Chinese poetry

Chinese poetry

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Chinese poetry is poetry
Poetry
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

 written, spoken, or chanted in the Chinese language
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

, which includes various versions of Chinese language, including Classical Chinese
Classical Chinese
Classical Chinese or Literary Chinese is a traditional style of written Chinese based on the grammar and vocabulary of ancient Chinese, making it different from any modern spoken form of Chinese...

, Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese, or Modern Standard Chinese, also known as Mandarin or Putonghua, is the official language of the People's Republic of China and Republic of China , and is one of the four official languages of Singapore....

, Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese
Cantonese
Cantonese is a dialect spoken primarily in south China.Cantonese may also refer to:* Yue Chinese, the Chinese language that includes Cantonese* Cantonese cuisine, the cuisine of Guangdong province...

, Yue Chinese, as well as many other historical and vernacular varieties of the Chinese language. In other words Chinese poetry refers to poetry
Poetry
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

 written or spoken in the Chinese language. The various versions of this type of poetry, as known historically and to the general knowledge of the modern world, include two primary types, Classical Chinese poetry
Classical Chinese poetry
thumb|right|300px|Attributed to [[Han Gan]], Huiyebai , about 750CE .Classical Chinese poetry is that type of poetry that is the traditional Chinese poetry written in Classical Chinese. It is typified by certain traditional forms, or modes, and certain traditional genres...

and Modern Chinese poetry
Modern Chinese poetry
Modern Chinese poetry sometimes referred to as New poetry refers to the modern vernacular style of poetry developed after 4 May 1919, as opposed to the traditional poetry written in Classical Chinese language...

.

Chinese poetry has consistently been held in extremely high regard in China, incorporating wonderfully expressive folk influences filtered through the minds of Chinese literati. Within Chinese culture, poetry provides an exceptional platform for both public and private expressions of deep emotion, offering a rare vantage point for students and observers to view the inner life of Chinese writers across more than two millennia. The essential contrasts between the Western world and the independent path struck by Chinese civilization are exemplified in the rich variety of the Chinese poetic tradition, making it an interesting and pleasurable object of study for Westerners.

Classical Chinese poetry




Classical Chinese poetry includes, perhaps first and foremost shi
Shi (poetry)
Shi is the Chinese word for "poetry" or "poem", anciently associated with Chinese poetry. In modern times, shi can and has been used as an umbrella term to mean poetry in any form or language, whether or not Chinese; but, it may imply or be used to refer certain classical forms of poetry, for...

(詩/诗), and also other major types such as ci
Ci (poetry)
Ci is a kind of lyric Classical Chinese poetry using a poetic meter based upon certain patterns of fixed-rhythm formal types. For speakers of English, the word "ci" is pronounced somewhat like "tsuh"...

(詞/词) and qu
Qu (poetry)
In Chinese literature, qu , or yuanqu consists of sanqu and zaju . Together with the various shi and fu forms of poetry, the ci, qu, and the other fixed-rhythm type of verse comprise the three main forms of Classical Chinese poetry.Yuanqu is a form of Chinese opera, which became popular in Yuan...

(曲). There is also a traditional Chinese literary form
Chinese literature
Chinese literature extends thousands of years, from the earliest recorded dynastic court archives to the mature fictional novels that arose during the Ming Dynasty to entertain the masses of literate Chinese...

 called fu
Fu (poetry)
Fu is a kind of rhymed prose, or poetry style essay, popular in ancient China, especially during the Han Dynasty. The term fu is often used in a multiway contrast with the more purely poetic shi style, with the fixed-rhythm forms of poetry , and with various more explicitly prosaic forms of...

(賦/赋), which defies categorization into English more than the other terms, but perhaps can best be described as a kind of prose-poem
Prose poetry
Prose poetry is poetry written in prose instead of using verse but preserving poetic qualities such as heightened imagery and emotional effects.-Characteristics:Prose poetry can be considered either primarily poetry or prose, or a separate genre altogether...

. During the modern period, there also has developed free verse
Free verse
Free verse is a form of poetry that refrains from consistent meter patterns, rhyme, or any other musical pattern.Poets have explained that free verse, despite its freedom, is not free. Free Verse displays some elements of form...

 in Western style. Traditional forms of Chinese poetry
Poetry
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

 are rhymed
Rhyme
A rhyme is a repetition of similar sounds in two or more words and is most often used in poetry and songs. The word "rhyme" may also refer to a short poem, such as a rhyming couplet or other brief rhyming poem such as nursery rhymes.-Etymology:...

, however the mere rhyming of text may not qualify literature as being poetry; and, as well, the lack of rhyme would not necessarily disqualify a modern work from being considered poetry, in the sense of modern Chinese poetry. For example, lines from I Ching
I Ching
The I Ching or "Yì Jīng" , also known as the Classic of Changes, Book of Changes and Zhouyi, is one of the oldest of the Chinese classic texts...

are often rhymed, but may not be considered to be poetry, whereas modern verse may be considered to be poetry even without rhyme. A cross-cultural comparison to this might be the Pre-Socratic philosophical works
Pre-Socratic philosophy
Pre-Socratic philosophy is Greek philosophy before Socrates . In Classical antiquity, the Presocratic philosophers were called physiologoi...

 in ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 which were often written in verse versus free verse
Free verse
Free verse is a form of poetry that refrains from consistent meter patterns, rhyme, or any other musical pattern.Poets have explained that free verse, despite its freedom, is not free. Free Verse displays some elements of form...

