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Wang Anshi’s (1021-1086) seven-syllable jueju on nature themes Edmonds, Susan Elizabeth 1994

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WANG ANSHI’S (1021-1086) SEVEN-SYLLABLE JUEJU ON NATURE THEMESbySUSAN ELIZABETH EDMONDSB.A., The University of Toronto, 1991A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Department of Asian Studies)We accept this thesis as conformingto the required standarda?THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIASeptember 1994© Susan Elizabeth Edmonds, 1994In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature)Department of 1ii”i ,S’71iDic?The University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate /L/9.DE-6 (2/88)iiAbstractThis thesis attempts to introduce the main characteristics ofWang Anshi’s (102 1-1086)style as it manifests itself in his seven-syllable jueju on nature themes. I begin with abiographical sketch ofWang, highlighting his personality and motivations as a statesman! poet.Except for this section, any further discussion of his reforms, or New Laws, for which he isbest-known, is avoided. Instead, the focus is on illuminating the salient qualities of histechnique and his nature imagery.Chapters One and Two provide background information in order to establish anunderstanding from which to approach Wang’s poetry. First, the structural features of thejueju form, as well as its historical development, are outlined. Next, the influence ofWang’spredecessors, such as Du Fu, Mei Yaochen, Ouyang Xiu and others, on his typically“Northern Song” style is analyzed. This involves briefly touching upon the features of thepingdan style and Wang’s views on literary theory.Chapter Three examines in detail Wang’s positive response to nature in his landscapepoetry, particularly during his retirement years. His voice as a poet is evident in the patternswhich emerge. Copious examples are translated and explicated, many for the first time here inthe English language, which illustrate his preference for rugged mountains, rippling rivers,fragrant flower blossoms, and man harmoniously interacting with nature in springtime. Hispoetry emphasizes the careful selection of words, simplicity of language, the judicious andsubtle use of allusion, and everyday events enriched by philosophical overtones.Finally, I summarize Wang’s accomplishments and contributions, and suggest otheraspects of the study of his jueju that warrant further investigation. This thesis shows that hewas a poet bound by tradition, yet he managed to successfully express his individuality withfreshness. Thus, as an adept craftsman of serene, sensitive, and sincere nature poetry, heearned a place for himself among the Eight Masters of the Tang-Song Period.111Table of ContentsAbstract_________________ ______ _________________iiTable of Contents iiiAcknowledgements_Introduction_________ ___1Biographical Background to Wang Anshi’s Jueju,,,,_________________ 4Chapter I; The Jueju Genre,,__,,_._________________Classification______20Definition_ __22Meter 24TonalProsody_,_,_,,Form_ _26History of the Jueju_,_ _Chapter II: Characteristics ofWang Anshi’s Jueju PoetryThe Influence ofMei Yaochen_47Ouyang XiuSu Shi_ __54TaoWang Anshi’s Approach to PoetryWang Anshi’s Literary Technique.,Chapter III: Nature Themes___79Man and Nature 82Mountains_ _86Rivers___ _90Flowers__96Seasons_ ___101Chapter IV: Wang Anshi’s Place in the PoeticTradition _107Accomplishments in his Jueju,_,,,_.____________ _109Contributions 111Conclusion_115BibIiography,.__________ —-——._________Appendix: A List of the Poems Analyzed in this Thesis 126ivAcknowledgementsI would like to thank my supervisor, Professor J.D. Schmidt, for the detailedsuggestions and corrections he offered on the drafts of this thesis. Even while conductingresearch in Shanghai, China, he patiently responded to all my inquiries. I also benefited fromthe stylistic comments made by Dr. M. Duke, Head of the Department of Asian Studies.Next, I must thank my fellow graduate students Wong Kwok-Yiu for his assistance inthe library and our fruitful discussions about Classical Chinese poetry, as well as BrittaniFaufices for her help with computer matters and proofreading my thesis.Finally, but most importantly, I must thank my best friend—my mother—for herencouragement throughout my studies in the M.A. program and instilling me with a love forlearning.IntroductionWang Anshi -(1021-1086 A.D.), the statesman-scholar-poet, is best knownas a reformer from the Northern Song dynasty (960-1127 A.D.).’ While his contribution tothe political realm has been well studied with regard to his Xinfa 4(New Laws), little hasbeen written in English analyzing and criticizing his poetry, especially his jueju M 8. In myopinion, the pinnacle of Wang Anshi’s broad range of literary accomplishment is the poeticartistry of his jueju. Focusing specifically on his seven-syllable jueju which explore naturethemes, this study attempts to identify and analyze the characteristics of his refined technicalskill and subtle style.Generally speaking, Song dynasty (960-1279 A.D.) poetry has been neglected byWestern scholars in comparison to the large amount of material which is available on the poetryof the Tang (618-907 A.D.). Consequently, despite the fact that Wang Anshi is recognized asa prose master and a major poet of the Tang-Song period, no comprehensive Englishtranslation of his poetry exists.2 Although my goal is to assist in filling this gap, a sweepingexamination ofWang Anshi’s poetry is too difficult a task to tackle in this thesis. Wang’s shi* are numerous and therefore I am concerned here primarily with his jueju which emphasizenature themes. Wang Anshi had a genius for this form and the skill and refmement of his juejuprovide ample material for analysis. Despite their brevity, hisjueju embody handsome images1 Note on romarnzatiou: A comment must be made concerning the choice of romanization system that I usethroughout this thesis. I consistently employ the modem pinyin system for terms and names with theexception of quotes, which I leave in their original form. This is the reason why the reader willoccasionally see two versions of the same word, such as jueju and chueh-chu, or Tang and Tang. I do notchange authors’ personal names to pinyin, such as Shuen-fu Lin.2 The seven other masters are: Han Yü 4*(768-824), Liu Zongyuan 4!JJ it (773-819), OuyangXiu it1*fr (1007-1072), Sn Xun J(1009-1066), Sn Shi (1037-1101), Su Che(l039-11 12), and Zeng Gong 4’ (1019-1083). See Liu Shih Shun d øj Chineset_.Classical Prose: The Eight Masters of the Tang-Sung Penod *.Ac. 4c X., (Hong Kong,The Chinese UP, 1979).2and simple language which merit the reader’s admiration. They are worthy of much closerexamination by scholars, among whom the study ofjueju is fortunately becoming increasinglypopular.According to the Linchuan xiansheng wenji edition ofWang Anshi’s collected works,there is a total of 493 jueju. Wang’s jueju make up approximately one-third of his poeticcorpus of 1,400 extant poems.4 Of these 493 jueju, 423 are seven—syllable, 68 are five-syllable, and 2 are six-syllable. Not only is Wang Anshi’s poetry quantitatively vast, but alsoqualitatively significant. Thus while acknowledging the disadvantages of trying to drawconclusions from the small sampling of his jueju in this thesis, I am convinced that the readercan still gain valuable insight into the characteristics of Wang’s jueju and his approach topoetry.Beginning with a classification of the jueju genre, Chapter One focuses on the formalqualities of the jueju form, such as its tone and rhyme patterns and basic aesthetic properties.As well, the form’s historical evolution before Wang Anshi’s time is touched upon with anemphasis on examples of Tang jueju. These examples, taken from the best known Tang poets,demonstrate the criteria for good jueju which the reader needs to know in order to appreciateThis number varies slightly between anthologies, ranging from 489 in the Sibu congkanedition of the Linchuan xiansheng wenji . Vol. 51, (Shanghai,196_ ), to 493 inthe Linchuan xiansheng wenji )I1 ±. , (Shanghai,1964).4 In the excerpt written by the scholar Jan WaIls in Sunflower Splendor: Three Thousand Years of ChinesePoetry, Liu Wu-chi and Irving Yucheng Lo, eds., (Bloomington, Indiana UP, 1975), it states, p. 588:“There are thirty-eight chllan of poetry in his complete works; they contain approximately four hundredancient-style poems, and one thousand in the regulated form, including chüeh-chü. He [Wang Anshijcomposed only a few verses in the :zu form, which flourished in the hands of other Sung masters.” Seealso The Indiana Companion to Traditional Chinese Literature, William H. Nienhauser Jr., ed.,(Bloomington, Indiana UP, 1986), pp. 854-5, in which Jan Walls estimates Wang Anshi’s poems “numbermore than 1,500.”3what is special about the jueju form. With a general understanding of this genre, the stage isthen set for an explication ofWang Anshi’sjueju later in Chapter Three.In order to better appreciate the beauty of Wang Anshi’s jueju, however, the readermust also be aware of the tradition in which Wang wrote poetry. Consequently, Chapter Twois devoted to analyzing the influence ofWang Anshi’s predecessors and contemporaries, suchas Du Fu, Mei Yaochen, Ouyang Xiu and Su Shi, so that an assessment of differences andsimilarities can be made to determine Wang’s uniqueness. In addition, by referring to WangAnshi’s literary views on the function of poetry, the reader will perceive his refutation ofornateness and clever technique which belonged to the Xikun style of poetry and hisadvocation of a more natural approach. Thus, Chapters One and Two consist mainly ofbackground information and defmitions. This explanatory material is necessary in order toanalyze and interpretWang’sjueju and his poetic achievement in Chapters Three and Four.Chapter Three encompasses a representative survey and analysis ofWang Anshi’sjuejuthat are specifically concerned with the theme of nature. Although the three other main themesfound in his jueju poetry are briefly outlined, the main objective is to apply the informationintroduced in Chapters One and Two to the practical exercise of explicating his jueju in ChapterThree.Using the results of Chapter Three’s translations and interpretation, Chapter Fourmakes a thorough analysis of the significance ofWang Anshi’sjueju, which differ from Tangjueju in many respects. An assessment will be made of traditional critics’ opinions of WangAnshi’s poetry, his overall contribution to the Chinese poetic tradition, and the impact of hisstyle.4Biographical Background to Wang Anshi’s JuejuThe objective of this biography is to attempt to understand the man responsible forwriting the jueju which will be analyzed in this thesis. Unlike most biographies which focuson the official positions of a statesman as a guide for discussion, instead, I take a freshapproach by highlighting his character and investigating his motives as a poet and a political)economic reformer. (The reader can always refer to a chronological chart for details of hiscareer appointments.1)I take as a justification for this method James J.Y. Liu’s statement:“...a knowledge of the author’s cultural world and a sympathetic understanding of his createdworld are both necessary for a successful reading of a poetic work.”2Using poetry to deduce biography can be misleading. Thus, the reader must be waryof any attempt to equate Wang’s poetic world with his real life. With that said, however, to acertain extent a few of his poems are autobiographical and can be justifiably viewed asdocuments of experience. The pictures they provide, which allow the reader a glimpse into theman’s character, serve as illustrations for this biographical outline to support and enhance thewell-established historical facts about his life.Wang Anshi (1021-1086 AD.), zi (style name) Jiefu *, was a native ofLinchuan )I in the Fuzhou Jti prefecture of Jiangxi L i province. As one of tenchildren, the third of seven brothers, Wang lived for a long period in Nanjing where his fatherWang Yi ..4 (994-l039ljinshi 1015 A.D.) was posted as a minor official. He often had1 See pp. 1-11 of Yang Jialuo’s Wanglinchuan guanji . )l (Taipei, 1988),for an excellent chart of events in the empire year-by-year as they correspond to Wang’s career andsignificant matters with regard to his family.2 James J.Y. Liii, The Interlingual Critic: Interpreting Chinese Poetry, (Bloomington, md., Indiana UP,1982), p. 17.5the opportunity to accompany his father traveling. The description of Wang’s father bears astriking resemblance to the son himself:We find him a man of literary tastes, devoted to his family, and with a keeninterest in the welfare of the people. He had a passion for justice, and waspossessed of a determined will. He was fearless in administration, economicalin his manner of life, and impatient with all manner of make-believe.3Wang Anshi received the jinshi it-1r degree in 1042 at the age of twenty-two.However, his promising early career was somewhat limited by his family’s strained financesafter his father’s death in 1039. These circumstances forced Wang to seek appointments whichallowed him to fulfill financial obligations to his large, extended family. As a young man, likemost neo-Confucian scholars he was multi-talented and participated in many spheres ofactivity. However, what was exceptional about him was his character. Later, even critics ofhis policies would concede that he was an individual of morally superior stature.Although Wang’s character is hard to evaluate at such a distance, evidence of his moralfiber can be found in Mei Yaochen’s poem, “Seeing OffWang Jiefu [Wang An-shihj——on hisDeparture to Become Prefect of Piling ( ‘ ).