2001 Volume 65 Issue 4 Pages 334-344
Yu Xin (513-581) is regarded as one of the greatest poets of China's 'Northern and Southern Dynasties'(4th-6th centuries AD). He served under both dynasties and produced many literary works on gardens and architecture. His Shan chi shi (Poem on Mountain/s and Pond/s) describes precisely the garden of the crown prince's residence at the Eastern Palace in Jiankang, present-day Nanjing. His Xiaoyuan fu ('Poetic Essay on a Small Garden') explains his own private house and garden in Chang'an, present-day Xi'an. In analogy to Tao Yuanming's (365?-427AD) poem 'Peach Blossom Spring' Yu Xin regarded his own dwelling as a retreat detached from the real world.