.

Beginnings of the tradition: Shijing and Chuci


The earliest extant anthologies are the Shi Jing
Shi Jing
The Classic of Poetry , translated variously as the Book of Songs, the Book of Odes, and often known simply as its original name The Odes, is the earliest existing collection of Chinese poems and songs. It comprises 305 poems and songs, with many range from the 10th to the 7th centuries BC...

and Chu Ci
Chu Ci
Chu Ci , also known as Songs of the South or Songs of Chu, is an anthology of Chinese verse traditionally attributed to Qu Yuan and Song Yu from the Warring States Period, though about half of the poems seem to have been composed several centuries later, during the Han Dynasty...

. Both of these have had a great impact on the subsequent poetic tradition. Earlier examples of ancient Chinese poetry may have been lost because of the vicissitudes of history, such as the burning of books
Burning of books and burying of scholars
Burning of the books and burying of the scholars is a phrase that refers to a policy and a sequence of events in the Qin Dynasty of Ancient China, between the period of 213 and 206 BC. During these events, the Hundred Schools of Thought were pruned; legalism survived...

 by Qin Shihuang, although one of the targets of this last event was the Shi Jing
Shi Jing
The Classic of Poetry , translated variously as the Book of Songs, the Book of Odes, and often known simply as its original name The Odes, is the earliest existing collection of Chinese poems and songs. It comprises 305 poems and songs, with many range from the 10th to the 7th centuries BC...

, which however have survived intact.

Shijing



The older of these, Shi Jing
Shi Jing
The Classic of Poetry , translated variously as the Book of Songs, the Book of Odes, and often known simply as its original name The Odes, is the earliest existing collection of Chinese poems and songs. It comprises 305 poems and songs, with many range from the 10th to the 7th centuries BC...

(Classic of Poetry or Book of Songs) collected both aristocratic poems ("Odes") and more rustic poetry, probably derived from folk songs ("Songs"). These poems were predominantly composed of four-character (四言) lines.

Chuci



The second anthology, Chu Ci
Chu Ci
Chu Ci , also known as Songs of the South or Songs of Chu, is an anthology of Chinese verse traditionally attributed to Qu Yuan and Song Yu from the Warring States Period, though about half of the poems seem to have been composed several centuries later, during the Han Dynasty...

(楚辞 Songs of Chu or Songs of the South), was more lyrical and romantic, featuring the irregular line-lengths that were prevalent in the state of Chu
Chu (state)
The State of Chu was a Zhou Dynasty vassal state in present-day central and southern China during the Spring and Autumn period and Warring States Period . Its ruling house had the surname Nai , and clan name Yan , later evolved to surname Mi , and clan name Xiong...

. This collection is primarily made up of poems ascribed to Qu Yuan
Qu Yuan
Qu Yuan was a Chinese poet who lived during the Warring States Period in ancient China. He is famous for his contributions to the poetry collection known as the Chu-ci...

 and his follower Song Yu
Song Yu
Song Yu was a well-known Chinese poet in the State of Chu. He is commonly said to have been a nephew of Qu Yuan, but no reliable biographical information is available...

. During the Han Dynasty
Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms . It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang...

 (206 BC-220AD), the Chu Ci style of poetry evolved into the fu
Fu (poetry)
Fu is a kind of rhymed prose, or poetry style essay, popular in ancient China, especially during the Han Dynasty. The term fu is often used in a multiway contrast with the more purely poetic shi style, with the fixed-rhythm forms of poetry , and with various more explicitly prosaic forms of...

(赋/賦 "descriptive poem") style, a style marked by the mixture of verse and prose passages that was often used to display the poet's skills and knowledge rather than to convey emotional experiences. This form remained popular during the subsequent Six Dynasties
Six Dynasties
Six Dynasties is a collective noun for six Chinese dynasties during the periods of the Three Kingdoms , Jin Dynasty , and Southern and Northern Dynasties ....

 period, although it became shorter and more personal. Fu remained one of the generic pillars of Chinese poetry until the Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

, when five-character and seven-character shi
Shi (poetry)
Shi is the Chinese word for "poetry" or "poem", anciently associated with Chinese poetry. In modern times, shi can and has been used as an umbrella term to mean poetry in any form or language, whether or not Chinese; but, it may imply or be used to refer certain classical forms of poetry, for...

poetry, began to dominate.

Han poetry



Also during the Han Dynasty
Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms . It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang...

, a folk-song style of poetry became popular, known as yuefu (樂府/乐府) "Music Bureau
Music Bureau
Music Bureau , also known as the "Imperial Music Bureau", discontinuously and in various incarnations was an organ of the imperial governmental bureaucracy of several Chinese dynasties...