“ Written in 1057 A.D., thisfive-syllable gushi ** (ancient-style poem) describes Prefects as people lacking inhumanity who exploited the peasants. Coming from a family of humble! non-aristocraticmeans, Wang’s desire for political and economic change shaped his life and career.4 On theoccasion of his promotion, Mei suggests that Wang would be a different kind of Prefectbecause he did not value silver and silk, but instead had an unusual compassion for theHenry R. Williamson, Wang An-shih. Chinese Statesman and Educationalist of the Sung Dynasty,(London, A. Probsthain, 1935-37), Vol. 1, P. 6.4 James, T.C. Liu, Reform in Sung China: Wang An-shih (1021-1086) and his New Policies.(Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 1959; rep. 1968), notes on p. 2: “Wang’s family prospered in farming atthe time of his great-grandfather. Turning to scholarship, it produced in the next three generations no lessthan eight holders of the doctorate degree (chin-shih), including Wang himself.”6impoverished peasants. In Mei’s experience, Wang was a man who put his concern for othersabove personal benefit and comfort. In this respect, he was uncommon because be “neverfollow[ed] the world’s fashions.” Mei’s opinion is relevant and useful to include in thisanalysis ofWang’s character. The following excerpt comes from his poem:But you [Wang] aren’t like this at all;Your horse has a leather bridle and mud-guards black with dirt.Proceeding slowly, you inquire aboutlocal customs;Full of humility, you ride an old nag. f * LPopular opinion never fails to reach you, f itSignificantpoints are heeded, trivialities 4-ignored.Has it ever been your purpose to differ * L .from the mob?Yet you never follow the world’s fashions.5 j - 6Simply stated, Wang was an honourable man in the tradition of ancient sages.According to Yoshikawa Kôjirô, “The core of Wang An-shih’s character was hisfastidiousness, which found expression in his politics, his writings, and his daily life, andwhich people who did not understand him mistook at times for irascibility.”7 The fact thatWang was staunchly and consistently virtuous throughout his life is also supported by HuangTingjian, who wrote, “Wang An Shih regarded riches and honours as a fleeting cloud. He wasJonathan Chaves, Mei Yao-ch’en and the Development of Early Sung Poetry, (New York, Columbia UP,1976), PP. 40-1.6 Chinese text found in Mei Yaochen jipian nian jiaozhu 1ê 4- i, (Shanghai gujichuban she, 1980), Vol. 3, p. 946.7 Yoshikawa Kôjirô )fl * , trans. by Burton Watson, An Introduction to Sung Poetry,Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series, No.17, (Cambridge, Mass., Harvard UP, 1967), p. 102.7not addicted to the accumulation of wealth, and remained aloof from every form of vice. Hewas a real gentleman.”8From 1042 to 1060, Wang served in local government posts in the provinces ofJiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui. He was repeatedly promoted on the recommendations of otherssuch as Ouyang Xiu. An example of such a posting is the time Wang spent from 1047 to 1049in Yin County, where he got a taste of official life. His impressions of the experience arecommunicated in the following jueju:“TheWestern Pavilion of Yin County”Receiving merit, there is no way to resign, and 4. * i - .no fields to retire torn—Merely stealing food, I have passed two years in -fr * i(this impoverished city.Again and again I imitate the attitude of the M 5 *young people in the world,Randomly planting flowers and bamboo to L . Nnourish the wind and mist.9Written in 1049 A.D., this poem presents Wang as a disgruntled official. In the first line hismood is one of impatience that his talent is not recognized. There seems to be no road tosuccess. Yet simultaneously, line 2 expresses his modesty—he feels that he has received morethan he has earned in this poor county, and that he has been “merely stealing food.” The readerquickly draws from this comment an understanding ofWang’s frustration and desire to changehis situation and that of the peasants. His inability to do so results in a feeling of8 Williamson, Vol. 2, p. 113.Zhou Xifu )J 4% *, Wang Anshi shi xuan ..- *1!, (Hong Kong, 1983), p. 6. Unlessotherwise stated, all of the translations of Wang Anshi’s jueju in this thesis are my own. The English-speaking reader must be aware that although I chose not to sacrifice the beauty of the Chinese verse byforcing it into a rhyme scheme in English, the original Chinese does follow a rhyme scheme. My goal isto allow the beauty of Wang Anshi’s poetry to shine through in the English translations.8powerlessness. Wang’s attitude is substantiated by Henry R. Williamson’s statement thatWang “...shows signs of a reticent and humble disposition, that he was not keen on pushinghimself forward, but trusting that hard work and strict discipline would eventually win for himthe recognition and opportunity which he deserved.”10 In fact, this sentiment is apparent inthe wittiness of the last line in the poem. Wang still has hope that his situation will improve.He has no specific plan of action, but he suspects that he will somehow manage to survive likethe flowers and bamboo which are randomly planted by young people.Evidence of Wang’s upright character is again conspicuous in his seven-syllable, eight-line allegorical lushi # (regulated verse) “Old Pine (*-)“:Towering, thick, its straight trunk soarsa hundred rods and more,Up into blue depths,it does not depend on the forest.Winds born of a myriad valleysbecome its voice in the night;The moon shining on a thousand hillshangs in its autumn shade.This strength couldn’t have comefrom tending with manure;It is endowed with a mindin tune with creation.The court that lacks men of talentwould do well to take it;But a world without a good carpenterhad better leave it alone. 12l #i41110 Williamson, Vol. 1, P. 13.1 The Chinese version can be found in Yang Jialuo Iê 4-, Wanglinchuan guanjI E.(Taipei, 1988), pp. 126-7.12 Translated by Jan Walls in Sunflower Splendor: Three Thousand Years of Chinese Poetry, Liu Wu-chi andIrving Yucheng Lo, eds., (Bloomington, Indiana UP, 1975), p. 336.9The pine is the epitome of strength and purity, probably intended here to represent Wang’sown personality. As a tree he should be utilized, but he has yet to meet a carpenter, that is,Emperor, who is enlightened enough to realize his potential and employ his ideas for thebenefit of the nation. Wang suits this image of the strong, lone pine because he too later facedfierce winds of criticism. Indeed, it was not until 1067 under Emperor Shenzong ic, whoreigned from 1068 to 1086, that his talent would be truly respected. Both Emperors Renzong4.c (r. 1023-1064) and Yingzong (r. 1064-68) overlooked Wang’s ideas andsuggestions.An intensely private man, Wang’s loyalty to his family can be perceived in his responseto personal tragedy. In 1047 he suffered the misfortune of losing a baby daughter. Hissorrow is captured in the following poignant poem about her death:“Bidding Farewell to My Daughter in Yin” i *At the age of thirty I am already an old, 4 - tweak man;My eyes are filled with worry and grief— Y i kI have only myself to blame.Tonight a small boat comes and I must say 4 . * kgoodbye to you,From now on, the one who is dead and theone who is living shall each go hisseparate way.13This poem was written to her on his departure in 1050 from Yin County, where she wasburied. Wang’s farewell filled him with remorse. His skill is evident here in his ability tocapture a parent’s grief over the death of a child in just four lines. The fact that he chose toexpress his emotion in a jueju is also significant, because it demonstrates that this form ofpoetry was considered worthy of such profound sentiment.13 flouXifu,p.16.10Wang was frequently inspired by personal events to articulate his feelings and ideas in acreative way. For example, in 1054 he wrote a prose piece entitled “Record of an Excursion toMount Baochan (1*Li-! il-i ).“ In it, he interprets the failed exploration of a cave inAnhui province with a group of friends, as a broader philosophical inquiry into thedetermination and courage needed to reach one’s goals in life. The experience of not going tothe deepest reaches of the cave and later regretting it caused him to raise the question, would heever be an official of high stature able to effect changes? The lesson he learned from thisdisappointing incident is explained in the “Record”:...when the way is level and the goal near, there are many visitors; but when theroad is precarious and the goal distant, only a few succeed. Yet the mostextraordinary and awesome sights are to be found precisely in those dangerousand out of the way places unfrequented by men. Thus one can only reach themwith a strong will.14As this excerpt demonstrates, Wang was an honourable man constantly concerned with theimprovement of his own moral well-being.In addition, he conscientiously displayed sincere consideration for the welfare of thepeople. The basis of Wang’s reforms can be found in his famous 1058 A.D. Memorial of aMyriad Words t to the Emperor, in which he identifies the problems of governmentand suggests solutions to address them.15 He advocates a return to the ways of ancient rulersin order to counteract the threats of hostile border peoples and the poverty of the countryside;he debates the best methods to cultivate, select, and maintain officials needed to achieve asmooth-running government; and he scrutinizes worthy and unworthy officials, usingexamples from history and quoting from Mengzi (37 1-289 B.C.?) and other sages to14 Translated by Jan Wails on p. 160 of his article, “Wang An-shih’s ‘Record of an Excursion to Mount Paoch’an’: A Translation and Annotation,” in William H. Nienhauser, Jr., ed., Critical Essays on Chineseliterature, (Hong Kong, Chinese UP, 1976), pp. 159-66.15 Translated in its entirety in Vol. 1 by Williamson, pp. 48-84.11.prove his points. Wang’s purpose was ultimately to improve the well-being of the people andensure national security. The simple, fair-minded ideas of this memorial—such as peoplebeing given positions according to their abilities and experience—later served as a manifestowhich inspired his New Laws.Written in 1061 A.D. when Wang was ajinshi examiner in the capital, the followingpoem makes a statement about government, as well as the conflict between a man’s outer andinner worlds:“Written on the Spot Behind the Examination Hallon a Fine Spring Day”Leisurely dreaming alone, the veranda west of thestream,Mynah birds16 on the tips of the branches, their -speech is much more disorderly.Mountain birds could not know this place wasoff-limits,For they promptly chirp noisily upon encounteringthe warmth of spring.17The examination hall Wang refers to in this jueju belongs to the forbidden grounds of thepalace.’8 Although he is spiritually connected to the realm of nature, and thus by extension tothe birds, he finds himself restricted by the confines of official life. On the other hand, thebirds, which are unaware of the boundaries set by man, are free to respond instinctively to16 The myna or mynah bird is one of various Asiatic starlings. They can mimic human speech and are oftentrained and kept as pets. Bai she - in the second line could also be interpreted as simply a greatnumber of birds.17 Yang, pp. 173-4.18 Charles 0. Hucker, A Dictionary of Official Titles in Imperial China, (Stanford, Stanford UP, 1985), p.195, #1645, states: “The examination hall i& (ch’ung-cheng tien) refers to the ‘Hall for theVeneration of Governance,’ apparently a subsection of the Hanlin Academy (han-un yuan) staffed withLecturers (shuo-shu), rank 7b, who participated in tutoring the Emperor on classical texts.”12spring. These two worlds are at odds in Wang’s heart, reflecting the fact that this jueju waswritten early in his career. However, while contemplating such a serious issue, Wang couldalso be playful and amusing. He accomplishes this effect by giving human qualities to thebirds, which are described as having the ability of speech.Wang spent 1063 to 1066 in official mourning for his mother. In 1067 he wasappointed Governor ofNanjing and received further promotions. Wang held many offices, butthe most important was that of Prime Minister.19 It is noteworthy and unusual in theadvancement of his career, that he refused invitations to go to the capital to take the examinationwhich would allow him to enter higher ranks, and yet he eventually ended up in the highestoffice in the land. (See the poem in Chapter Two entitled, “Casual Lines on Being CalledUpon in Shuzhou to Go For Examinations, But Refusing.”) He always cited family demandsas the reason for declining such offers, preferring provincial posts which allowed him to beclose to his loved ones. However, there is also the possibility that he realized the time was notyet right for him to be in the capital promoting his ideas for reform. Seen in this light, Wang’smany refusals are described by some critics as clever tactics. However, his actions areconsistent with his sense of filial duty and his intelligence to wait until circumstances in thecapital were most propitious for his chances of success. Evidence of his astuteness as apolitician can be seen in a letter he wrote to a friend:He [the real man] will ever seek to improve his talents and cultivate hischaracter. He will hold fast to his lofty ideals through every vicissitude offortune, so that when his opportunity comes, and he stands in favour with theEmperor, he may bring about such changes in his environment and so reformaffairs as to make them conform to his ideals.2°19 A list ofWang’s appointments, found in Williamson, Vol. 2, pp. 27-58, gives a detailed account of his lifeand the posts he held. They vary from such offices as county magistrate, chief justice and Private ImperialSecretary, to Draftsman of linperial Orders and Decrees.20 Williamson, Vol. 1, p. 42.13Emperor Shenzong played an important role in Wang’s implementation of the NewLaws. Advancing quickly under his patronage, Wang accomplished what he did because ofthis support. Although Wang always initially refused the honours offered to him, the Emperorhad confidence in Wang’s abilities and admiration for him. They were kindred spirits whoshared a special relationship based on honesty. According to Su Shi, “The trust which theEmperor