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The Poetry of He Zhu (1052-1125)

Genres, Contexts, and Creativity

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Stuart Sargent

The Northern Song poet He Zhu is best known for his lyrics (ci) but also produced shi poetry of subtlety, wit, and feeling. This study examines the latter as a response to the options available to a late-eleventh century writer in the pentametrical and heptametrical forms of Ancient Verse, Regulated Verse, and Quatrains. Numerous comparisons are made with Su Shi, Huang Tingjian, Du Fu, and other important writers. In a major advance over previous methodologies, the author uses a clear system of metrical notation to show how sound patterns reveal the poet's artistic and emotional intentions. This innovation and the author's other meticulous explorations of He Zhu's artistry allow us to experience Chinese poetry as never before.
From the reader's report: "not just an excellent study of an individual poet but also a model of reading the language of classical Chinese poetry. [..] opens up a world of interpretive territory heretofore seldom explored."