" poems, so named because of the government's role in collecting such poems, although in time some poets began composing original works in yuefu style. Many yuefu poems are composed of five-character (五言) or seven-character (七言) lines, in contrast to the four-character lines of earlier times. A characteristic form of Han Dynasty literature is the fu
Fu (poetry)
Fu is a kind of rhymed prose, or poetry style essay, popular in ancient China, especially during the Han Dynasty. The term fu is often used in a multiway contrast with the more purely poetic shi style, with the fixed-rhythm forms of poetry , and with various more explicitly prosaic forms of...

. The poetic period of the end of the Han Dynasty and the beginning of the Six Dynasties era is known as Jian'an poetry
Jian'an poetry
Jian'an poetry, or Chien'an poetry refers to those types or styles of poetry particularly associated with the end of the Han Dynasty and the beginning of the Six dynasties era of China...

. An important collection of Han poetry is the "Nineteen Old Poems
Nineteen Old Poems
Nineteen Old Poems , also known as Ku-shih shih-chiu shih is an anthology of Chinese poems, consisting of nineteen poems collected during the Han Dynasty. These nineteen poems were very influential in regards to later poetry, in part because of their use of the five-character line...

".

Jian'an poetry



Between and over-lapping the poetry of the latter days of the Han and the beginning period of the Six Dynasties was Jian'an poetry. Examples of surviving poetry from this period include the works of the "Three Caos": Cao Cao
Cao Cao
Cao Cao was a warlord and the penultimate chancellor of the Eastern Han Dynasty who rose to great power during the dynasty's final years. As one of the central figures of the Three Kingdoms period, he laid the foundations for what was to become the state of Cao Wei and was posthumously titled...

, Cao Pi
Cao Pi
Cao Pi , formally known as Emperor Wen of Wei, was the first emperor of the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history. Born in Qiao County, Pei Commandery , he was the second son of the late Han Dynasty warlord Cao Cao.Cao Pi, like his father, was a poet...

, and Cao Zhi
Cao Zhi
Cao Zhi was a poet who lived during the late Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history. His poetry style, greatly revered during the Jin Dynasty and Southern and Northern Dynasties, came to be known as the Jian'an style....

.

Six Dynasties poetry



The Six Dynasties
Six Dynasties
Six Dynasties is a collective noun for six Chinese dynasties during the periods of the Three Kingdoms , Jin Dynasty , and Southern and Northern Dynasties ....

 era was one of various developments in poetry, both continuing and building on the traditions developed and handed down from previous poetic development and also leading up to further developments of poetry in the future. Major examples of poetry surviving from this dynamic era include the works of the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove
Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove
The Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove were a group of Chinese Taoist Qingtan scholars, writers, and musicians who came together in the 3rd century CE. Although the individual members all existed, their interconnection is not entirely certain...

, the poems of the Orchid Pavilion Gathering
Orchid Pavilion Gathering
The Orchid Pavilion Gathering was a cultural and poetic event during the Six Dynasties era, in China. This event itself has a certain inherent and poetic interest in regards to the development of landscape poetry and the philosophical ideas of Zhuangzi...

, the Midnight Songs poetry
Midnight Songs poetry
Midnight Songs poetry , also Tzu-yeh Songs, refers both to a genre of poetry as well as to specifically collected poems under the same name, during the Fourth Century CE...

 of the four seasons, the great "fields and garden" poet "Tao Yuanming", the Yongming epoch poets, and the poems collected in the anthology New Songs from the Jade Terrace
New Songs from the Jade Terrace
New Songs from the Jade Terrace is a collection of Chinese poetry dating to the time of the Six Dynasties. Its poems have frequently been translated and have otherwise been of great artistic influence around the world. Although there is uncertainty about the authorship of the individual poems, the...

, compiled by Xu Ling (507-83).

Tang poetry



A high point of classical Chinese poetry occurred during the Tang period. Not only was the period prolific in poets but also in poems (perhaps around 50,000 poems survive, many of them collected in the Collected Tang Poems
Quantangshi
The Quantangshi , and also translated as the Complete Tang Poems, is a collection of Tang poetry...

). During the time of Tang, in China, poetry was integrated into almost every aspect of the professional and social life of the literate class, including becoming part of the Imperial examination
Imperial examination
The Imperial examination was an examination system in Imperial China designed to select the best administrative officials for the state's bureaucracy. This system had a huge influence on both society and culture in Imperial China and was directly responsible for the creation of a class of...

s taken by anyone wanting a government post. By this point, poetry was being composed according to regulated tone pattern
Tone pattern
Tone patterns are common constraints in classical Chinese poetry.The four tones of Middle Chinese—level , rising , departing , and entering tones—are categorized into level tones and oblique tones. All level tones are level. All other tones are oblique...

s. Regulated and unregulated poetry were distinguished as "ancient-style" gushi
Gushi
Gushi may refer to:*Gushi County, in Henan, China*Güshi Khan , Khoshut-Oirat prince and leader of the Khoshut Mongol tribe*Gushi culture, ancient culture in Xinjiang region of China*Gushi Chinese verse form...

poetry and regulated, "recent-style" jintishi
Regulated verse
Regulated verse, also known as Jintishi is a development within Classical Chinese poetry of the shi main formal type. Regulated verse is one of the most important of all Classical Chinese poetry types...

poetry. Jintishi (meaning "new style poetry"), or regulated verse, is a stricter form developed in the early Tang Dynasty with rules governing the structure of a poem, in terms of line-length, number of lines, tonal patterns within the lines, the use of rhyme
Rhyme
A rhyme is a repetition of similar sounds in two or more words and is most often used in poetry and songs. The word "rhyme" may also refer to a short poem, such as a rhyming couplet or other brief rhyming poem such as nursery rhymes.-Etymology:...