placed in him [Wang] has never been surpassed”21 Indeed, unlike other ministers,Wang “...was not afraid of warning his Emperor against possible perils. He had also themoral courage to tell the Emperor wherein he thought he had failed, regardless of the odium inwhich that might place him...Later, when the time was right, he introduced the New Laws—including theAgricultural Loans Act, Militia Act, Trade and Barter Regulations, Land Tax Survey, and manymore reforms affecting state finance. In general, Wang’s policies showed foresight. Hisselection of other good men to serve in the government was impeccable. Even the way hetreated his political rivals was exemplary. Williamson notes that although he incurred the wrathof many because of his ideas, “...he extended the utmost generosity and even leniency to hispolitical opponents.”23Of his policies, however, Wang’s desire to nurture capable thinkers who wouldcriticize the government in a constructive way, is particularly admirable. He felt this could beaccomplished by abandoning the rote memorization of texts in schools, and insteadencouraging an understanding of their fundamental meaning. Wang was also responsible forsetting challenging questions on the imperial examinations by emphasizing practical experienceand current affairs, so that those who passed would be ready to properly and efficiently servethe government.21 Ibid., Vol. 2, p. 387.22 Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 377.23 Ibid., Vol. 2, p. 127.14Some people hindered Wang’s progress because his reforms threatened their rank and!or pocketbooks, and they resented him for trying to change the status quo. However, Wangmaintained the belief that the government’s policies needed to be transformed in order to ensurethe survival of the empire. It must be stated that, in hindsight, it is not clear that Wang wasnecessarily right and his political rivals were wrong.A diversity of opinion exists concerning Wang’s reforms. The comments of the laterphilosopher Zhu Xi *- (1130-1200) represent critics’ unfavourable view ofWang:Wang An Shih was a man of high and resolute principle, but lackedmagnanimity of temperament. He had the noblest of ideals, but had onlycommonplace intelligence. His theories and proposals, being limited to his ownobservation and judgment, were of quite ordinary or even second-rate quality,yet he regarded them as being so exceptional as to make him of sagely capacity.This, to him, seemed to obviate the necessity of scientific investigation intothings with a view to extending his knowledge, or of denying himself so as toreturn to propriety. He thus remained oblivious of the inadequacy of his ownideas, of the necessity of complementing his own limited capacity. Hence hecommitted the primary mistake of adopting a headlong and self-opinionatedattitude to matters of the gravest import to the State, and became extremelyobstinate and self-centered later on. It was this which accounted for the failureof his policy.24In a memorial to Wang, Lu Xiangshan Ii (1139-1192) comes to the sameconclusion, albeit somewhat more diplomatically: “Wang An Shih failed to fulfil the greatpurpose of his life, his knowledge being inadequate to the carrying out of his nobleintention.”25 Indeed, in this debate it is hard to separate the man from his policies in order toassess which is the factor responsible for the failure of his reforms. According to JohnMeskill,24 Ibid., p. 119, quoting from The Complete Works of Chu Hsi, Vol. lix, p. 22.25 John Meskill, ed., Wang An-shih. Practical Reformer?, (Boston, D.C. Heath and Company, 1963), p. 29.15[Wang’s] stubbornness, lack of tact, and short temper were qualities leastlikely to promote the political atmosphere of cooperation that might make broadreforms possible. The hostility Wang provoked among influential men and thereaction that followed his fall point to the impractical nature, politicallyspeaking, of Wang’s behavior.26But Meskill also notes, “Even so, there have been those who argue that Wang faced a hostilemajority of officials who feared changes such as he proposed and could not be moved by eitherargument or diplomacy.”27 James T.C. Liu’s assessment of Wang’s failure is summarizedhere as well:[It] could be blamed partly on the impracticality of his reforms in a certainobjective sense—one or another of his policies gave grounds for complaint toalmost all important groups of society and won the unswerving support of noneof them—and partly on his impracticality as a politician, in that he failed to winthe strong loyalty of any important group of the bureaucracy.28In 1074, Wang hoped to gain a respite from the conflicts of political life in the capitalby retiring. However, at the request of the Emperor, he was obliged to return in 1075 becausehis presence was needed to restore stability in the court. His second and final retirement camein 1076. This time it was due to a combination of ill-health and the death of his son WangFang, 1 (actually Pang, 1044-1076).The ten year period ofWang’s retirement in 1076, until his death in 1086, is importantto this thesis because many of his nature poems were written during this time. It was a periodof happiness when he was free to devote himself to poetry. He retired to a monastery onZhongshan t si-i near Jiangrnng, a place which features prominently in his poetry. Later helived on another mountain named Banshan which was located between Zhongshan andJiangning (also known as Jinling) or modern-day Nanjing *. In fact, his hao26 Thid., p. xii.27 Ibid28 Ibid., p. xiv. Meskill is paraphrasing James T.C. Liu.16(nickname), Banshan 4- , is derived from this place name. Williamson notes that duringthis time,.[Wang pursued] a simple and unpretentious life, reading voraciously, andlabouring hard at literary pursuits. He revised his New Classical Interpretation,completed his dictionary, wrote Commentaries on the Analects, Mencius, andLao Tzu and essays on the Book of Changes and the Li Chi. He also continuedhis poetical writings, which became very extensive.29There is also a quaint anecdote about him which provides a vignette of an aging poet whorefrained from indulgence:In his travels around the neighbourhood, visiting the monasteries and temples,he usually rode on a donkey, followed by a group of small boys. If he visitedthe city he would take a small boat. He never rode a horse, nor was he evercarried in a sedan chair. He lived on an open plot of land, in a veryunpretentious house. It looked like a roadside inn.30These images evoke pleasant feelings toward Wang on the part of the reader. They reveal hishumility, as well as his determination and persistence in maintaining and promoting hisconvictions. In one of Wang’s own poems from this period, the reader gains an insight intohis peaceful frame of mind:Miscellaneous Odes (No.2)As a white-haired man I return again toTaimng palace,Fine jade ceremonial pendants on officials’girdles remain in my mind.Singing and dancing, alas, the people havechanged unnoticed—Flowers bloom, blossoms fall, so manyspring winds have passed!3129 Ibid., Vol. 1, pp. 366-7.30 From the Xu Jiankang Zhi quoted in Williamson, Vol. 1, p. 368.31 ZhouXifu,p. 145.17This poem is undated, but the references in it to Wang as a “white-haired man” and the passingof many spring winds, that is, seasons, make it safe to state that it is from his later years. Thepoem embodies a sense of nostalgia, but not sorrow about growing old. His mind remainslucid and his memories fresh.Wang’s retirement passed rather uneventfully, except for persistent illness. In 1080 hewas invested as Duke of Jing ‘i-. After a severe stroke in 1084, he offered his houseto the Emperor as a gesture of gratitude for his life-long friendship. It was turned into amonastery called the “Zen Temple of Requited Peace.” At the same time he also donated hisland to the Buddhist temple on Jiangshan. Much of his retirement was spent studyingBuddhism and Taoism, and these influences can be readily seen, not only in the manner inwhich he distributed his property, but also in his attitude toward nature in his jueju. UponEmperor Shenzong’s death in 1085, Wang’s policies were repealed. The Emperor’s mother,who disliked Wang, took charge when her ten-year old grandson inherited the throne.Consequently, every single one ofWang’s measures was reversed by the new Prime MinisterSima Guang 3’ (10 19-1086), who represented the Conservatives and enjoyed theapproval of the Empress.32Unfortunately, Wang lived just long enough to witness the reversal of the reformswhich he had fought so hard for and dedicated his life to as PrimeMinister for eight years. Hedied a year later in 1086 at the age of sixty-five. Upon his death he was conferred the titleGrand Tutor c1#, and later in 1094, he was further honoured with the posthumousdesignation, Wang WengongOfWang’s five children, two were prominent. His son Fang followed in his footstepsas a scholar-statesman, but died early at the age of thirty-three. One ofWang’s daughters alsohad literary ability and exchanged poems with her father. As for the rest of Wang’s family,32 Meskill, p. xvii. Sima Guang felt that, “All he [Wang] wanted was to satisfy his own ambitions, withoutregard to the best interests of the nation.”18two of his younger brothers, Wang Anli (1034-1095) and Wang Anguo. I(1028-l074), were well-known in politics.33As a practical man, Wang Anshi strove to get at the root of the troubles in China whichhe felt needed to be addressed. His persistence was admirable, but critics branded him asstubborn and autocratic. The rise of factions at this time also conthbuted to the laterdenigration of his reputation. The negative description of him in Song dynasty histories can beattributed to his critics’ biased opinions which were adopted and compiled during the Yuandynasty (1234-1638), thus casting doubt on the reliability of the Dynastic Histories.34 As aresult, however, his reputation suffered for many hundreds of years. It was only in the Qingdynasty (1644-1911) that the man and his career were re-examined by the scholars LiangQichao and Cal Shangxiang who questioned this defamation andmanaged to successfully rehabiiitate his tarnished image.While Wang is referred to by later generations as a Legalist because of the emphasis heplaced on regulatory systems of government, according to James T.C. Liu, he must beregarded, “as essentially a Confucianist.”35 Liu reasons that,Wang’s principal emphasis was not upon the promulgation and enforcement oflaw. Nor did he believe the objective of ‘enriching the state and strengtheningthe army’ to be of prime importance. His ultimate goal was to improve thesocial customs of the people, looking toward a perfect social order.36Thus, today it is possible to say, despite detractions by his critics, that Wang’s life was guidedby the principle of loyalty—to his ideals, friends, family, Emperor, and country. This fact isFor further information on Wang Anshi’s siblings, see Williamson, Vol. 1, pp. 257-63.See Tuo Tuo Jt(1313-l355 A.D.) et al., Songshi *. t, (Beijing, 1977), Vol. 30, juan #327,liezhuan #86, pp. 1054 1-53.3 James T.C. Liu, Reform in Sung China, p. 115.36 Ibid.,p. 114.19reflected in his friendships with men of the highest calibre such as Ouyang Xiu and Su Shi.Despite their political differences, Wang remained on good terms with them personally. Aboveall he was an idealist, which led Su Shi to write in a tribute upon the occasion ofWang’s death:“Heaven endowed him with a character of such lofty determination that he was enabled toinfluence the whole country. His loyalty and devotion to duty have never been equalled...As a person who desired change, it was inevitable that he encountered opposition.However, even Wang probably did not realize the extent of the opposition to his reforms untilthey were repealed just before his death. Fortunately, his poetry survived his subsequentvilification. Those responsible for writing slanderous remarks about him were people who hadopposed his reforms. Attacked as a cunning strategist, he was even falsely used as a scapegoatfor the fall of the Song dynasty in 1279 A.D. This accusation is ironic, because it had beenWang who aimed to introduce new military policies which he hoped would prevent the Liaoand Tartars from invading China—which they ultimately did. Whether or not this was a resultof the failure to adopt Wang’s policies is impossible to determine.The personality traits attributed to Wang in this brief biography will become evidentwith further analysis of his poetry. His jueju reflect his refinement, grace and determination, inthe pursuit of the highest standards which he held up for himself—not only as a statesman andscholar, but also as a poet.Williamson, Vol. 2, p. 111.20IThe Jueju GenreModern critics talk about jueju in glowing terms. For example, the American scholarShuen-fu Lm expresses his admiration in the following declaration: “Chueh-chü, perfected inthe hands of the Tang masters, is one of the lyrical forms that best characterize the Chinesepoetic genius and spirit.”1 Other scholars echo this approval, such as William H. Nienhauserwho states that the jueju is “a lyric vehicle of extraordinary range and capability, a verse formparticularly suited to encapsulating a lyric moment or driving home a pointed argument or wittyidea.”2 In addition, Shirleen Wong quotes the Tang critic Sikong Tu 1 1T (837-908),author of “The Twenty-Four Categories of Poetry,” as saying: “The writing of chueh-churequires extreme artistry. Displaying a myriad of modes and a thousand variations, the chüehchü attains divine qualities without any trace of trying to be divine. How could this be easy?”3These comments illustrate the esteemed position which the jueju genre holds in the eyes ofcontemporary scholars because it is a particularly challenging form for poets to work with.The purpose of this chapter is to understand the reasons whyjueju warrant such praise, and toestablish the salient characteristics which define this genre.ClassificationThe jueju genre is a sub-division of the category of Chinese shi * poetry known asjintishi I&t* (modern-style poetry).4 The other major genre in this category is lüshi1 Shuen-fu Lin, “The Nature of the Quatrain from the Late Han to the High Tang,” in The Vitality of theLyric Voice, (Princeton, Princeton UP, 1986), p. 297.2 Nienhauser,p.687.3 Shirleen Wong, Kung Tzu-chen, (Boston, G.K. Hall & Co. Twayne Publishers, 1975), p. 76.The word ‘genre’ as I employ it in this thesis, and how it differs from the term ‘forni needs someclarification. ‘Genre,’ as defined by M.H. Abrams in A Glossary of Literary Terms, fifth edition, (Toronto,21** (regulated verse) which was developed and refined during the Tang dynasty.5Modern-style poetry contrasts with gushi * (old-style poetry), which also has lines offive- or seven-syllables arranged in couplets with rhyming and parallelism. However, thedistinguishing difference is that gushi “were unrestricted in length and did not demand verbalor tonal parallelism.”6The Japanese scholar Hirano Hikojirô points out that sometimes “the term lüshi in abroad sense is simply the equivalent of jinti i&. (modem verse, that is, regulated verse),and can include both jueju and eight-line lüshi.”7 This suggestion relies on the fact that juejuand lüshi are both regulated verse and reflects the problem of ancient versus modernterminology. However, such a general use of the term lüshi can leave the reader with themistaken impression that the jueju is a sub-genre of lushi. This confusion is furtherHolt, Rinehart & Winston, Inc., 1985), p. 72, “...denotes a type or species of literature, or as we often callit, a ‘literary form’.” Similarly, as noted by Abrams on p. 69, “form is one of the most frequently used—and variously interpreted—terms in literary criticism. It is often used merely to designate a literary genre ortype, or for patterns of meter, lines and rhymes.” Thus, the terms ‘genre’ and ‘form’ seem roughlyinterchangeable. However, I am inclined to use the term ‘genre’ to refer to the literary category ofjueju, andthe term ‘form’ when referring to its structure. As for the term ‘prosody,’ which I have chosen not to use inmy discussion here, Alex Preminger and T.V.F. Brogan’s The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry andPoetics (Princeton, Princeton UP, 1993), p. 982, points out that it “...is the traditional term for what isnow called verse theory, which is the study of verse form, i.e. structures of sound patterning in verse,chiefly meter, rhyme, and stanza.”Altogether there are three forms in this category. The third, lesser known form, is pailu $# (regulatedcouplets). The pailu is defmed by Hans Frankel, p. 215, in The Flowering Plum and the Palace Lady:Interpretations of Chinese Poetry, (New Haven, Yale UP, 1976; rep. 1978), as “an extended variation of Lushih. It runs to more than four couplets, without any limitation on its length, and observes rules 2, 4, and6 of the lu-shih form. More than one rhyme is employed in every couplet except the first and the last.”6 Burton Watson, Chinese Lyricism: Shih Poetry from the Second to the Twelfth Century. withTranslations, (New York, Columbia, 1971), p. 112.7 Daniel Hsieh,”The Origins and Development of Jueju Verse,” Ph.D. diss., (University of Washington,1991), p. 62.22exacerbated by the fact that jueju were sometimes classified under the category of lüshi in thecollections of individual poets during the Tang. Even in the anthologies of Wang Anshi’spoetry, jueju are not grouped under a separate category but are instead included under theumbrella term lUshi.Another aspect which complicates the classification ofjueju is that while most juejufollowed the rules of regulated verse during the Tang dynasty, there was a second distinct styleof jueju, known as the guti jueju -t 4 (ancient-style quatrain), which did not.8However, this study focuses only on the regulated quatrain.DefinitionThe term jueju j itself requires some explanation. Although it is literallytranslated as “broken-off lines,” there is some debate about the meaning and origin of the term.At different times in its development it has been known by various other names, such as jueM, duanju i 3 (short poem) and duanju 4j (cut lines), lianju i (joined! linkedverse), lianju bu cheng )$ 43 1 (uncompleted lianju), lianjue it and xiao iüshi‘1”#* (little regulated verse).10 The latest research on the controversy surrounding theterm jueju indicates that its origins are still unclear. Since there is no conclusive extantevidence, it is almost impossible to convincingly prove the superiority of any one theory. Themost concise and thorough survey of the various explanations is provided by Daniel Hsieh.His Ph.D. thesis identifies over ten theories which attempt to explain the origin of the termjueju and almost as many variations in the term itself.11S See Lin, p. 298, for further information.Hsieh (pp. 46-51) outlines these names. According to Hsieh, the meaning of lianjue is unclear.10 Lin notes on p. 297 that xiao lushi was “another T’ang name for the chueh-chu.”11 Hsieh, p. 37. On pp. 52-87, Hsieh explores the four main-stream theories: The “Cut-off Lllshi” Theory,The “Stanza of an Old-style Poem” Theory, The “Cut Lianju” Theory, and The “Four Lines to a Jue”Theory. There are still other, but less probable explanations described in Hsieh’s thesis, pp. 37-41. Several23As for how to translate the termjueju into English, its four-line structure lends itself tothe English translation ‘quatrain.’ However, the term ‘quatrain’ encompasses much more thanjust jueju. As the basic building block of Chinese verse, the quatrain can be found as a unit inmany other types of poetry.12 In addition, this word could imply that the only significantfeature of the jueju form is its four-line structure. In fact, as the reader will discover in thefollowing discussion, the jueju is multifaceted. Therefore, although the term ‘quatrain’ iscommonly used as an English translation forjueju, it must be applied with caution.Since lüshi and jueju share similarities (as demonstrated in the confusion ofclassification previously noted), the essential rules of the regulated verse form need to bescrutinized with respect to how they specifically apply to jueju. The difference between thelüshi and jueju is reflected in the fact that the jueju does not share all of its rules. Of thefollowing six rules for lüshi, summed up by Frankel, the jueju employs (with somemodification) numbers 2,3,4 and 6:1. The poem consists of eight lines (four couplets).2. The line length is constant throughout the poem, either five orseven syllables.3. A single rhyme is used. It is nearly always in the level tone,and occurs at the end of the even-numbered lines. In addition,the first line of the poem may end with the same rhyme; itusually does in the seven-syllable form, and occasionally inthe five-syllable form.4. The distribution of level and deflected tones follows a fixedpattern.5. The fourth line parallels the third line, and the sixth lineother important sources also discuss the various possible origins of the term jueju and its historicaldevelopment, such as Suzuki Torao *. *, translated into Chinese by Wang Fuquan, “Juejusuyuan” ni *4 5.12 (1929), Pp. 57-72, and Hung Wei-fa, Jueju innM 3 *, (Shanghai, 1934), pp. 3-22.12 Hsieh, p. 112.24parallels the fifth line.6. There is a caesura in the five-syllable form between the secondand the third syllable of every line. In the seven-syllable form,there is a major caesura between the fourth and the fifth syllable,and a minor caesura between the second and the third syllable.’3Compared to the lushi, in general, these rules are even less rigorously imposed on the jueju.For example, qualifying conditions such as the flexibility of the rhyme word to be in any of thefour tones are allowed in jueju. The most important distinguishing point to be aware of is thatthejueju form is an independent unit and thus embodies a completeness which contradicts theidea that it might simply be a fragment of the lüshi.MeterThe two most common meters for the jueju are pentasyllabic and heptasyllabic. In thecase of the heptasyllabic line which interests us here, it is divided by two caesuras into threefeet after the second and fourth syllables. As Hsieh notes, this meter has special qualities withimplications concerning diction: “It could be very dense and sophisticated, but it was also themeter that could closest approximate the flavor and rhythm of speech, and so if one wanted tocompose in a simple, colloquial flavored style, seven-syllable meter was often called upon.”’4This feature will be explored in later analyses.Tonal ProsodyThis term refers to the pattern of tones. Most Chinese verse relies on tonal variationand the jueju is no different. The significant role which tones play in alternating the rhythm ofpoetry was organized into an accepted system by Shen Yue (44l-5l3 A.]).), who iscredited with simplifying the four tones into two categories: ping 1- (levell even) and ze )X.13 Frankel,pp.213-4.14 Hsieh, p. 579.25(oblique/ uneven).15 The ping category is made up of the first tone, while ze incorporates theother three tones: shang ii (rising), qu * (departing! falling), and ru A. (entering).’6This eventually led to the establishment of regulated verse, orfintishi.Basically, in the standard Tang pattern of distribution for a seven-syllable quatrain, acouplet consists of two lines that are tonally the exact opposite.17 Eight combinations of tonesalso exist which are to be strictly avoided according to Shen Yue’s principles.’8 Theapplication of these tonal rules mark a high point in the development of the jueju. WangAnshi’sjueju conform to this established standard with few exceptions.RhymeThe goal of a rhyme scheme is euphony. The most common rhyme scheme for thejueju is AABA or sometimes ABCB. A reader cannot necessarily know from modern standardMandarin the rhyme or tone system used in the Song dynasty and earlier. Consequently, it isvery difficult to analyze rhymes and tones unless the reader consults dictionaries of ancientpronunciation such as Chou Fa-kao’s Hanzi gujin yinyin 4--* 19 Since Wang15 See Richard B. Mather, The Poet Shen Yüeh (441-513) The Reticent Marquis, (Princeton, Princeton UP,1988), Chapter 5: The Flowering of the Yung-ining Style, pp. 37-84.16 Parallels are sometimes drawn between this bipartite system of tones and the English system of long andshort syllables, in which the ping (level) category would represent long syllables, and the ze representsshort syllables. Kao Yu-kung (p. 353) notes that this hypothesis of comparison attributed to Wang Li...1j in his Hanyu shilu xue, 4, (Shanghai, 1962; rep. 1979), pp. 6-7, is notnecessarily accurnte.17 See G.B. Downer and A.C. Graham’s influential discussion in “Tone Patterns in Chinese Poetry,” inBulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 26(1963), pp. 145-8.18 Hsieh, pp. 465-6. Hsieh outlines these eight combinations, or “eight maladies” as they are known.However, an understanding of the basic patterns will suffice here. See also Mather, pp. 57-9.19 Chou Fa-kao J k , et al., eds. Hanzi gujin yinyin *4* *. [A PronouncingDictionary ofChinese Characters in Archaic Chinese, Mandarin & Cantonese] , (Hong Kong, 1973).26Anshi’s rhyme scheme conforms to the standard, it is not necessary to pursue this pointfurther. Techniques involving rhyme such as alliteration, onomatopoeia, and reduplication arealso used injueju and will be discussed later.FormForm, that is, structure, dictates to a certain degree the content of a poem and the poets’means of expression. An examination of the jueju form is crucial, because as Hsieh notes: “Aliterary genre is a complex phenomenon; it has an individual personality and character that ismade up of the themes and occasions it is associated with, the voices with which it can speak,and the various other traditions and precedents that have shaped it.”2°The following analysis examines the basic features of this form which give it a unique“personality.” Regardless of whether one is discussing five- or seven-syllable jueju, theyshare these same basic features.The most salient trait of the jueju is its brevity. This economy dictates the necessity ofconciseness which is the essence of thejueju. The typical seven-syllable jueju consists of onlyfour lines with a total of twenty-eight characters. This is a deceptive fact because despite itsshortness, the force of the jueju is found in this structure which compels the poet to say muchwith few words. This feature, while obviously also desirable in other forms of poetry, isfundamental to the effectiveness of thejueju.The prevailing structural model of thejueju is one in which each of the four lines has aspecific function. The formula for addressing “the best way to distribute the semantic weightwithin a quatrain”21 is one in which thejueju should typically move from “a crisp introduction(ch’i i) to a swift reinforcement of the theme (ch’eng ) and then to a ‘turn’ or transition(chuan 4) which is capable of sweeping what went before into a climatic conclusion (ho20 Hsieh, p. 355.21 Shirleen Wong, “The Quatrains (Chueh-chu) of Tn Fu,” in Monumenta Serica, XXIX (1970-71), p. 85.27).fl22 This structure, also frequently associated with drama and essay writing, injects thepoem with continuous movement from beginning to end. The flowing pace it creates can bevividly seen in one ofWang Anshi’sjueju:“Mengzi”Your yin spirit sinks and your yang spirit floats cand cannot be beckoned,The book you left behind, once read, reminds us of 2 —your moral character.What harm is there if all the world rejects my 4r * - -i! *impracticality?After all, there is this man to console my loneliness!23This poem refers to the ancient Chinese belief that upon death, the yin part of the spirit sinks toearth and the yang floats to heaven. However, in addition to its philosophical insight and thepossible political commentary found in line 3, what is important to notice is that the poem’sstructure agrees with the qi cheng zhuan he (iT’4i) outline. The first line introducesthe reader to the idea that Mengzi’s spirit