Tuesday, October 13, 2020

notes on chinese lyric poetry (shih)

1. beginning with book of odes (shih ching) in 6th-c bc (to 10th-c bc) as 4 character lines (although use of interjection and nonsense characters could mean 2 or 3)

2. at this time, characters were one syllable but later sometimes 2

3. characters:

a. noun characters do not indicate number (thus no singular or plural)

b. verb characters do not indicate tense.

c. characters were not used in context of a picture poem.

4. shih form kind of fades away until it reemerges in later or eastern han dynasty (2nd c) as 5 or 7 character (each with full weight)

5. each line is a sentence. couplets are connected via parallelism and end rhyme between couplets, but no connecting words

6. caesura at 2 in 5 and 4 in 7, creates 2,3 or 4,3 units

7. anon Nineteen Old Poems is earliest most influential 5 shih

8. ts'ao chih (192-232) 1st major poet of chien-an period and 1 of top 3 poets in pre-tang era according to burton watson (see tao chien and hsieh ling-yun)

9. in tang time, shih undergoes a formal development. divided into 2 groups.

a. old style (ku-shih) with no fixed rules of number of lines or rhyme scheme

b. new style (chin-t'i-shih) in 2 types limited in rhymes scheme and number of lines

1) regulated verse (lu-shih) with 8 lines, parallelism in most lines, and elaborate tonal patterns

2) broken-off lines (chueh-chu) like regular verse but a single quatrain

10. in sung times begins the practice of 'rhyme following' (tz'u-yun or ho-yun) in which one composes a new poem utilizing the same rhyme or rhyme words as a previous one, usually responding to a poem of a friend or visitor. when copying one's own poems, it's called tieh-yun.

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