, and a certain level of mandatory parallelism. Good examples of the gushi and jintishi forms can be found in, respectively, the works of the poets Li Bai
Li Bai
Li Bai , also known in the West by various other transliterations, especially Li Po, was a major Chinese poet of the Tang dynasty poetry period. He has been regarded as one of the greatest poets in China's Tang period, which is often called China's "golden age" of poetry. Around a thousand existing...

 and Du Fu
Du Fu
Du Fu was a prominent Chinese poet of the Tang Dynasty.Along with Li Bai , he is frequently called the greatest of the Chinese poets. His greatest ambition was to serve his country as a successful civil servant, but he proved unable to make the necessary accommodations...

. Tang poetic forms include: lushi
Lushi (poetry)
Lushi lüshi refers a specific form of Classical Chinese poetry verse form. One of the most important poetry forms of Classical Chinese poetry, the lushi was an eight-line regulated verse form with lines made up of five, six, or seven characters; thus:*Five-character eight-line regulated verse : a...

, a type of regulated verse with an eight-line form having five, six, or seven characters per line; ci
Ci (poetry)
Ci is a kind of lyric Classical Chinese poetry using a poetic meter based upon certain patterns of fixed-rhythm formal types. For speakers of English, the word "ci" is pronounced somewhat like "tsuh"...

(verse following set rhythmic patterns); and jueju
Jueju
Jueju is a style of jintishi, or "Modern form poetry", that grew popular among Chinese poets in the Tang Dynasty , although traceable to earlier origins...

(truncated verse), a four-line poem with five, six, or seven characters per line. Good examples of the jueju verse form can be found in the poems of Wang Wei
Wang Wei
Wang Wei , was a Tang Dynasty Chinese poet, musician, painter, and statesman. He was one of the most famous men of arts and letters of his time. Many of his poems are preserved, and twenty-nine were included in the highly influential 18th century anthology Three Hundred Tang Poems.-Name...

. Over time, some Tang poetry became more realistic, more narrative and more critical of social norms; for example, these traits can be seen in the works of Bai Juyi. The poetry of the Tang Dynasty remains influential today. Other Late Tang poetry developed a more allusive and surreal character, as can be seen, for example, in the works of Li He
Li He
Li He , courtesy name Changji , was a short-lived Chinese poet of the late Tang Dynasty, known for his unconventional and imaginative style.-Biography:...

 and Li Shangyin
Li Shangyin
Li Shangyin , courtesy name Yishan , was a Chinese poet of the late Tang Dynasty, born in Henei . Along with Li He, he was much admired and "rediscovered" in the 20th century by the young Chinese writers for the imagist quality of his poems...

.

Song poetry



By the Song Dynasty
Song Dynasty
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a...

 (960-1279), another form had proven it could provide the flexibility that new poets needed: the ci
Ci (poetry)
Ci is a kind of lyric Classical Chinese poetry using a poetic meter based upon certain patterns of fixed-rhythm formal types. For speakers of English, the word "ci" is pronounced somewhat like "tsuh"...

(词/詞) lyric—new lyrics written according to the set rhythms of existing tunes. Each of the tunes had music that has often been lost, but having its own meter. Thus, each ci poem is labeled "To the tune of [Tune Name]" (调寄[词牌]/調寄[詞牌]) and fits the meter and rhyme of the tune (much in the same way that Christian hymn writers set new lyrics to pre-existing tunes). The titles of ci poems are not necessarily related to their subject matter, and many poems may share a title. In terms of their content, ci poetry most often expressed feelings of desire, often in an adopted persona. However, great exponents of the form, such as the Southern Tang
Southern Tang
Southern Tang was one of the Ten Kingdoms in south-central China created following the Tang Dynasty from 937-975. Southern Tang replaced the Wu Kingdom when Li Bian deposed the emperor Yang Pu....

 poet Li Houzhu
Li Houzhu
Li Houzhu , also known as Houzhu of Southern Tang , personal name Li Yu , né Li Congjia , courtesy name Chongguang , posthumously known as Prince of Wu , was the last ruler of the Southern Tang Kingdom from 961 to 975 during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms...

 and the Song Dynasty poet Su Shi
Su Shi
Su Shi , was a writer, poet, artist, calligrapher, pharmacologist, gastronome, and statesman of the Song Dynasty, and one of the major poets of the Song era. His courtesy name was Zizhan and his pseudonym was Dongpo Jushi , and he is often referred to as Su Dongpo...

, used the ci form to address a wide range of topics.

Yuan poetry



Major developments of poetry during the Yuan Dynasty
Yuan Dynasty
The Yuan Dynasty , or Great Yuan Empire was a ruling dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, who ruled most of present-day China, all of modern Mongolia and its surrounding areas, lasting officially from 1271 to 1368. It is considered both as a division of the Mongol Empire and as an...

