Chinese Poetry Analysis

Improved Essays
Kaiwen Jiang
LITR 245
12/8/2016
Central Themes in Chinese Poetry and Their Cultural Implications When it comes to the history of East-Asian culture, there is a long and rich background of art, science, and technology. Specifically in the Chinese culture, the many dynastic eras brought about a great amount of advances in technology and trade that left an indelible mark on human history. But the changing eras also brought about the forming of new ideas through poetic expression. The Chinese practice in poetry provides a vivid portrayal of life, and the key themes of the ancient Chinese poetry can tell us a lot about what Chinese culture prioritized centuries ago. Although the central themes of classic Chinese poetry contrasts with the traditional
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With the onset of the Six Dynasties period from 220 CE to 589 CE, there was a shift towards poetry that emphasized love and the relationship between a man and a woman. The Six Dynasties era was pivotal in shifting the attention from naturalistic poetry to poems of love, and this culminated in a collection of poems called New Songs from the Jade Terrace. The term "Jade Terrace" has often been confused on its origin, but it is now agreed by scholars to refer to the luxurious living quarters of the palace in which upper-class women spent most of their time during the day. It is also argued that New Songs from the Jade Terrace was probably created by male poets in order to appease the palace women and give them reading material to keep them occupied during the day. All in all, New Songs from a Jade Terrace have a number of poems by approximately one-hundred poets, and some were women too. Surprisingly, the main goal of the writing was to describe the love making between a man and a woman in the women’s living quarters. The anthology also comprises of more than five-hundred pieces that centers on what constitutes a woman’s physical beauty, while there are other elements of same-sex idolization between men. In some other examples, there are even descriptions of objects associated with the men and women in the poems, including, “their bedrooms and feast halls, the musical …show more content…
The classical Chinese poetry provides a running commentary on how much China has changed over the course of its history, while also providing proof of things that have not changed and are still practiced today. When it comes to the character of the Chinese people, and how practicality and directness is prioritized more in communication, the classical Chinese poetry does a good job of explaining how that came to be. Whether it be in the depictions of nature, or the stories about love, or the brutality of death, the ability to leave little to the imagination is what distinguishes Chinese poetry with the Romantic era poetry of the west. Classical Chinese poetry did not deter people from expressing their mind because of the social class they were born into, rather, the teachings empowered people. Additionally, the implications of “recalling the past” through poetry is something that has been embedded in the fabric of Chinese thinking, in that the history of China is revered and respected. The literary history of China speaks to what resonated with the Chinese people then, and it is now apparent that it can tell us a lot about the contemporary culture of China today. It is clear that the cultural influence of the themes expressed in classical Chinese poetry has played a large role on how

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