Cai Yan (Wenji) (c. 178 – c. 250?) was the daughter of Cai Yong, one of the most famous scholars of the Han Dynasty. After being widowed at a young age, Cai Wenji was abducted by a nomadic tribe, where she was forced to marry a chieftain and bear his children. The tragedy of her life story, and the songs of lament that have been attributed to her, combine the art of noble suffering with the powerful precision of Chinese poetry at its finest. In this episode, Jacke continues the “Forgotten Women of Literature” theme with a look at the Chinese poet whose suffering blazes through the mists of time.
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