 (1271-1368) included the development of types of poetry written to fixed-tone patterns, such as for the Yuan opera
Zaju
Zaju was a form of Chinese drama or Chinese opera which provided entertainment through a synthesis of recitations of prose and poetry, dance, singing, and mime, with a certain emphasis on comedy...

 librettos. After the Song Dynasty, the set rhythms of the ci came to be reflected in the set-rhythm pieces of Chinese Sanqu poetry
Chinese Sanqu poetry
Chinese Sanqu poetry refers to a fixed-rhythm form of Classical Chinese poetry, or "literary song", specifically sanqu is a subtype of the qu formal type of poetry. Sanqu was a notable Chinese poetic form, possibly beginning in the Jin Dynasty ; but, especially associated with the Yuan , Ming ,...

 (散曲), a freer form based on new popular songs and dramatic arias, that developed and lasted into the Ming Dynasty
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

 (14th-17th centuries). Examples can be seen in the work of playwrights Ma Zhiyuan
Ma Zhiyuan
Ma Zhiyuan , courtesy name Dongli , was a Chinese poet and celebrated playwright, a native of Dadu during the Yuan Dynasty.Among his achievements is the development and popularizing of the new sanqu lyric form of poetry...

  馬致遠 (c. 1270-1330) and Guan Hanqing
Guan Hanqing
Guan Hanqing , sobriquet "the Oldman of the Studio" , was a notable Chinese playwright and poet in the Yuan Dynasty.-Biography:...

 關漢卿 (c. 1300).

Ming, Ming-Qing Transition, and Qing poetry


Both shi and ci continued to be composed until the end of the imperial period. Notable poetry was written during the Ming Dynasty
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

 (1368-1644) and during the Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

 (1644 to 1912). The overlapping period of the Ming-Qing Transition is notable in terms of its poetic characteristics.

Post-imperial Classical Chinese poetry


Both shi and ci continued to be composed past the end of the imperial period; one example being Mao Zedong, former Chairman of the Communist Party of China, who wrote Classical Chinese poetry in his own calligraphic style.

Modern (postclassical) poetry


Modern Chinese poetry
Modern Chinese poetry
Modern Chinese poetry sometimes referred to as New poetry refers to the modern vernacular style of poetry developed after 4 May 1919, as opposed to the traditional poetry written in Classical Chinese language...

 (新诗/新詞 "new poetry") refers to the modern vernacular style of poetry, as opposed to the traditional poetry
Classical Chinese poetry
thumb|right|300px|Attributed to [[Han Gan]], Huiyebai , about 750CE .Classical Chinese poetry is that type of poetry that is the traditional Chinese poetry written in Classical Chinese. It is typified by certain traditional forms, or modes, and certain traditional genres...

 written in Classical Chinese
Classical Chinese
Classical Chinese or Literary Chinese is a traditional style of written Chinese based on the grammar and vocabulary of ancient Chinese, making it different from any modern spoken form of Chinese...

 language. Usually Modern Chinese poetry does not follow prescribed patterns. Poetry was revolutionized after 1919's May Fourth Movement
May Fourth Movement
The May Fourth Movement was an anti-imperialist, cultural, and political movement growing out of student demonstrations in Beijing on May 4, 1919, protesting the Chinese government's weak response to the Treaty of Versailles, especially the Shandong Problem...

, when writers (like Hu Shih
Hu Shih
Hu Shih , born Hu Hung-hsing , was a Chinese philosopher, essayist and diplomat. His courtesy name was Shih-chih . Hu is widely recognized today as a key contributor to Chinese liberalism and language reform in his advocacy for the use of written vernacular Chinese...

) tried to use vernacular styles closer to what was being spoken (baihua) rather than previously prescribed forms. Early 20th-century poets like Xu Zhimo
Xu Zhimo
Xu Zhimo was an early 20th century Chinese poet. He was given the name of Zhangxu and the courtesy name of Yousen . He later changed his courtesy name to Zhimo ....

, Guo Moruo
Guo Moruo
Guo Moruo , courtesy name Dingtang , was a Chinese author, poet, historian, archaeologist, and government official from Sichuan, China.-Family history:Guo, originally named Guo Kaizhen, was born on November 10 or 16, in the small town of Shawan...

 and Wen Yiduo
Wen Yiduo
Wen Yiduo , born Wén Jiāhuá , courtesy names Yǒusān , Youshan , was a Chinese poet and scholar.-Biography:Wen was born in Xishui County, Hubei. After receiving a traditional education he went on to continue studying at the Tsinghua University. In 1922, he traveled to the United States to study fine...

 sought to break Chinese poetry from past conventions by adopting Western models. For example, Xu consciously follows the style of the Romantic poets
Romantic poetry
Romanticism, a philosophical, literary, artistic and cultural era which began in the mid/late-1700s as a reaction against the prevailing Enlightenment ideals of the day , also influenced poetry...

 with end-rhymes.

