Taoist Doctrine in Tao Yuanming’s Poetry

Zao Liu


Tao Yuanming (365-427) remains a controversial figure when it comes to his literary tradition in his poetry. The present paper aims to explore the Taoist doctrine expressed in his poems. While focusing on the Taoist ideas of naturalness, harmony of man with nature, fusion of the virtual and the real, and ineffability of Tao, the paper examines how these ideas are reflected in Tao Yuanming’s poetry. Three of his representative poems are closely analyzed in terms of their structures, themes, and imagery. The paper demonstrates that Tao Yuanming’s poetry does embody the Taoist philosophy through their themes and artistic mood created. 


Tao Yuanming; Tao; Taoism; Yijing; Man; Nature; Ineffability

Full Text:



Chang, K. (1986). Six dynasties poetry. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Guo, Y. (1974). Tian yuan shi ren Tao Qian. Taibei: San Ren Xing Chu Ban She.

Huang, G. (1983). Tao Yuanming de yi shu. Hong Kong: Xue Jin Shu Dian.

Hightower, J. (1970). The poetry of T’ao Ch’ien. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Jing, S. (1991). Wei jin shi ren yu zheng zhi. Taibei: Wen Jin Chu Ban She.

Laozi. (1973). Tao Te Ching (Ch’u Ta-kao, Trans.). New York: Samuel Weiser.

Li, C. (1978). Tao Yuanming ping zhuan. Taibei: Mu Tong Chu Ban She.

Liu, W. (1966). An introduction to Chinese literature. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Liu, W., & Lo, I. Y. (1975). Sunflower splendor. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Lu, Q. (1979). Tao Yuanming ji. Beijing: Zhonghua Shu Ju.

Shu, S. (1980). Guo Xiang Zhuang xue ping yi. Taibei: Taiwan Xue Sheng Shu Dian.

Wei, F. (1991). You ran jian nan shan. Hong Kong: Zhonghua Shu Ju.

Zhong, Y. (1981). Tao Yuanming lun ji. Changsha: Hunan Ren Min Chu Ban She.

Zhuangzi. (1968). The complete works of Chuang Tzu (B. Watson, Trans.). New York: Columbia University Press.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/8798


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2016 Zao Liu

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Share us to:   


Online Submissionhttp://cscanada.org/index.php/sll/submission/wizard


How to do online submission to another Journal?

If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.

We only use three mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases: caooc@hotmail.com; sll@cscanada.net; sll@cscanada.org

 Articles published in Studies in Literature and Language are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY).


Address: 1055 Rue Lucien-L'Allier, Unit #772, Montreal, QC H3G 3C4, Canada.
Telephone: 1-514-558 6138 
Website: Http://www.cscanada.net; Http://www.cscanada.org 
E-mailoffice@cscanada.net; office@cscanada.org; caooc@hotmail.com

Copyright © 2010 Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture