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Tang Literature and Art

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1 Tang Literature and Art
Li Daozhao, “Minghuang fled To Shu” Li Sixun, “Sailboat and Pavilion”

2 Zhou Fang, “Palace Ladies Wearing Flowered Headdresses,” mid-Tang
Wu Daozi, “Heavenly King Delivers Child,” High Tang

3 Tang Poetry: New trend and ancient tradition
Changed from the courtly, aesthetic tradition of the southern dynasties to the “ancient style” poetic tradition of the pre-Qin period of Zhou. Courtly, aesthetic tradition: Form, diction, structure: rigid, Vocabulary: elegant, ornate, indirect Rigidity: required a fixed number of syllables (words), the use of parallelism, the set patterns of tones (level vs. oblique). The rigid formula developed into so-called “regulated verse” (律詩 lǜ shī)

4 Four periods of Tang poetry:
Ancient style: Form, diction, structure: free and flexible Language: simple, plain, direct Four periods of Tang poetry: Early Tang (before Xuanzong) Wang Ji, Wang Bo, Yang Jiong, Lu Zhaoling, Luo Bingwang High Tang: (Xuanzong’s Period) Chen Ziang, Li Bo (Bai), Du Fu, Wang Wei Mid Tang: (Post -An Lushan Rebellion) Late Tang: (Post-Yuanhe Period)

5 Tang Poetry—High Tang The civil service examination system yielded many talented scholar-officials, who were also talented poets Leading poets of the High Tang ( ) Wang Wei (699?-761) Li Bai (Li Po) ( ) Du Fu (Tu Fu) ( )

6 Wang Wei ( ) Holder of the jinshi degree; spent most of his time in Chang’an during his official career A devout Buddhist Styled himself Vimalakirti, or Mojie Also a musician and a master of Chinese painting Known for many of his short poems describing the time he lived in his country retreat surrounded by natural landscape

7 Wang Wei’s poems express personal view of the world and demonstrate calm and detachment apparently influenced by Buddhism His poems tend to convey Buddhist doctrines of tranquility, emptiness, and the sentiment concerning personal enlightenment

8 Wang Wei’s poems express personal view of the world and demonstrate calm and detachment apparently influenced by Buddhism His poems tend to convey Buddhist doctrines of tranquility, emptiness, and the sentiment concerning personal enlightenment

9 Wang Wei’s Poems Wang Wei Most popular: Snowed River “Deer fence”
“Bamboo Mile Lodge” “See Someone Off” “At My Country Home in Chung-nan” “Visiting the Temple of Accumulated Fragrance” “Wang Stream Collection”

10 Bamboo Mile Lodge Deer Fence
Alone I sit in dark bamboo, Strumming the lute, whistling away; Deep woods that no one knows, Where a bright moon comes to shine on me Empty hills, no one in sight, Only the sound of someone talking; Late sunlight enters the deep woods, Shinning over the green moss again.

11 Climb up the Hebeicity tower
…. Fire on shore, a lone boat spends the night, Fisherman’s houses, here evening birds return. Vast and empty, Heaven and Earth grow dark, The heart calm as the broad stream. 井邑傅巖上,客亭雲霧間。 高城眺落日,極浦暎蒼山。 岸火孤舟宿,漁家夕鳥還。 寂寥天地暮,心與廣川閑。

12 Seeing someone off We dismount; I give you wine And ask, where are you off to? You answer, nothing goes right!--- Back home to lie down by Southern Mountain. Go then—I’ll ask no more— There’s no end to white clouds there.

13 Li Bai (Li Bo, ) Probably the greatest poet in Chinese history, capable of gaining immediate recognition in his time Never took examination but was appointed to a post in the Hanlin academy by Emperor Xuanzong Called himself the “banished immortal”, he is known for his fondness for wine and his ability to improvise poems after drinking

14 Born to what may have been a Turkish family in Sichuan
Wrote the genius’ poems which are inimitable

15 Characteristics of his poems
Creative use of earlier styles and reworking of traditional themes Demonstrate an air of playfulness, hyperbole, fantasy, all in an effortless and spontaneous employment of the art of versification

16 Many poems satirize the world of fawning and hypocrisy, show his rapport with nature and his love of wine Many in woman’s voice express women’s loneliness, solitude, and helplessness caused by being abandoned

17 Li Bai’s Poems Most popular “Ziye Song” “Bring the Wine”
“Viewing the Waterfall at Mt. Lu” “Still Night Thoughts” “At Yellow Crane Tower” “Seeing a Friend Off” “Drinking Alone under the Moon.” Jing Hao “Mt. Lu Scroll”

18 Drinking alone under the moon (1)
Here among the flowers a single jug of wine, No close friends here, I pour alone And lifting cup to bright moon, ask it to join me, Then face my shadow, and we become three. ….

19 Drinking alone under the moon (2)
If Heaven itself did not love wine, Then no wine star would shine in the sky. And if Earth also did not have wine, Earth would have no such place as Wine Fountain. …. If wise men and sages are already drinkers, What is the use of seeking gods and fairies? With three cups, I understand the great Way. With one jar, I am at one with Nature.

20 Poems in Ancient Style Westward I climbed to Lotus Blossom Peak,
Far in the distance I saw the bright star: In her pale hand she held a lotus Stepping in emptiness, pacing pure ether. Her rainbow robes trailed broad sashes Then fluttering in wind, she rose up to Heaven. She invited me to climb Cloud Terrace Peak On high to salute Wei Shuqing, the immortal. …. Poems in Ancient Style 西上莲花山,迢迢见明星(华山玉女名)。 素手把芙蓉,虚步蹑太清。霓裳曳广带,飘拂升天行。邀我登云台,高揖卫叔卿。恍恍与之去,驾鸿凌紫冥。   俯视洛阳川,茫茫走胡兵。   流血涂野草,豺狼尽冠缨。

21 Viewing the waterfall at Mountain Lu
Sunglight streaming on Incense Stone kindles violet smoke; Far off I watch the waterfall plunge to the long river. Flying water descending straight tree thousand feet Till I think the Milky Way has tumbled from the ninth height of Heaven

22 Still Night Thoughts At Yellow Crane Tower
Moonlight in front of my bed— I took it for frost on the ground! I lift my head, gaze at the bright moon Lower it and dream of home. My old friend takes leave of the west at Yellow Crane Tower In misty third-month blossoms goes downstream to Yangzhou The far-off of his lone sail disappears in the blue-green void, And all I see is the long river flowing to the edge of the sky. 故人西辞黄鹤楼,烟花三月下扬州。 孤帆远影碧空尽,惟见长江天际流。

23 Bring the Wine (Li Bai) Have you never seen The Yellow River waters
descending from the sky, Racing restless toward the ocean, never to return? Bright mirrors in high halls, the white-haired ones lamenting, Their black silk of morning by evening turned to snow? If life is to have meaning, seize every joy you can; Do not let the golden cask sit idle in the moonlight! 朝如青絲暮成雪 Guan Tong, “Evening Green on Autumn Mountain”

24 Heaven gave me talents and meant them to be used;
Gold scattered by the thousand comes home to me again. Boil the mutton, roast the ox—we will be merry, At one bout no less than three hundred cups Master Cen! Scholar Danqiu Bring wine and no delay! For you I’ll sing a song— Be pleased to bend your ears and hear Bells and drums, food rare as jade---these aren’t worth prizing; All I ask is to be drunk forever, never to sober up! 將進酒, 杯莫停,與君歌一曲,請君為我傾耳聽,鐘鼓饌玉不足貴,但願長醉不願醒

25 Sages and worthies from antiquity— all gone into silence;
Only the great drinkers have left a name behind. The prince of Chen once feasted in the Hall of Calm Delight; Wine, then thousand coins a cask, flowed for his revelers’ joy. Why does my host tell me the money has run out? Buy more wine at once—my friends have cups to be refilled! My dappled mount, my furs worth a thousand— Call the boy, have him take them and barter for fine wine! Together we’ll wash away ten thousand years of sorrow. 陳王昔時宴平樂,斗酒十千恣歡謔。主人何為言少錢,徑須沽取對君酌

26 Chinese poems and their English translations
appear in London Subway as a part of the "China in London" season. Feb This one is by Li Bai. Also displayed are Du Fu’s and Bai Juyi’s poems

27 Du Fu ( ) Born in a distinguished literary family but never passed the civil service examination after repeated attempts. Recommended to hold minor official posts; not successful in official career “He was imbued with strong Confucian sense of duty that kept him striving to serve the dynasty…” Zhang Xuan, “Court Ladies Preparing Newly-woven Silk” Copied in 12th by Song Huizong

28 Full of sincere and compassionate tone, which led to the epithet of “Sage of Poetry” bestowed on him in his honor. Du Fu’s Poems Most popular: “Song of Beautiful Ladies”; “Spring Prospect” “Lovely Lady” ; “Presented to Wei Pa,” “Facing Snow,” “Dreaming of Li Bai” ; “A Guest Arrives,” “A Traveler at Night Writes His Thoughts”

29 Facing the snow Weeping over battle, many new ghosts,
In sorrow reciting poems, an old man alone. A tumult of clouds sinks downward in sunset, Hard-pressed, the snow dances in whirlwinds. Ladle cast down, no green lees in the cup, The brazier lingers, fire seems crimson. From several provinces, now news has ceased, I sit here in sorrow tracing words in the air. 战哭多新鬼, 愁吟独老翁。 乱云低薄暮, 急雪舞回风。 瓢弃樽无绿, 炉存火似红。 数州消息断, 愁坐正书空。

30 My Thatched Roof Is Ruined by the Autumn Wind tr. B. Watson
…. If I could get a mansion with a thousand, ten thousand rooms, [It would be] A great shelter for all the world’s scholars, together in joy. Solid as a mountain, the elements could not move it. Oh! If I could see this house before me, I'd happily freeze to death in my broken hut! 安得广厦千万间,大庇天下寒士俱欢颜,风雨不动安如山!呜呼!何时眼前突兀见此屋,吾庐独破受冻死亦足!