cannot be beckoned to return to earth, while thesecond line reinforces the opening statement by reassuring us that his presence can still be feltthrough the writings he left behind. The transition comes in the third line when Wang Anshiposes a question, leading directly into the last line which supplies the answer. This fourth andfinal line completes the thematic circle with Wang Anshi’s realization that Mengzi’s spirit willconsole him in his loneliness, because the two men are intertwined by their mutualunderstanding. As will be seen in many examples in Chapter Three, Wang Anshi rarelydeviates from this typical structure.Of the four lines of the jueju, the penultimate line has received special attention intraditional literary criticism. According to Yang Zai’s s(l27l-l323) manual of “Poetic22 This structure is outlined by Hsieh, p. 106.23 Zhou Xifu )i *, Wang Anshi shi xuan * it , (Hong Kong, 1983), P. 224.28Rules of the Masters”: “The skill of sinuousness and transformation resides entirely in thethird line. If the turn or transformation is well executed, then the fourth line will be like a boatfollowing the current.”24 And as Wong notes, this transition can be explicit or implicit.25Explicit change is usually indicated by “a change of mood, of temporal framework, orof spatial relationship in the third line; and the change is signaled by certain time-spaceindicators.”26 Implicit change on the other hand “takes the form of a change in subject matter,a shift in visual perspective, or a leap in thematic scope.”27 In the third line of the previousexample, an explicit change can be observed. The use of this kind of rhetorical question is astock trait ofjueju. Interrogatives most often appear in the third or fourth lines. Lin suggeststhat this feature might be derived from the influence of earlier poetry in which “the form of aquestion and an answer is a common device found in the shih poetry of the late Han [25-220A.D.] and early Wei [22O265].”28The second fundamental aspect of the jueju’s structure is its division into two couplets.By down-playing the traditional outline of qi cheng zhuan he (fc#), Shuen-fu Linrecognizes that a special relationship exists between the two halves, which both contrast andcomplement each other. Lin prefers to emphasize the fact that “the structural integrity of thequatrain depends upon the dynamic complementation of two juxtaposed couplets.”29 Hsieh24 This is found in Stephen Owen’s, Readings in Chinese Literary Thought, (Cambridge, Mass., Harvard UP,1992), p. 445.25 Wong, Kung Tzu-chen, p. 85.26 Thid., p. 86.27 Ibid., p. 87.28 Lin, p. 304.29 Ibid.29takes this idea even further with his comment that “the second couplet is more important thanthe first as it is in the second couplet that all the invention occurs.”30In order to balance the traditional stress which critics put on the importance of the thirdline, Shuen-fu Tin also draws attention to the function of the fourth line, which he believes issometimes overlooked: “It often appears that the last line functions as a kind of ‘punch line’,and that it is at this juncture that the ‘point’ of the poem is actually made.”31 Such is the casein the next example of a jueju by Wang Anshi, which demonstrates why the power of thefourth line should not be underestimated:“Traveling to Zhong Mountain”Two mountains’ pines and oaks obscure thevermillion vines,One stream in their midst thumphs over the beauty — M *of Wuling peach blossoms.Afternoon chanting heard from beyond the clouds tinforms me there must be a temple nearby,The sun sets and I return home without meeting a 3’ - 1monk.32The entire poem is inspired in its beauty, but the surprise comes in the last line rather than thethird. As Shuen-fu Lin suggests, in this case the second half of the poem is most significant,while the first couplet sets up the scene for its development. Following the hint of theproximity of the temple in the third line, the reader expects that Wang Anshi will encounter amonk. However, ultimately Wang does not meet a monk and thus the reader is left with theuncertainty of whether the chanting that he heard is real or simply a figment of his imagination.This line is thematically important in Chan) Zen Buddhism. Wang does not actually need a30 Hsieh,p. 110.31 Ibid., p. 108. Hsieh is discussing observations by Shuen-fu Tin.32 Thou, p. 214.30monk to become enlightened or grasp the concept of emptiness while in nature. (This techniqueof surprise in the last line is also reminiscent of Wang Wei.) Thus, the tendency to focusexclusively on the traditional outline can distract the reader’s attention from the subtleinteraction between the two couplets evident in this poem, as well as the possibility that thefourth line rather than the third can be a significant factor in the impact of a poem. In“Traveling to Zhong Mountain,” the first three lines provide a contrast to the fourth, whichdelivers a refreshing twist to intrigue the reader.In this example the reader can also see the continuation of a poem’s meaning beyondthe limits of a small number of words. This is another main characteristic of the jueju genre.Wong states that “a chueh-chu should be trimmed to the utmost simplicity and yet remainhaunting in its reticence, so that ‘when a line ends, its meaning does not end’.”33 In“Traveling to Zhong Mountain,” Wang Anshi does indeed leave a great deal to the reader’simagination. This important aspect of brevity embodies the most critical aesthetic quality of thejueju—its suggestiveness. Thus, jueju possess deeper meaning than can be glimpsed by acursory reading. Shuen-fu Lin notes that, “This approach of clothing a profound meaning insimple and almost transparent language became one of the dominant components of the T’angquatrain.”34 Therefore, as a principle, using few words was considered an asset because thereader’s imagination had to be engaged in order to interpret what was not explicit. Thisaesthetic is the key to the beauty ofjueju, and should be kept in mind during the later analysisand evaluation ofWang Anshi’sjueju.With respect to another feature of the jueju’s structure, Nienhauser proposes that thedivision of the jueju into two couplets can be regarded as a distinction between imagistic andpropositional language:Wong, Kung Tzu-chen, p. 74, is quoting Yang Zai.Lin, p. 316.31‘Imagistic’ language, characteristic of the first couplet of a poem, packs lineswith one or more noun images or intransitive sentences; hence it reads slowly.‘Propositional’ language, characteristic of a poem’s last couplet, stretches out asingle sentence or thought to fill both lines; thus it reads quickly.35In other words, one often finds in jueju that the first couplet sets the mood with images, whilethe second couplet conveys the poet’s feelings in more direct terms. This strategy conforms toa familiar device found not only in jueju, but in Chinese poetry in general: “[Tjo open with thescene (jing *) and then close with a statement or description of the individual’s emotions(qing ).“36 This trait can also be described as a contrast between descriptive andexpressive halves of the poem which form a cohesive whole. For example, the following juejuby Wang Anslai shows how two couplets should complement each other:“Walking in the Suburbs”Tender mulberry leaves so completely picked thatgreen shade is scarce,On reed frames silkworms become tightly-wound, 4 Zplump cocoons.For a short while I ask the villagers about their J.i 4i-customs:How can they work so hard and yet still go hungry?This poem expresses Wang Anshi’s obvious dissatisfaction with a system in which peasantswho work hard are not rewarded for their efforts. One can see the shift (indicated by theintroduction of a time word in the third line) away from descriptive observations of the poet’snatural surroundings in the first couplet, to the poet’s response in the second couplet after hisdirect interaction with the villagers. In addition, the last couplet is colloquial in flavour, whichcontrasts with the image clusters of the first two lines. Here, once again, the main impact ofNienhauser, p. 684. Here, Nienhauser is incorporating the ideas ofMei Tsu-lin and Kao Yu-kung.36 Hsieh,p. 437.32the poem is made in the fourth line, when the jueju follows the formula of using a question toreveal the poet’s feelings.As noted earlier, the brevity of the jueju form forces it to be concise. Thus, allusion isa tool frequently used to achieve economy, while simultaneously injecting deeper meaning.The use of allusions, both historical and literary, adds complexity to the simplicity of languageand content as seen in anotherjueju by Wang Anshi:“Wu Jiang Pavilion”After countless battles, weary and exhausted, thebrave men are sorrowful,In the central plains, once defeated, it is hard to — * #reverse this situation,Although east of the Yangzi River there are now - 4,.- *young men,Are they willing to help stage a comeback for theirking?37In this jueju, Wang Anshi is using a historical allusion. Wu Jiang is the name of a river atGaixia F in modem-day Anhui province. It is significant because it refers to the locationwhere Xiang Yu (232-202 B.C.) lost an important battle and then committed suicide.His name is associated in history with cruelty and thus, according to Zhou Xifu, Wang Anshi’sunderlying comment is that Xiang Yu’s ruthlessness made it inevitable that he would lose thebattle.38 This poem might have even deeper moral parallels to Wang’s own attempts atpolitical reform, but such speculation is unnecessary here. The point I am making is that poeticassociations with place names, people and elements of nature such as flowers and rivers areimportant in the interpretation ofjueju because they carry clues to meaning which enhance adeceptively simple surface. However, as for Wang Anshi, fewer of his jueju have historical orThou, p. 234.38 Ibid., p. 235. Thou also notes that Dii Mu wrote ajueju with the same title.33political allusions than a reader might expect. The reasons for this point will be examined inChapter Two, which deals with Wang Anshi’s literary views.History of the JuejuAlthough it is not necessary to retell the development of the jueju which has alreadybeen thoroughly and definitively outlined in Hsieh’s thesis, I would like to draw the reader’sattention to a few examples of jueju before Wang Anshi’s time. In order to understand thesophistication of this form and the standards by which Wang was judged by hiscontemporaries, I must first talk about different kinds ofjueju. In the following discussion Iselect examples almost completely restricted to the Tang dynasty, so that an analysis of theways Wang Anshi’s jueju differed from those of Tang poets can be made later.The primary consideration when discussing its origins is to remember that the juejuform has a long and complicated evolution shrouded in mystery.39 This may be a symptom ofa lack of extant material which could explain its development, or it may simply be attributed tothe fact that the seven-syllable form did not become popular until the Tang. As well, it shouldbe noted that the five- and seven-syllable jueju evolved separately. Although it took some timefor the seven-syllable jueju to develop, it made up for its late blossoming by eventuallysurpassing the five-syllablejueju in popularity.The Tang dynasty is commonly associated with the jueju form because it was then thatit flourished. Thus, from the Tang onwards the term jueju can safely be applied to this form.The best known jueju poets of the Tang include Wang Wei P. (699-761), WangChangling L -(698?-756?), Li Bai 4 i (701-762), Du Fu (712-770), DuPerhaps the best solution to the dilemma surrounding the jueju’s origins is to recognize that many otherinfluences, in addition to the yuefu which is singled out for particular attention, contributed to the creationof thejueju.34Mu ;I±4t (803-852) and Li Shangyin (813?-858), all of whose poems can befound in the Tang anthology Wanshou Tangren Jueju .°Regarding quatrains written before the Tang Dynasty, however, there is much debateon which early quatrains can be classified as jueju.41 Concerning proto-jueju, two pre-Tangpoets are particularly important: Shen Yue (noted earlier for the establishment of tonal rules),and Emperor Jianwen of Liang (503-551 A.D.) also known as XiaoGangsAs for Shen Yue, his writing “reveals a strong predilection both for the ‘expression ofemotions’ (ch’ing-li *) and for ‘vigorous plainness’ (ch’i-chih W).”42 These areboth key elements in the jueju genre. Yuefu *J$i (music-bureau poems) were also veryimportant in the development ofjueju, as seen in Shen Yue’s pentasyllabic poems which wereoften written on such topics as yuefu titles. He also contributed to the development of gongti(palace-style poetry) which is significant because it often used the jueju form. Hisinitiatives were fully developed later by poets such as Wang Changling. In summary, ShenYue used language in an artful, yet controlled manner and approached topics from fresh aperspective.A century earlier Bao Zhao Jili (Ca. 4 14-466 A.D.) also wrote quatrains thatanticipated Tang developments. Daniel Hsieh states that the first true seven-syllable poem is40 Hong Mai $)I, Wanshou Tangren Jueju t )AM 3, Vol. 1, (Beijing, 1955).41 The origins of the jueju have been traced as far back as the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-220 A.D.). Somesources suggest that the jueju form can be traced back even earlier to the Shijing. However, as Hsieh notes(pp. 11-12), such attempts to trace the jueju hack to the Shijing are misguided. Although the poems in theShijing have quatrains, they are four-syllable in length and thus quite different fromjueju. It is beyond thescope of this thesis to trace the earliest examples of the jueju, except to say that they can be found in Hanyuefu and gushi quatrains.42 Mather,p.61.35most confidently attributed to Bao Thao in his “Xing lu nan” 4i4-#. Although it is nota quatrain, this poem embodies sophisticated seven-syllable verse which might have influencedthe quatrain. At this time a transformation was taking