5 Functions of Poetry in Ancient China

Merchants and Officials
They used poetry to transact the business

Friends and Lovers
They used poems to make their feeling known to each other.

They wrote poems as spiritual practice.

Central Part
Poetry was the central part of celebration in parties and social gatherings.

Civil Service Examination
Poetry was required in the national examination. People who pass the exam are called Jin-shi.

Nature Poetry in China
Scholars and poets passed the civil service examination and find their placement in the government. They were not required to, but suggested to praise the emperor and the government in their poems. Yet, since they were the intellectuals of their society, they saw the flaws of the government and the sufferings of the people, so they wrote poems that criticized the government. They ended up either exiled by the authority or got tired of the city and left to the country on their own volition and returned to the mountain and the countryside and lived in the nature.