31 Thinking of Li Bai at the End of the Sky tr. D. Hawkes
Cold wind rises at the end of the sky, What thoughts occupy the gentleman's mind? What time will the wild goose come? The rivers and lakes are full of autumn’s waters. Literature and worldly success are opposed, Demons exult in human failure. Talk together with the hated poet, Throw a poem into Miluo river. 凉风起天末,君子意如何。    鸿雁几时到,江湖秋水多。    文章憎命达,魑魅喜人过。    应共冤魂语,投诗赠汨罗。 

32 Presented to Wei Ba (by Du Fu)
Life is not made for meetings; like stars at opposite ends of the sky we move. What night is it, then, tonight, When we can share the light of this lamp? Youth—how long did it last? The two of us grey-headed now, We ask about old friends—half are ghosts; Cries of unbelief stab the heart. Who would have thought?—twenty years And once again I enter your house.

33 You weren’t married when I left you;
Now suddenly a whole row of boys and girls Merrily greeting their father’s friend, Asking me what places I’ve been. Before I finished answering, You send the boys to set out wine and a meal, Spring scallions cut in night rain, New cooked rice mixed with yellow millet. Meetings are rare enough, you say; Pour the wine till we’ve downed ten cups! But ten cups do not make me drunk; Your steadfast love is what moves me now. Tomorrow hills and ranges will part us, The wide world coming between us again.

34 Du Fu’s poem decorating
昔聞洞庭水, 今上岳陽樓。 吳楚東南坼, 乾坤日夜浮。 親朋無一字, 老病有孤舟。 戎馬關山北, 憑軒涕泗流 Du Fu’s poem decorating London’s underground

35 Yan Liben “The Audience,” Early Tang Taizong gave an audience to Tibetan envoys

36 “Night-shining White,”
Han Gan, “Night-shining White,” High Tang

37 Pure Land Transformation, Dunhuang, Tang Paradise of Amitabha,
Buddha, Late 9th century, cave 17, Dunhuang, Pure Land Transformation, Dunhuang, Tang

38 Huang Quan, “Sketch of Rare Bird Scroll”
Five Dynasties

39 Han Huang (mid-Tang), “Five Oxen,” NPM, Beijing

40 Poets and Poetry Many poets were scholars, courtiers or statesmen.
emperors and minister could be poets. Women wrote poems and some became eminent poetesses—Xue Tao ( ), Li Jilan (high Tang), Yu Xuanji (late Tang) Poetry enriched intellectual discourse Poetry writing was regarded as the most important communication skill

41 Poetry became a vocation worthy of devoting one’s life time to it
Poetic style of a poet is identified with the poet’s personality “The poet suffers making poems” became celebrated Poets dedicated to this vocation in the way that ascetic monks devoted to austerity “Bitter chanting,” (苦吟 kŭ yín), which celebrated “painstaking composition,” became their greatest virtue. “Poetry as a learned craft” found its expression in the poet’s obsession, or even addiction, to the art of versification

42 Going out East Gate by Meng Jiao
…. During my life I’ve woven A thousand poems in the diction of the Great Odes. My road is as though spun from a silkworm, Round and round as my twisted, knotted guts. 餓馬骨亦聳,獨驅出東門。少年一日程,衰叟十日奔。 寒景不我為,疾走落平原。眇默荒草行,恐懼夜魄翻。 一生自組織,千首大雅言。道路如抽蠶,宛轉羈腸繁。 [頁]卷,冊....[4200]374,11

43 Poets and Poetry Anthologies
Poets “exchanged” poems to “sing harmony with” (唱和 chàng hè ) one another. Their poems were put together into anthologies Collection of an individual poet’s verses emerged, often can be used to study the poet’s career and literary accomplishment.

44 Writing on the Bookcase of my Collected Works Bai Juyi (Bo Juyi)
I broke up a cypress to make a bookcase, The case sturdy, the cypress strong. Whose collection is stored there? The heading says Bo Letian [Juyi] My lifetime’s capital/inheritance in in writing From childhood to old age. Seventy scrolls from beginning to end, In size, three thousand pieces. I know well that at last they will be scattered, But I cannot bear to rashly throw them away… I can only entrust it to my daughter To keep and pass on to my grandchild. 題文集櫃 白居易 破柏作書櫃,櫃牢柏復堅。收貯誰家集,題云白樂天。 我生業文字,自幼及老年。前後七十卷,小大三千篇。 誠知終散失,未忍遽棄捐。自開自鎖閉,置在書帷前。 身是鄧伯道,世無王仲宣。只應分付女,留與外孫傳。 [頁]卷,冊....[5126]453,14第

45 Eyes deeper than the Xiang rivers,
…. Eyes deeper than the Xiang rivers, A nose higher than the Hua mountain. Page 168. By Lu Yanmeng (陸巖夢) Presented to Huyu’s Daughter in A Banquet 〈桂州筵上贈胡予女〉 陸巖夢:「 自道風流不可攀,卻堪蹙額更頹顏。眼睛深卻湘江水,鼻孔高於華岳山。 舞態固難居掌上,歌聲應不繞梁間。孟陽死後欲千載,猶在佳人覓往還。


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