place in attitudes toward poetry, whichwas advantageous to the promotion of the quatrain. Bao Zhao explored new themes and usedthe jueju to express personal concerns.In the Liang dynasty (501-557 A.D.), the seven-syllable jueju became increasinglyprevalent and widened its thematic range. Due to its roots in yuefu, which thrived on the themeof love, the jueju was suited to meet the need for the expression of intimate feelings andthoughts. Thus, it was utilized in salons and courts for literary games because it possessedboth the conversational style of popular song, as well as elements of the literary tradition.This period is epitomized by Emperor Jianwen (r. 550-551) who participated in thesalon scene as a writer of palace-style poetry. In contrast to the traditional utilitarian functionof poetry, his theory of literature involved the idea that “creative literature meant artistryachieved only through the natural, untrammeled expression of emotion, elegantlyconveyed.”44 Commonly employed to express personal feelings, the jueju was successfullytransformed from a minor form to a popular genre.Two examples of early quatrains by the Liang dynasty Emperor demonstrate thestruggle which poets faced during the development of jueju to make a statement in just fourlines. Some attempts were unsuccessful, while others show the beginnings of real jueju whichmeet the criteria outlined earlier. Emperor Jianwen wrote more five-syllable four-line poemsthan seven-syllable ones, and his poems can be found in the Yu tai xin vong f(New Songs from a Jade Terrace) anthology,45or John Marney’s excellent book Beyond the‘ Hsieh, p. 566.John Marney, Liang Chien-Wen Ti, (Boston, Twayne Publishers, 1976), P. 96.Compiled in 545 A.D. by Xu Ling, it includes “656 poems in 10 chuan dating from the late third centuryB.C. to the mid-sixth century A.D. It is traditionally held that Hsiao Kang, crown prince of the Liang36Mulberries. The first example I shall analyze is particularly significant because EmperorJianwen explicitly defines it as ajueju in the title:“A Chüeh-chü on Seeing the Water Catcherson a Temple Spire at Night”In the light discern the hanging phoenix; 4’In the mist see the flying roc. I 1tThey must be using rain basins: * *Brimming full—the dew catchers.’ ‘ 4In this poem, the reader can see parallelism in the first two lines. While this is not uncommonin jueju, it is a problem here because it creates a sharp distinction between the two coupletswhich are consequently left without a proper closure. While the brevity of this jueju evokesmystery, the reader is left with fragments which do not fully convey the poet’s message.However, in all fairness to the poet, the Buddhist allusions found in the Chinese title do addanother potential facet of meaning. For example, fi#u $ literally means “Buddha,” andxianglun refers to the Buddhist symbol of “nine wheels or circles at the top of apagoda.”47 Thus, perhaps the impenetrability of the poem is not such a clear-cut issue of itsimply appearing to be an underdeveloped jueju.dynasty, commissioned this work in order to elevate and preserve the modem sub-genre of love poetrywhich had become fashionable at his court.” (Nienhauser, pp. 944-5.)46 John Marney, Beyond the Mulberries: An Anthology of Palace-Style Poetry by Emperor Chien-wen of theLiang Dynasty (503-551), (Taiwan, Chinese Materials Center, 1982), P. 186. Regarding some poems otherthan those of Wang Anshi, I chose to use the translations of other scholars, making certain revisions whereI deemed it necessary to accurately convey the meaning.47 See A Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms, compiled by William Edward Soothill and Lewis Hodous,(London, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd., 1937).37In contrast, however, the reader can see a much more successful and accessible attemptat writingjueju in the following seven-character poem:“Four Poems on Spring Parting, Matchingthe Shih-chung Hsiao Tzu-hsien” (No. 3) ‘ * - 4 ‘iHow delightful! The River Huai, washing toand fro!Willows on the spring embankment canopy theHo Bridge.Will my tearstains, not yet dry, end with themorning?My footsteps hear jade pendants already keepingtryst.48Here, the Emperor employs a full range of sensory images in order to conjure up rich meaningin the brevity of four lines. The poem starts with a depiction of natural scenery, orjing (t),as explained earlier. It is spring and there is a sense of vitality in the action of the waves.Youthfulness is suggested in the willow as it embraces the bridge. In accordance with thecriteria ofjueju, there is the characteristic shift of mood in the third line so the qing (‘) of thepoet can be expressed. The third line, which takes the form of a question, suggests that thetears of the young woman in the poem will probably not end in the morning. Sadnesspervades the last couplet—a sadness caused by the separation of lovers. The sound of jadependants tinkling as they brush against each other is a melancholy music in the darkness of thenight. Thus, the interaction of the two couplets and the effective closure make this an exampleof a successful early jueju. It is well on its way to becoming a jueju like those of the Tangdynasty. In fact, as Marney notes, “Examples of the seven-character-line quatrain common inthe folk songs but rare in Chinese poetry of the time are found in Hsiao Kang’s palace-stylepoems.”49 Thus, he proved to be a very influential model for Tang poets.48 Marney, Beyond the Mulberries, p. 212.‘ Idem., Lian2 Chien-Wen Ti, p. 103.38This poem, however, has the underdeveloped rhyme scheme found in early jueju inwhich all four lines rhyme. It is not until jueju consistently follow the rhyme scheme of AABAthat they can be considered to have attained a certain degree of sophistication. Both of theseproto-jueju reflect the Emperor’s literary view, which advocates the avoidance of didacticallusions and political commentary, focusing instead on the expression of emotions. However,the first example does not meet the criteria previously outlined for good jueju, because theemotion which the poet is trying to express is somewhat unclear—whereas in the secondpoem, there is emotional depth available for the reader to explore.The Emperor’s role as a palace-style writer dictated that his most commonly usedthemes concerned women or descriptions of still-life objects known as yongwu (t44).Later, jueju poets like Wang Anshi would expand the limited set of themes with whichEmperor Jianwen worked. Wang Anshi preferred to concentrate on nature, and his poemswere more philosophical in tone. And yet the poetry of both men shares an immediacy ofimagery, emotion, and in particular, the technique of emphasizing sound, fragrance, andcolour, to achieve subtlety, rather than using historical or political allusions. In this sense,there is a certain principle of pure feeling at work in both poets’ writings.The jueju did not reach its maturation until later during the Tang with such poets as LiBai, who was influenced by Shen Yue, Bao Zhao and Emperor Jianwen. Wang Anshi wrotejueju relatively late in this genres development. Examples of successful Tang jueju relevant tohis poetry from different standpoints will be discussed next in chronological order.First and foremost among poets who influenced jueju is Wang Wei .* (699-761).While he is best known for his landscape poems, his corpus also includes Buddhist-inspiredmeditations and personal thoughts. The reader can find both new and traditional elements inWang Wei’s poetry, because he lived during a time of change in the Tang dynasty. His maincontribution acknowledged by scholars was his development of the jueju involving twoaspects: First, his approach to the closure of jueju, which tended to use an “enigmaticstatement—a statement, a question, or an image that was so single or seemed so incomplete39that the reader was compelled to look beneath it for the importance expected in quatrainclosure”;50 and second, “teasing the reader to look for profundity beneath a mask ofsimplicity.”5’Both these points were highlighted earlier as main characteristics of the juejuform. As for Wang Wei’s style, it is marked by restraint and simplicity. He also dared toexperiment with meter, themes and styles as well as helped to establish the jueju as the idealvehicle for departure poems ii. * (songbie shi).The jueju I have chosen to represent Wang Wei is one that best embodies thesefeatures. Cited here from the famous Wang Stream Collection, this pentasyllzbic juejudemonstrates the reason for the success of his jueju, which influenced later poets such as WangAnshi. This jueju is an excellent example of the powerful relationship between man andnature, as is found so often in Wang Anshi’s poems:“Deer Fnclosure”Empty mountain, no man is seen. IL A.Only heard are echoes of men’s talk. A.Reflected light enters the deep wood A.And shines again on blue-green moss.52 tL Jig. *This seemingly simple poem is actually complex, and thus it is up to the reader to discover itsimplied meaning. What strikes the reader first is its philosophical quality. Associations withthe word kong are significant, because of its connection to Buddhism and the atmosphereof quietude it creates. Also noteworthy is Wang Wei’s unique way of perceiving a scene. As50 Stephen Owen, The Great Age of Chinese Poetry: The High Tang, (New Haven, Yale UP, 1981), p. 38.Thid.,p.39.52 Translated by Pauline Yu, trans. The Poetry of Wang Wei: New Translations and Commentary,(Bloomington, hid., Indiana UP, 1980), p. 202.40Stephen Owen remarks, Wang Wei is original in his curiosity about “how things are seen, howthe physical world controls how things are seen, and how the forms of perception have innersignificance.”53 In this case, the reader’s eye initially focuses on the large mountain andeventually ends up resting on the moss. The light in the third line introduces brightness topenetrate the darkness of deep woods, as well as shed light on the meaning of the poem. Thereader will notice a distinct lack of allusion and a reliance on straightforward language—traitsshared by Wang Anshi’s poetry. As with Wang Wei’s other poems, Pauline Yu notes, “Wefind here the same transcendence of temporal distinctions, the awareness of boundlessness, theemphasis on perceptual and cognitive limitation, and, running throughout, a sense of harmonyof man and nature.”54 This meditative approach (best left unspecified as either Buddhist orTaoist), is another key element in Wang Anshi’sjueju.Wang Changling . - (698?-756?) was the next poet who made a significantcontribution to jueju. Regarded as a master of the quatrain, he is best known for his palace-style poetry *t (gongti) and frontier poetry it (biansai), the latter being derived froman influx of songs from Central Asia in the Tang.55 His style is summarized perfectly byOwen:.[O]ne rarely finds the serious intellectual concerns that played such animportant role in the poetry ofWang Wei. Instead, Wang Ch’ang-ling sought apoetry that in a few quick strokes could evoke a mood, a figure, an emotionallyfraught situation. He was the master of the evocative image, the dramaticgesture, and the suggestive scene.56Owen, The Great Age, p. 30.5 Yu, The Poetry of Wang Wei, p. 165.Most Tang poets such as Li Bai and Dii Fu wrote some poems of this kind. For more information on thistype of poetry, see Ronald C. Miao’s article “Vang Frontier Poetry: An Exercise in Archetypal Criticism,”in the Tsing Hua Journal of Chinese Studies, New Series X, No.2, (July 1974). These frontier poems, aswell as many other boudoir poems, can be found on pp. 25-34 of Liu Baishan I l, Tangren juejupingzhu 1*A.J 3 i, (Hong Kong, rep. 1986).56 Owen, The Great Age, p. 97.41These elements are prominent in the following example which typify Wang Changling’s style:“Boudoir Lament”In her boudoir is a young bride who doesnot know sorrow;One spring day she makes her toilet and 4 El * Ji .climbs the kingfisher tower.With a pang she notices the tender greenof roadside willowsAnd regrets having urged her husbandaway to seek official appointment.57In this poem, the reader can see how Wang Changling is the master of mood. He developsdescriptions of women introduced by earlier poets such as Shen Yue and Emperor Jianwen.However, his jueju are different because they do not strive to have deeper meaning as is thecase in most jueju, and yet they remain charming vignettes in and of themselves.The last two Tang poets I shall discuss are Li Bai 2 (701-762) and Du Fu I1(7 12-770), who are often linked together. However, unlike the other poets previouslymentioned, neither was best known for his jueju. In the case of Li Bai, his yueJis and songswere more popular.58 Yet, his spirit of imagination and wit were an important influence onlater poets. Throughout his career he took pleasure in violating rules on his quest to definehimself through poetry. This creative journey is marked by his willingness to experiment withmeter which can be seen in his yuefu. Li Bai stressed simplicity over ornamentation, and hisenergy and so-called “strangeness” are rooted in his interest in Taoism. His poems usuallydeal with drinking, immortality, and sensuality. A palpable sense of spontaneity can be felt inthe following example of his jueju:This translation is found in Innes Heridan’s Three Hundred T’ang Poems, (Taipei, The Far East Book Co.,Ltd., fourth edition, 1984), p. 418.58 owen, The Great Age, p. 119.42“Dialogue in the Mountains”You ask me why I lodge in these emerald hills;I laugh, don’t answer—my heart is at peace.Peach blossoms and flowing waters go off tomysterious dark,And there is another world, not of mortal men.59Such enthusiasm and playfulness breathed new life into Tangjueju and this poem in particularhas an intensely personal perspective. The structure is looser than in most jueju. Whileconforming to the most basic criteria of jueju, freedom reigns supreme above otherconsiderations in Li Bai’s manner of expression. This relaxed atmosphere is supported by hiscolloquial use of language. In particular, the unusual