept Li Rong, written on Behalf of Daoist Priestess Wang Lingfei" 代女道士王靈妃贈道士李榮 respectively. The findings of this essay form a strong base for the reconstruction of the advent of this new style in the early 660s, marking the first zenith of Tang poetry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-54
Number of pages54
JournalTang Studies
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2022

User-Defined Keywords

  • Lu Zhaolin
  • Luo Binwang
  • "style of the time"
  • "Chang'an guyi"
  • yuefu poetry


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