Tang Cosmopolitanism and Poetry
Wang Wei (699-759) Inspired by Zen Buddhism.also a painter. Synthesized two mediums of painting and writing. "Deer Enclosure" - Beautiful attempt to capture nature as it is, Landscape painting don't emphasize human subject. More about capturing the nature in its own context. Simplicity, immediacy = haiku as form fully indebted to Wang Wei.
Du Fu (712-770) More steeped in Confucian values, morality, strong sense of righteous pride, than fame or wealth. Master of technician of verse. He failed in terms of trying to reach highest position in the government - frustrated by failure that even when they offer him minor job, he rejected that. Family live in extreme poverty, because of his own personal suffering, he developed much sharper empathy for those who suffer. Witness to the An Lushan Rebellion - witnessed turmoil. Poems reflect the view of declining world. E.g. "Spring View" - Every image is packed with power in simplicity; Empathetic "social history." E.g. "Recruiting officer of Shih-Hao" - Devastation of war in family unit; Account of impermanence of beauty, youth , and worldly glory. E.g. "Jade Flower palace" - fleeting nature of life.
Li Po or Li Bai (701-762) Romantic imagination inspired by Taoist ideals, of spontaneity, care-free. "An immortal banished from heaven" earthly transcendental touched with divine madness - Free-flowing abandonment, exuberant. Ezra Pound's "translation" of "A river merchant's wife: a letter." - One of greatest love poem, profound in its emotional amplitude; Highest place of feeling without gush. "Still Night Thoughts"
Capital of Chang'an The layout of the Tang Imperial Capital. Largest planned city ever built. Division of the city into sectors. Large neighborhood. Each sector had is own gate/wall with fancy names. Each had to follow night curfew - the most efficient way Tang maintain order.
Increase in rice productivity
Commercial incentives Tang dynasty advanced credit system (new paper currency), letters to credit, promissory notes, rapid growth in population and cities, rise of entrepreneuship and private small enterprises.
Tang credit systems introduction of promissory notes. Includes the use of currency, letters of credit, facilitate trade.
Western Market where silk road entered into the city. Over 3 thousand small shops. About 2 hundred merchant guilds, merchant associations. Everything weary traveler want to enjoy is offered in Chang'an. Splendor and luxury of Chang'an drew many travelers. Even Muslims travelers pointed to Chang'an as something never seen before.
The Silk Road Chang'an was the end of the silk Road, final destination; input of foreign culture/idea/people/linguistic all flowed into the city of Chang'an. E.g. Tartar bakeries from Central Asia. E.g. Buddhist temple, Confucian temples, Nestorian churches by 8-9th century. Even religiously cosmopolitan.
Journey of Monk Xuanzang He was great patron of supporter of poets. He himself was a good poet. Merits of the verse ended up serving position.