By Shuen-fu Lin, Stephen Owen

This quantity offers twelve essays at the evolution of shih poetry from the second one to the 10th century, the interval that all started with the surprising flowering of shih poetry in live-character meter and culminated within the T'ang, the golden age of classical chinese language poetry.

Originally released in 1987.

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Additional resources for The Vitality of the Lyric Voice: Shih Poetry from the Late Han to the T’ang

Sample text

6) Center and Periphery. It is true that the poet, unlike the sage, cannot embody the Tao in its all-embracing fullness. However, even though he cannot experience the Tao in the same profundity as the sage can, he articulates the subtlety of the Tao holistically through concrete symbolization. The ability of the poet to do so, like the sage in this case, emanates from a penetrating insight into the inner structure of a thing, be it natural scenery, social condition, or human feeling. The procedure, comparable to the idea of hitting the target on mark, mentioned above, is to embrace the whole by first grasping what the heart of the matter is.

Rpt. Taipei: I-wen yin-shu-kuan, i960), vol. 1, p. 41. , vol. 2, p. 446. 9 41 Francois Cheng lines allows two simultaneous interpretations. " In reality, through these lines so clearly marked by circularity, the poet doubtlessly intends to reconstitute the scene of parting, in which the elements of nature are not perceived simply as external decorations (or as terms of comparison) but as participating intimately in the human drama. (c) Omission of preposition. ¾ (fl. late seventh-early eighth century), show how the author used poetic omission to tell the story of the separation of two lovers on a moonlit night.

11 |Ι$5ΐί In this line (translated here word for word), through an ingenious arrangement of words traced on an essential cadence, the poet creates a time and a space in their greatest divergence. And the final word, though nominal, embodies a living heart (the moon), whose beating seems to spread in endless echoes. II. The Syntactic Level (Yin-Yang) On the preceding lexical level we have already observed how the functioning of empty words reveals certain syntactic aspects within a sentence. We are now going to approach a highly original form within Chinese poetry, a form placed under the sign of the YinYang pairing, which works very strongly on the syntactic structure of sentences: parallelism.

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