Yu Xin 513-581

A renowned fu writer, also known for his shi and parallel prose, who lived during the Northern and Southern dynasties (220-589), a period of political and military upheaval and cultural turbulence. The son of a leading poet of the 'palace style', Yu had a privileged childhood and became known for his literary talent at a young age. After years of service under the Liang dynasty (502-556) south of the Yangtze, Yu was sent on an ill-fated mission to the north in 544, where he was detained and forced to serve under various northern regimes. Though he rose to high government positions, the sadness of enforced exile coloured his literary works. Yu Xin is best known for his 'Ai Jiangnan fu' [Lament for the South] describing the violent end of the Liang dynasty in highly allusive language.