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Li Sixun, “Sailboat and Pavilion” Li Daozhao, “Minghuang fled To Shu”

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Presentation on theme: "Li Sixun, “Sailboat and Pavilion” Li Daozhao, “Minghuang fled To Shu”"— Presentation transcript:

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

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

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 Hebei city 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.

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 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) 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.  ….

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.

23 Have you never seen The Yellow River waters descending from the sky, Racing restless toward the ocean, never to return? Have you never seen 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! 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!

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.

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 12 th by Song Huizong

28 Du Fu ’ s Poems  Full of sincere and compassionate tone, which led to the epithet of “ Sage of Poetry ” bestowed on him in his honor. 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.

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!

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

45  ….  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


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