In the post-revolutionary Communist era, poets like Ai Qing
Ai Qing
Ai Qing and styled Jiǎng Hǎichéng ; March 27, 1910 – May 5, 1996), is regarded as one of the finest modern Chinese poets. He was known under his pen names Línbì , Kè'ā and Éjiā .-Life:...

 used more liberal running lines and direct diction, which were vastly popular and widely imitated.

In the contemporary poetic scene, the most important and influential poets are in the group known as Misty Poets
Misty Poets
The Misty Poets are a group of 20th century Chinese poets who reacted against the restrictions of the Cultural Revolution.They are so named because their work has been officially denounced as "obscure", "misty", or "hazy" poetry...

, who use oblique allusion
Allusion
An allusion is a figure of speech that makes a reference to, or representation of, people, places, events, literary work, myths, or works of art, either directly or by implication. M. H...

s and hermetic references. The most important Misty Poets include Shu Ting
Shu Ting
Shu Ting is the pseudonyms of Gong Peiyu , a Chinese poet.-Life:...

, Bei Dao
Bei Dao
Bei Dao is the pseudonym of Chinese poet Zhao Zhenkai . He was born in Beijing, his pseudonym was chosen because he came from the north and because of his preference for solitude...

, Gu Cheng
Gu Cheng
Gu Cheng was a famous Chinese modern poet, essayist, and novelist. He was a prominent member of the "Misty Poets", a group of Chinese modernist poets.-Biography:...

, Duo Duo
Duo duo
Duo Duo or Duoduo is the pen name of contemporary Chinese poet, Li Shizheng , a prominent exponent of the "Misty" or "Obscure" school of modern Chinese poetry .-Biography:...

, and Yang Lian
Yang Lian
Yang Lian is a Chinese poet associated with the Misty Poets and also with the Searching for Roots school. He was born in Bern, Switzerland in 1955 and raised in Beijing, where he attended primary school....

, most of whom were exiled after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989
Tiananmen Square protests of 1989
The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, also known as the June Fourth Incident in Chinese , were a series of demonstrations in and near Tiananmen Square in Beijing in the People's Republic of China beginning on 15 April 1989...

. A special case is the mystic poet Hai Zi
Hai Zi
Hai Zi is the pen name of the Chinese poet Zha Haisheng . He was one of the most famous poets in Mainland China after the Cultural Revolution. He committed suicide by lying on the path of a train in Shanhaiguan at the age of 25.-Life:Zha Haisheng was born in an agricultural family of a small...

, who became very famous after his suicide.

However, even today, modern poetry is still not widely accepted. There are arguments and contradiction as to whether modern poetry counts as poetry. Due to the special structure of Chinese writing and Chinese grammar, modern poetry, or five verse poetry, may seem like a simple short vernacular essay since they lack some of the structure traditionally used to define poetry.

Influence


Chinese poetry early on influenced poets in Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. For example, the Kanshi
Kanshi (poetry)
is a Japanese term for Chinese poetry in general as well as the poetry written in Chinese by Japanese poets. It literally means "Han poetry". Kanshi was the most popular form of poetry during the early Heian period in Japan among Japanese aristocrats and proliferated until the modern period.The...

 and Shichigon-zekku
Shichigon-zekku
Qiyan jueju , known in Japan as isa type of jueju poetry form consisting of four phrases each seven Chinese characters in length....

 poetry of Japan. Later on, it would be a big influence in the rest of the world, ranging from Beat poetry to Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun
Psychedelic music
Psychedelic music covers a range of popular music styles and genres, which are inspired by or influenced by psychedelic culture and which attempt to replicate and enhance the mind-altering experiences of psychedelic drugs. It emerged during the mid 1960s among folk rock and blues-rock bands in the...

.

General articles

  • Classical Chinese poetry
    Classical Chinese poetry
    thumb|right|300px|Attributed to [[Han Gan]], Huiyebai , about 750CE .Classical Chinese poetry is that type of poetry that is the traditional Chinese poetry written in Classical Chinese. It is typified by certain traditional forms, or modes, and certain traditional genres...

  • Chinese art
    Chinese art
    Chinese art is visual art that, whether ancient or modern, originated in or is practiced in China or by Chinese artists or performers. Early so-called "stone age art" dates back to 10,000 BC, mostly consisting of simple pottery and sculptures. This early period was followed by a series of art...

  • Shi (poetry)
    Shi (poetry)
    Shi is the Chinese word for "poetry" or "poem", anciently associated with Chinese poetry. In modern times, shi can and has been used as an umbrella term to mean poetry in any form or language, whether or not Chinese; but, it may imply or be used to refer certain classical forms of poetry, for...

     (the Chinese term for poetry)
  • Chinese literature
  • Chinese classic texts
    Chinese classic texts
    Chinese classic texts, or Chinese canonical texts, today often refer to the pre-Qin Chinese texts, especially the Neo-Confucian titles of Four Books and Five Classics , a selection of short books and chapters from the voluminous collection called the Thirteen Classics. All of these pre-Qin texts...

  • List of national poetries
  • Modern Chinese poetry
    Modern Chinese poetry
    Modern Chinese poetry sometimes referred to as New poetry refers to the modern vernacular style of poetry developed after 4 May 1919, as opposed to the traditional poetry written in Classical Chinese language...