use of the character er in thesecond line conveys to the reader that Li Bai is having a casual conversation with himself. Thesecond line also embodies the philosophy of Taoism in its depiction of his response to theinquiry of why he enjoys spending his time in the hills—he just laughs and remains silent.As a model for later poets, his fearlessness in expressing himself challenged others likeWang Anshi. While compared to Li Bai, Wang Anshi might seem more reserved, he too wasstriving towards a similar goal of expression—simplicity and sincerity. But Wang Anshi wasnot obsessed to the same degree as Li Bai of reaching another world “not of mortal men.” The“mysterious dark” Li Bai mentions is unfathomable except to the writer himself, and he doesnot elaborate for the benefit of readers. He seems to cater primarily to his own needs ratherthan those of the readers who, nonetheless, are able to derive great pleasure from his poems.Wang Anshi, as we shall see later, deals more with the real and concrete, but shares Li Bai’seloquence in conveying his ideas.Ibid., p. 136.43Du Fu’s poetry, on the other hand, had a “shifting style” of topic and mood, best seenin his iushi which he raised to new heights in “Autumn Meditations” (1).60 Althoughhis lushi are traditionally considered more important than his jueju, he did make significantcontributions to this genre. However, Du Fu’sjueju are surrounded by controversy. As notedby Shirleen Wong, many Ming critics felt that, “Among Tu Fu’s poems, there are excellentworks of every form, with the exception of the chüeh-chu which he knows nothing about.”61Wong strongly disagrees with this assessment and believes that their judgment is based on amisunderstanding of Du Fu’s frequent use of parallel lines. Such critics worked on theassumption that “a chüeh-chü does not have to observe the rule of parallelism.”62 Instead,Wong asserts that parallelism is acceptable in jueju as long as there is no “awkwardness andlack of movement which results from its strained use.”63 The reader can see how Du Fuemploys parallelism in the following jueju, the third in a series of four:“Four Quatrains” (No. 3)Two yellow orioles sing on the emerald willow. 1J *A row of white egrets soar into the blue sky. — 4 i .-E * -My window takes in the perpetual snow of 1 - 4 t $Western Peak.My door anchors the distant boats of Eastern Wu.MIn contrast to the previous poem by Li Bai, the structure of Du Fu’sjueju initially appears to bemore rigid. Two different personalities and visions of life in the world are obviously at work.60 Ibid., p. 192.61 Wong, “The Quatrains (Chlleh-chü) of Tn Fu,” p. 142.62 Idem., Kung Tzu-chen, p. 75.63 Ibid.64 This translation is from Wong, “The Quatrains (Chüeh-chü) of Tu Fu,” p. 145.44Despite the independence of each line in this jueju, from a thematic perspective it is whole.Here, Du Fu views the world first microscopically with images of singing birds, and then heexpands his perspective. Overall, he seems less self-absorbed in his outlook than Li Bai.Like Li Bai, Du Fu is non-conformist. In particular, Du Fu was not afraid to explorenew uses of language. While in Du’s poem the relationship between the two couplets can beseen more clearly than in Li Bai’s poem, the unique aspect of the structure of “Four Quatrains”is the prevalent use of parallelism. There are parallels here between number, colour, birds, andplace names. For example, in the first couplet each line starts with a number description(i ftt and —4), followed by an adjective of colour + a noun (*l and ), andfinally a verb + colour adjective + noun (4!YF and J’*3). In the last coupletthere is still more parallelism: noun + verb (-- and ), then the place names EasternWu and Western Peak (4 and *--), followed by two-syllable adjectives + final nouns(-fJ and In fact, the effectiveness of the poem as a whole hinges on thisparallelism. However, the jueju is still acceptable because it meets Wong’s criteria of “totalcohesion through the resonance of ideas and the coordination of sounds and images.”65 Theuniqueness of his use of parallelism actually represents Du Fu’s genius. As is often the case, alesser poet would not have been able to carry the effect off successfully. “Four Quatrains”represents an exception to widely-held rules, but at the same time opens new avenues ofexperimentation and acceptability in poetic licence.6665 Wong, Kung Tzu-chen, p. 81.66 Du Fu is also known for a series of poems on poetry called “Six Quatrains Written in Jest”4j which represented a new topic for jueju and encouraged the development of lunshi** and shihua *. (As noted by Wong in “The Quatrains (Chueh-chu) of Tu Fu,” pp. 152-4.)According to Owen, in The Great Age, p. 218: “Tu Fu was the first poet to develop fully the poemsequence, in which individual poems made full sense only in the context of the sequence as a whole.”45Not only was Du Fu’s use of parallelism unusual, but he also deviated from the normin his disregard for tonal rules, as evidenced in the first two lines of a poem called “Ten Songsof K’uei-chou in the Chueh-chü Form (No. 1)”:East ofMiddle Pa stretch the East Pa mountains.A river runs through them from the earliest times.67 & 3i MIn the first line, all the tones belong to the ping category. In the second line there are threeoblique tones in a row at the end, which conflict with the standard model described earlier forjueju, which consists of alternating and contrasting tones. Du Fu freely departed fromconvention, and while this aspect of his jueju is sometimes criticized, it adds to the multiplicityof his verse. His use of a wider range of topics was a great influence on Song poets like WangAnshi. Thus, in these examples of Du Fu’s and other Tang poets’ jueju, the reader can seewhat different kinds of jueju accomplish as poems, and how, despite their diversity, they allmeet the criteria of good jueju. Wang Anshi combines all of these elements: the meditativephilosophical attitude of Wang Wei, the pure emotional expression of Wang Changling, theimagination and wit of Li Bai, as well as elements of Du Fu’s technique.In this chapter, I demonstrated how the jueju is distinct from other verse forms andidentified the criteria which define successful jueju according to the standard established byTang poets. My objective was to introduce the essential characteristics of the genre in order toprovide a solid foundation on which to build an understanding of Wang Anshi’s jueju whichwill be analyzed in Chapter Three. The main aesthetics of this form are brevity, conciseness,and a four-part form sub-divided into two couplets which employ direct and simple language.These are the constant principles which give jueju its unique personality. The longdevelopment of the jueju represents a transformation from popular folk songs to a refined67 Wong, “The Quatrains (Chüeh-chü) of Tu Fu,” p. 156.46literary genre, culminating in the versatile seven-syllablejueju form, which at its height in theTang, was used for a variety of styles and occasions. Thus, keeping in mind the poetic criteriaby which Wang Anshi’s contemporaries judged his work, in Chapter Two I shall examine hisliterary theory concerning the function and style ofjue/u.47IICharacteristics of Wang Anshi’s Jueju PoetryIn Chapter One, the jueju form and its aesthetic standards, as established by WangAnshi’s predecessors, were outlined. This chapter focuses on the specific characteristics ofWang’s style and technique, examining his jueju in the context of general tendencies of Songdynasty poetry. Since a detailed record of Wang’s literary theory does not exist, his attitudetoward poetry and its function is best understood from an investigation of the views of thosepoets for whom he expressed admiration, such as other major poets of the previous generationand contemporaries like Mei Yaochen lê, l. (1002-1060), Ouyang Xiu ik*(1007-1072) and Su Shi ,* (1037-1101), who are regarded as the creators of the Song style ofpoetry.’ Thus, it is useful to briefly look at these poets and analyze how they inspired andinfluenced Wang.Mei YaochenOf the poets in the Northern Song, Mei Yaochen devoted himself the most singlemindedly to poetry, while others like Ouyang Xiu were often busy serving in governmentposts. Since Mei did not write a systematic explanation of his poetic theory, what is known ofhis ideas comes from Ouyang’s shihua “Remarks on Poetry 2 in which he1 Wang’s opinion of other poets can be indirectly derived from the order in which he placed poets in hisanthology Selections from Four Poets, which was as follows: Du Fu, Ouyang Xiu, Han Yü, and Li Bai.(See Yoshikawa Kôjirô ill k. , trans. Burton Watson, An Introduction to Sung Poetry,Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series, No.17. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard UP, 1967, p. 93.) Inaddition, Yoshikawa notes on p. 94 that, the little of Wang Anshi’s literary criticism that exists can “befound in chUan 22 of the Tiao-ch’i vu-yin ts’ung-hua, which quotes them from the now lost Ts’ai K’uan-fushih-hua.”2 Ouyang began a new trend by putting his theory about poetry and literature down in writing. In the Tang itis rare to find such theoretical literature.48commented that, “Mei Yao-ch’en thought deeply and went to the subtle essence of things; his[poetic] thoughts were deep and far-reaching, yet calm and plain.”3 Mei’s basic view of poetrywas as follows: “He believed that [it] should not be left to the domination of sentiment, butthat a new type of poetry should be created through the introduction of reason and intellect.”4The term which best describes this “new” type of poetry promoted by Mei is pingdan +&.Yoshikawa Kôjirô clarifies our understanding of pingdan by stating that it means“calmness” or “easiness.”5 Mei was one of the first poets to use this term in a positive sense,taking it to mean “poetry which is based on the poet’s real, personal emotion, but whichexpresses that emotion in understated terms. By contrast, the poetry of the Hsi-k’un schoolwas based on artificial emotion, and was extravagant in its expressive techniques.”6 JonathanChaves also states that Mei “...used the term p’ing-tan as a sobriquet for realistic poetry, poetrywhich took as its main inspiration from the experience of the real world, rather than from acorpus of conventional images and allusions.”7 Thus, the importance of realism and detailedobservation in the Song found poetic expression in Mei’s hands as he explored and promotedpingdan, a quality which had been anticipated by Tang poets like Bai Zhuyi i (772-846) and Han Yü whose poetry “moved in the direction of a simpler, more relaxed style,greater variety of subject matter, and more discursive or philosophical treatment...Stephen Owen, Readings in Chinese Literary Thought, (Cambridge, Mass., Harvard UP, 1992), pp. 379-80. *-4i1.Yoshikawa, An Introduction to Sung Poetry, p. 75.ibid., p. 36.6 Jonathan Chaves, Mei Yao-ch’en and the Development of Early Sung Poetry, (New York, Columbia UP,1976), p. 124.‘ Ibid., p. 133.8 Burton Watson, Chinese Lyricism: Shih Poetry from the Second to the Twelfth Century. withTranslations, (New York, Columbia, 1971), p. 188.49Mei also applied the concept ofpingdan to diction. According to Chaves, he “seems tobe advocating a rough, even vulgar diction as a reaction against the excessive refinements ofLate T’ang and Hsi-k’un poetry.”9 Commenting on his style in the last few lines of a poementitled “Olives,” Ouyang compared reading Mei’s poetry to eating bitter olives:10His recent poems are dry and hard;Try chewing on some—bitter mouthful!The first reading is like eating olives,But the longer you suck on them, the better they taste.The following example of a poem by Mei which embodies the spirit of pingdandescribes a domestic incident in minute detail. Since Mei and Ouyang are better known fortheir gushi than their jueju, the example chosen here to demonstrate Mei’s contribution toinnovations of the Song style is a gushi. However, this poem illustrates his “...ability toobserve and depict with great precision, and [his] interest in unusual or even ‘low’ subjectmatter.”11 Despite the fact that Mei emphasized social commentary in much of his poetry,there is no apparent moral message in the following poem. Written in 1044 A.D. when he wasthirty-three, it is witty and realistic like the later poems of Su Shi:“When Hsieh Shih-hou and I Stayed Overnight in the *Library ofMr. Hsü, We Heard the Sound of Rats and * • -Were Greatly Alarmed”The lamp is dim; everyone’s asleep. i * ANow famished rats come scurrying from their holes. IL I tl 5tThe crash of toppled bowls and plates tWakes us with a jolt from our dreams. *9 Chaves, Mei Yao-ch’en, p. 124.10 Ibid., pp. 125-6. Translation according to Chaves fromWatson.11 Ibid., p. 191. In Chaves’ opinion these are the second and third characteristics of Mei’s poetry. The first is adidactic tendency.50I fear they may knock down the inkstone on the desk itOr gnaw the volumes on the bookshelves.My foolish son tries meowing like a cat—Certainly not a very bright idea!12 13This poem is a good example ofpingdan because it demonstrates a mundane topic being treatedrealistically—the idea for its composition being derived from an amusing personal incident.Mei’s response to Xie Shihou’s attempts at scaring the rats is honest and humorous. Hissincerity combined with the simplicity of mood and diction represent the poetic featuresconsidered admirable in the Northern Song. Rather than imitating the stylistic idiosyncrasies ofthe Xikun style which were excessive and superficial, Mei chooses instead to use colloquialdirectness.Besides the attributes of pingdan, the other important idea Mei promoted was thatlanguage should be thoroughly explored in order for it to reach its fullest potential. Thefollowing quote summarizes his own standard for what constitutes good poetry:14Only if a poem, fresh in meaning with language well-worked, brings before usthings left unsaid, should it be called good. It has to form the scene that defiesdescription, as if before our very eyes. To hold