Poet-monk Daoqian (1043 to 1112): Buddhist Monasticism and Social Poetry


The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Dissertation Fellowships in Buddhist Studies


My dissertation focuses on eighty-six matched rhyme and other poems set against the life of their author, Buddhist poet-monk Daoqian (1043-1112). I examine tensions and synergies between Buddhism and poetry in five stages of Daoqian's monastic career. Daoqian’s well-preserved body of work offers rich examples of how poetry functioned in the life of a Chinese monk. My analysis of social poetry, especially matched rhyme poetry, recontextualizes Buddhism in intellectual and social history of the Song Dynasty. My previous research searched digital resources to reunite long-separated matched rhyme poems and restore Daoqian’s actual dialogues with other poets. These dialogues reveal the religious concerns and daily lives of monks and laymen in China’s Middle Period.