  • :Category:Chinese translators

Articles on the poetry of particular (dynastic) periods

  • Han poetry
    Han poetry
    Han poetry refers to those types or styles of poetry particularly associated with the Han Dynasty era of China. This poetry reflects one of the poetry world's more important flowerings, as well as being a special period in Classical Chinese poetry, particularly in regard to a new style of shi...

  • Jian'an poetry
    Jian'an poetry
    Jian'an poetry, or Chien'an poetry refers to those types or styles of poetry particularly associated with the end of the Han Dynasty and the beginning of the Six dynasties era of China...

  • Six Dynasties poetry
    Six Dynasties poetry
    Six dynasties poetry refers to those types or styles of poetry particularly associated with the Six dynasties era of China . This poetry reflects one of the poetry world's more important flowerings, as well as being a unique period in Classical Chinese poetry' which, over this time period,...

  • Tang poetry
    Tang poetry
    Tang poetry refers to poetry written in or around the time of and in the characteristic style of China's Tang dynasty, and/or follows a certain style, often considered as the Golden Age of Chinese poetry...

  • Song poetry
    Song poetry
    Song poetry refers to Classical Chinese poetry of or typical of the Song Dynasty of China . This dynasty is sometimes referred to as the "Sung Dynasty", especially in older sources). It was established by the Zhao family in China in 960 and lasted until 1279...


Articles on poetry works and collections

  • Li Sao
    Li Sao
    Li Sao is a Chinese poem dating from the Warring States Period, largely written by Qu Yuan of the Kingdom of Chu. One of the most famous poems of pre-Qin China, it is a representative work of the Chu Ci form of poetry.-Title:The title's meaning has been debated about even in historical times...

  • Classic of Poetry
  • New Songs from the Jade Terrace
    New Songs from the Jade Terrace
    New Songs from the Jade Terrace is a collection of Chinese poetry dating to the time of the Six Dynasties. Its poems have frequently been translated and have otherwise been of great artistic influence around the world. Although there is uncertainty about the authorship of the individual poems, the...

  • Quantangshi
    Quantangshi
    The Quantangshi , and also translated as the Complete Tang Poems, is a collection of Tang poetry...

  • 300 Tang poems

Articles on individual poets, poems, and translators

  • List of Chinese language poets
  • Du Fu
    Du Fu
    Du Fu was a prominent Chinese poet of the Tang Dynasty.Along with Li Bai , he is frequently called the greatest of the Chinese poets. His greatest ambition was to serve his country as a successful civil servant, but he proved unable to make the necessary accommodations...

  • Li Bai
    Li Bai
    Li Bai , also known in the West by various other transliterations, especially Li Po, was a major Chinese poet of the Tang dynasty poetry period. He has been regarded as one of the greatest poets in China's Tang period, which is often called China's "golden age" of poetry. Around a thousand existing...

  • Poetry of Mao Zedong
    Poetry of Mao Zedong
    Mao Zedong , the first Chairman of the Communist Party of China and leader of the People's Republic of China for nearly 30 years, wrote poetry, much of it at the time of the Red Army's epic retreat during the Long March of 1934-1936....

  • Qu Yuan
    Qu Yuan
    Qu Yuan was a Chinese poet who lived during the Warring States Period in ancient China. He is famous for his contributions to the poetry collection known as the Chu-ci...

  • Su Shi
    Su Shi
    Su Shi , was a writer, poet, artist, calligrapher, pharmacologist, gastronome, and statesman of the Song Dynasty, and one of the major poets of the Song era. His courtesy name was Zizhan and his pseudonym was Dongpo Jushi , and he is often referred to as Su Dongpo...

  • Wang Wei
    Wang Wei
    Wang Wei , was a Tang Dynasty Chinese poet, musician, painter, and statesman. He was one of the most famous men of arts and letters of his time. Many of his poems are preserved, and twenty-nine were included in the highly influential 18th century anthology Three Hundred Tang Poems.-Name...

  • Xu Zhimo
    Xu Zhimo
    Xu Zhimo was an early 20th century Chinese poet. He was given the name of Zhangxu and the courtesy name of Yousen . He later changed his courtesy name to Zhimo ....


translators of poetry

  • Arthur Waley
    Arthur Waley
    Arthur David Waley CH, CBE was an English orientalist and sinologist.-Life:Waley was born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, as Arthur David Schloss, son of the economist David Frederick Schloss...

  • Archie Barnes
    Archie Barnes
    Archie Barnes was a lecturer in Chinese at the University of Durham from 1961 to 1984 and author of Chinese through poetry.Barnes showed early abilities in learning languages and learnt Russian, Latin, French, German, Greek, and Chinese as a schoolboy...

  • Burton Watson
    Burton Watson
    Burton Watson is an accomplished translator of Chinese and Japanese literature and poetry. He has received awards including the Gold Medal Award of the Translation Center at Columbia University in 1979, the PEN Translation Prize in 1981 for his translation with Hiroaki Sato of From the Country of...

  • David Hinton
    David Hinton
    -Life:He studied Chinese at Cornell University, and in Taiwan. He lives in East Calais, Vermont.-Awards:* 1997 Academy of American Poets Harold Morton Landon Translation Award* fellowship from the Witter Bynner Foundation...


