English word hermit or recluse both reflect some aspects of Chinese recluse but: not necessary religious, not necessary away from the crowds.
The tradition of Chinese hermit starts with Chinese history, at the very beginning it is the privilege of aristocracy who has a much different view from the regime, tired of troubled state affairs, thus he just stayed away from the aristocracy, live in mount, as a fisherman, a lumberjack, a farmer or a scholar(渔樵耕读).
Tao Yuanming is the first poet famous for hermit poetry or the first hermit famous for poem writing. He vocalized the feeling which has more than one thousand year’s history before him, and he populated this feeling among average Chinese after him.
For a life long pursuit, you could go further and higher, or just stay away from it, living in the mountain on wild vegetable, farming as your neighborhood…that is the fundamental Chinese philosophy, as Confucius put it: 道不行，乘桴浮于海. So a hermit can have the choice of boating to high sea as well.
Chinese poem illustration: 长恨歌1/ Song of Everlasting Sorrow by Bai Juyi
YouTube above not applicable? watch full video at Bilibili: 长恨歌1
Part 1: Poem illustration starts from 11:30, before is background introduction. Part 1 describes the Emperor Xuanzong of Tang(唐玄宗) encounter and falling in love with the beauty Yang Guifei(杨贵妃).
The Song of Everlasting Sorrow, is a song telling the love story between an emperor and one of the Four Beauties in Chinese history Yang Guifei(杨贵妃).
This real story could be the most dramatic love story through the Chinese history, with a very dramatic back ground: emperor Xuanzong managed to ascend his throne by killings, managed the country as the most powerful and prosperous through Tang dynasty, even through Chinese history. He is treated as the father of Chinese drama(梨园之祖), he is the best polo player in town, he appreciated Li Bai with granting a position in royal court for nothing. He found his real love in his middle age by taking his daughter-in-law: Yang Guifei, then lost his love in the civil war(安史之乱) together with his throne, ended up humbly and sadly alone.
Poems, novels, Chinese dramas, movies, TV series all draw material from this love story, while this poem could be the most popular and renown one.
成龙快婿 should be乘龙快婿
The emperor praised this poem is not the son of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang, It is emperor Xianzong(唐宪宗)
The last sentence is talking about the Dance of Beautiful Clothes, not Song of Beautiful Clothes, anyhow, the song with same title really exists.
South dynasty 南朝 420AC-589AC
Part 2 The death of beauty and emperor’s fleeing and return to his palace in Chang’an city
YouTube above not applicable? watch full video at Bilibili: 长恨歌2
Part 3: A fantasy story of the meetup between Yang Guifei in her afterlife with the emperor Xuanzong who was still alive. This poem and illustration is also my gift to Double Seven Festival(七夕)，the Chinese Valentine Day , which is 2018.8.17.
YouTube above not applicable? watch full video at Bilibili: 长恨歌3
Chinese poem illustration: 秋夕/ Autumn Night by Du Mu
Youtube above not applicable? watch full video at Bilibili: 秋夕
A poem for July 7th/Double Seven festival(七夕or乞巧) on lunar calendar, or 2018.8.17 this year.
With vidid description of the night and those odalisk in Tang palace, the bitter and sad feeling is suggested by the color of candle(银烛), twilight of autumn night(秋光, 夜色) and the boring odalisk. The writhing about cold color is highly appreciated.
The Double Seven Festival is festival for female only in Tang dynasty, not like today treated as a Chinese Valentine Day. Not matter in the past or today, it is of joy, celebration and praying, the bitterness, sadness and idleness in this poem make a big contrast to the happy festival.
This poem is of Woman Complaining Poetry, very probably it could be an indirect expression of Du Mu himself, complaining about his own life and fate. Another poem on Double Seven Festival could be referenced: 迢迢牵牛星.