Articles on poetic modes, genres, and forms

  • Ci (poetry)
    Ci (poetry)
    Ci is a kind of lyric Classical Chinese poetry using a poetic meter based upon certain patterns of fixed-rhythm formal types. For speakers of English, the word "ci" is pronounced somewhat like "tsuh"...

  • Classical Chinese poetry forms
    Classical Chinese poetry forms
    thumb|right|350px|Poet on a Mountaintop by [[Shen Zhou]], about 1500 CE .Classical Chinese poetry forms are those poetry forms, or modes, which typify the traditional Chinese poems written in Literary or Classical Chinese...

  • Classical Chinese poetry genres
    Classical Chinese poetry genres
    thumb|right|350px|"Reading in Autumn Scenery", Palace Museum, Beijing by [[Shen Zhou]], about 1500 CE .Classical Chinese poetry forms are those genres which typify the traditional Chinese poems written in Classical Chinese...

  • Fu (poetry)
    Fu (poetry)
    Fu is a kind of rhymed prose, or poetry style essay, popular in ancient China, especially during the Han Dynasty. The term fu is often used in a multiway contrast with the more purely poetic shi style, with the fixed-rhythm forms of poetry , and with various more explicitly prosaic forms of...

  • Jueju
    Jueju
    Jueju is a style of jintishi, or "Modern form poetry", that grew popular among Chinese poets in the Tang Dynasty , although traceable to earlier origins...

  • Pailu
    Pailu
    Pailu refers to a Classical Chinese verse form of the regulated verse type: the rules and regulations of the pailu allow for a poem composed of a series of linked couplets, with no maximum upward limit such as the five, six, or seven character lushi have...

  • Qu (poetry)
    Qu (poetry)
    In Chinese literature, qu , or yuanqu consists of sanqu and zaju . Together with the various shi and fu forms of poetry, the ci, qu, and the other fixed-rhythm type of verse comprise the three main forms of Classical Chinese poetry.Yuanqu is a form of Chinese opera, which became popular in Yuan...

  • Shi
    Shi (poetry)
    Shi is the Chinese word for "poetry" or "poem", anciently associated with Chinese poetry. In modern times, shi can and has been used as an umbrella term to mean poetry in any form or language, whether or not Chinese; but, it may imply or be used to refer certain classical forms of poetry, for...

  • Yue fu
    Yue fu
    Yue fu are Chinese poems composed in a folk song style. The term literally means "Music Bureau", a reference to the government organisation originally charged with collecting or writing the lyrics....


Articles on technical factors of poetry

  • Classical Chinese poetry
    Classical Chinese poetry
    thumb|right|300px|Attributed to [[Han Gan]], Huiyebai , about 750CE .Classical Chinese poetry is that type of poetry that is the traditional Chinese poetry written in Classical Chinese. It is typified by certain traditional forms, or modes, and certain traditional genres...

  • Classical Chinese poetry forms
    Classical Chinese poetry forms
    thumb|right|350px|Poet on a Mountaintop by [[Shen Zhou]], about 1500 CE .Classical Chinese poetry forms are those poetry forms, or modes, which typify the traditional Chinese poems written in Literary or Classical Chinese...

  • Rime dictionary
    Rime dictionary
    thumb|upright=1.0|A page from Shiyun Hebi , a rime dictionary of the [[Qing Dynasty]]A rime dictionary, rhyme dictionary, or rime book is an ancient type of Chinese dictionary used for writing poetry or other genres requiring rhymes. A rime dictionary focuses on pronunciation and collates...

  • Tone pattern
    Tone pattern
    Tone patterns are common constraints in classical Chinese poetry.The four tones of Middle Chinese—level , rising , departing , and entering tones—are categorized into level tones and oblique tones. All level tones are level. All other tones are oblique...

  • Rime table
    Rime table
    A rime table or rhyme table is a syllable chart of the Chinese language, a significant advance on the fǎnqiè analysis used in earlier rime dictionaries...


Articles on influence outside of China

  • Japanese poetry
    Japanese poetry
    Japanese poets first encountered Chinese poetry during the Tang Dynasty. It took them several hundred years to digest the foreign impact, make it a part of their culture and merge it with their literary tradition in their mother tongue, and begin to develop the diversity of their native poetry. For...

  • Korean poetry
    Korean poetry
    Korean poetry is poetry performed or written in the Korean language or by Korean people. Traditional Korean poetry is often sung in performance. Until the 20th century, much of Korean poetry was written in Hanja and later Hangul.- History :...

  • Vietnamese poetry
    Vietnamese poetry
    Vietnamese poetry originated in the form of folk poetry and proverbs. Vietnamese poetic structures include six-eight, couplet of seven sextuplet of eight, and various styles shared with Classical Chinese poetry forms, such as are found in Tang poetry; examples include verse forms with "seven words ...

  • Ernest Fenellosa
  • Shigin
    Shigin
    Shigin is a form of Japanese poetry, which is usually chanted, either individually or within a group.Individual poems are termed gin , and are usually composed of four or more lines of Chinese characters, or kanji , each line having the same number of characters...

    Shiyin (詩吟)

External links