the meaning without end,realize it beyond words—then, we have reached it.Thus, in poems some things are naturally left unsaid, because the ideas which the text conveysare multifaceted. According to James T.C. Liu, Ouyang appreciated Mei’s “simple and concise12 English translation is by Chaves in Mei Yao-ch’en, p. 139.13 Chinese text can be found in Mei Yaochen jibian nianjiao thu * *4 - t& i, (Shanghaiguji chubanshe Jz. * 4- )&± , 1980), Vol. 1, P. 259.14 Michael E. Workman, “Mei Yao-ch’en and Huang T’ing-chien: Literati Poets of Northern Sung (960-1126),” in Tsing Hun Journal of Chinese Studies, n.s. 13 (1981), p. 186.51style that drew the maximum of meaning from the minimum of words.”15 Due to the brevityof thejuqu form, this point is especially pertinent. Wang Anshi admired Mei’s poetic skill andgreatly benefited from his contributions to the development of shi poetry.Concerning Wang Anshi’s style, Jonathan Otis Pease notes that, “Much of his verse is‘plain’ or ‘bland’ (pingdan -&) in the manner of Mei Yaochen and many of Ouyang Xiu’scircle... “16 The following famous jueju by Wang epitomizes the very essence ofpingdan andprovides a sample of all the best qualities of Song poetry:“North Mountain”In the time when the north mountain transported the ib J-, * * êgreen waters, swelling the levels and slopes,The straight ditches and winding ponds were I - iinundated.Carefully counting the falling blossoms, I sit for along time,Leisurely searching for fragrant herbs, I’m late 4 4returning home.17While Wang Anshi is “less overtly passionate and idiosyncratic than his poetic forebearswere,”18 Yoshikawa’s astute observation that “a quiet passion lurks behind the serenity of15 James T.C. Liu, Ou-yang Hsiu: An Eleventh-Century Neo-Confticianist, (Stanford, Stanford UP, 1967), p.135.16 Jonathan Otis Pease, “From the Well-Sweep to the Shallow Skiff: Life and Poetry of Wang Anshi (1021-1086),” Ph.D. diss., (University of Washington, 1986), p. 238.17 This is the third poem in a group of four jueju entitled “Roses” t). Thou Xifu, p. 188,notes that it was written in 1084 A.D. Concerning the parallel between yin and de ( 4), I think itindicates a causal relationship: Because he sat for a long time, he arrived home late. However, Thou states(but in violation of Chinese grammar) that yin here means “imperceptible” or “unnoticed”, that is, the timepassed unnoticed.18 Pease, p. 239.52Sung poetry”19 is applicable to Wang’s robust poetry. Here, the first line sets the jueju in thefamiliar Jiangning area—North Mountain being a reference to Zhongshan J-i (the samemountain found in the poem “Traveling to Zhong Mountain” discussed in Chapter One).20As I explained in Chapter One, the first half of the jueju serves to introduce the scene,and the second half involves the poet himself in that scene. This is ajueju that reaches out toall the senses of sound (water), sight (large mountain), and smell (fragrant herbs), in order toprovide a full picture of nature. Wang juxtaposes the activity and noise of the first couplet withthe silence of the second. This contrast can be seen as a dichotomy between outside! nature!sound versus inside! man! tranquility. Lines 1 and 2 produce an atmosphere of flood-likeconditions with the sound of flowing water (emphasized by the reduplicated verb yanyan iis), while the last couplet portrays the poet’s peaceful state of mind. The falling blossomsindicate that it is the end of spring, and his return home suggests he is approaching old age.Although this is a time of year and life which is usually associated with sadness, it is not so forWang. His attitude, especially in the second half of the jueju, has Buddhist! Taoist overtones,making him appear content in the world of nature, and calm in accordance with the ideals ofpingdan.19 Yoshikawa, p. 37.20 SuShi uses the rhyme words of imes 1,2, and 4 (p1 , shi , and chi i) from this poem “NorthMountain” to create a new one, “Reply to Wang Anshi’s Rhyme & i )i- ,‘ which I havetranslated here:Riding a donkey, I come from afar to enter thedesolate hillside,Thinking of you at a time when you were not sick. it .4 ±.You urge me to try and strive for a three hectare 5-residence,I’d follow you, but I feel it is already ten yearstoo late.(For the Chinese, see p. 150 of Su Shi shixuan .l*it[47 J]Joint Publishing [H.K.] Co. Ltd., 1991.)53Ouyang XiuOuyang Xiu, who was Wang’s senior, influenced Song poetry in two respects: (1) itsserenity, “...which has a positive and conscious objective—emancipation from thepreoccupation with sorrow,”21 and (2) “... its liberality of outlook.”22 Like Mei, Ouyangwrote on common themes of the time such as daily life, everyday objects, politics andphilosophy. However, in Yoshikawa’s opinion, “Ou-yang Hsiu’s poetry is neither as minutein description as that of his friend Mei Yao-ch’en, nor as broad and profound as that of...Wang An-shih.”23 Renowned as a master of prose, Ouyang’s most noteworthy contributionto poetry was his “...conscious attempt to transfer to the medium of poetry the skill which hehad learned in prose, working to make his descriptive passages freer than ever.”24 Later on inthis chapter, the reader shall see the influence of this sense of freedom on Wang’s jueju.In the following example of one of his seven-syllable jueju entitled “Leaving Ch’u”the reader can get a hint of Ouyang’s mature style:The blossoms are brilliantly bright, the willowsare light and soft.Wine is poured in front of the blossoms to send 1 I.me off.Let me be as drunk today as everyday, c J *‘ ‘ ElAnd don’t have the strings and pipes play parting 25songs.2621 Yoshikawa, p. 64.22 Ibid.23 Ibid.,p.71.24 Ibid., pp. 69-70.25 The Chinese original comes from Ouyang Xiu’s complete works: Ouyang Xiu Yong jiF*71( (Shanghai, Shangwu yin shu guan, 1958), Vol. 1, p. 79. It can also be found on p.68, Qian Zhongshu Songshi xuanzhu *Ii, (Hong Kong, 1990).26 This English translation comes from p. 7 of Ronald C. Egan’s The Literary Works of On-yang Hsiu (1007-fl), (Cambridge, Cambridge UP, 1984).54Written in the spring of 1048, this poem again exemplifies the subdued tone of pingdan.Ouyang Xiu rejects any attempt by others to indulge in the sentimentality of parting songs.There is no sense of remorse about the time he has spent in exile at Chuzhou, just simpleacceptance of his circumstances. This attitude reflects his striving toward “emancipation fromthe preoccupation with sorrow” mentioned earlier. Ouyang’s choice of adjectives in the firstline is particularly original, making translation into English difficult. The willows, of course,are a traditional symbol in parting poems, and the reference in line 3 to his daily imbibingprovides evidence to support his adoption of the name “Old Drunkard.” However, withoutrelying on ornate description, Ouyang manages to achieve an aura of dignity. In the samerespect, Wang Anshi is a scholar whose poetry is characterized by refined grace.Ouyang also believed in the ideal of chang ‘* (universality). Ronald Egan states that,“Ch’ang literally means the permanent and the universal, but sometimes also the ordinary andthe common.”27 Ouyang’s comments on poetry in his shihua frequently praise his friend MeiYaochen for being both “profound and far-reaching in meaning as well as leisurely andnonchalant in expression.”28 Therefore, like other Northern Song poets, his goal was to bethoughtful about deeper issues yet express his concerns in a relaxed and straightforward way.While the beginnings of the optimistic trend in Song poetry are evident in Ouyang’s work,there is still an element of sao I (sadness, grief). Song optimism, however, blossomed inWang’s jueju, and is also apparent in the poetry of Su Shi which follows.Su ShiIn order to better appreciate the beauty ofWang Anshi’sjueju, it helps to compare hisjueju with those of probably the most celebrated Song poet—Su Shi. Su displayed an27 Ch’en Yu-shih, “The Literary Theory and Practice of Ou-yang Hsiu,” in Chinese Approaches to Literaturefrom Confucius to Liang Ch’i-ch’ao, ed. Adele Austin Rickett, (Princeton, Princeton UP, 1978), p. 74.28 James T.C. Liii, Ou-yang Hsuu: An Eleventh-Century Neo-Confucianist, (Stanford, Stanford UP, 1967), p.135.55exemplary attitude by praising Wang’s poetry despite his negative opinion ofWang’s politicalreforms. In fact, from 1071 to 1079, Su Shi was out of favour with the ruling party in thecapital, and in 1077 when Wang’s New Policies Party was in control, Su was forced out ofKaifeng to Jiangsu. And yet Su said about Wang, “Since the time of Ch’U Yuan I have notseen anything so closely to resemble his work.”29 Thus, in July of 1084 at present-clayNanjing, Su paid a visit to Wang, who had just suffered a stroke at the age of sixty-three. Theforty-nine year old Su was en route from his Huangzhou exile, where he had been banisheddue to his opposition to the New Policies Party. He expressed the wish that he could havejoined Wang in retirement, but that it was ten years too late. (See Su’s poem “Reply to WangAnshi’s Rhyme.”) In the end, it seems that their respect for each other as poets overshadowedany difference of political opinion or personality they may have had.As part of a small circle of literati, it was Mei Yaochen who brought Su Shi’s talent tothe attention of his life-long friend Ouyang Xiu. The first of Su’s jueju which I will examinehere was written in 1072, when Wang Anshi was fifty-one, the same year in which OuyangXiu died:“Traveling Alone to the Auspicious Temple onthe Day ofWinter Solstice”At the bottom of the well the sun’s gentlewarmth returns and then retreats,Soughing wind, cold rain wets the dry grass. * * -Who could be like Scholar Su? ‘M .& L 4iL *- & -fWilling to come alone when no flowers bloom?30 1c *29 Henry R. Williamson, Wang An-shih. Chinese Statesman and Educationalist of the Sung Dynasty,(London, A. Probsthain, 1935-37), Vol. 2, P. 293.30 All translations of Su Shi’s poetry are mine. For the Chinese version of Su’s poem quoted here see p. 51of Xu Yuanchong i’, Su Dongpo—A New Translation * k, (HongKong, 1982).56According to the lunar calendar, the winter solstice is the shortest day of the year (that is, theyin part of the year [Dec. 21]), after which the days get longer, which is symbolized by theyang (or sun’s warmth) returning to the bottom of the well. As is the case here in the first line,in many of Su’s poems the reader is impressed by his ability to make images jump out from thepage. This poem also turns the reader’s expectations upside down in a humorous way. Su Shiis the only one at the temple on the bleakest day of the year, because no one else except anunconventional person like him would want to visit the temple at such a time. His purpose isto challenge the reader to question why he would go there under such conditions.Technically, Su Shi puts lines together in a sophisticated fashion. Their twisting andturning, such as the repetition of the hui i character in the phrase hui wei hui i1 i1 ofline 1, is an essential aspect of the poem’s wit. Line 2 has compact images and strict orderwhich display Su’s talent for describing objects in detail. The xiaoxiao of line 2suggests the soughing of the wind and dreariness of the rain. The third line is sinuous as well,with the character geng added for emphasis, and provides a contrast with the conventionalsolidity of the last line. As well, the closure in line 4 is special because it uses more syllablesthan is necessary to convey the idea.The next poem, the first in a pair by Su SM, is exceptionally well-crafted:“Two Poems for Monk Hui Chong:Evening Scenes on a River at Spring”Beyond the bamboo, there are two or three branchesof peach blossoms,When the water warms in the river at spring, theducks are the first to know.Water plants overflow onto the land, and rushes arejust budding,It is precisely the time when blow-fish wish to swimupstream.3’31 Ibid.,p. 173.57Written by Su Shi in 1085, when Wang was sixty-four years old (the same year EmperorShenzong died and Sima Guang became premier), this jueju was composed to accompany apicture drawn by monk Hui Chong. In the painting there are no fish as Su has described here,but this addition is part of his way of injecting spirit into the visual picture in order to make itlife-like. The louhao - (or Artemisia vulgaris) referred to in line 3 is an edible waterplant. The blow-fish of line 4 (also known as the globefish or puffer) usually spent earlyspring by the sea and then migrated up the river. They also happened to be a popular foodsource which was made into a thick broth with water plants. Su makes it seem like a perfectlynatural transition to move from remarking on the bamboo and peach blossoms to anticipatingthe pleasure of eating blow-fish. He is not only delighting in the arrival of spring, but also inthe wonderful taste of local cuisine it brings.Finally, Su Shi’s ability to capture nature but simultaneously give it more profoundmeaning is again seen in the jueju, “Presented as a Gift to Liu Jingwen (t)”:The lotuses are already withered, they have no Icanopies to hold up against the rain,The chrysanthemums are fading, but there are l 4tstill some branches braving the frost.A year’s most beautiful scenery, you must not — - flforget,Is precisely when oranges are yellow andtangerines are green.32Su wrote this jueju in 1090, after Wang Anshi had died in 1086. Written at Hangzhou whereSu had been appointed governor the year before, it was sent to Liu Jingwen, who was anelderly official and one of his friends. On the surface it appears to simply describe flowers and32 Ibid., p. 184.58the change of season. However, the flowers in fact symbolize upright officials.33 HuangYongwu notes that “the chrysanthemum [can represent] the hermit emerging belatedly andagainst his own will in order to do his duty.”34 The flowers also represent the time of year:the lotus symbolizes the summer and the chrysanthemum symbolizes autumn. The lotus,which is associated with Buddhism, “...comes out of the mire but is not itself sullied; it isinwardly empty outwardly upright; it has no branches but it smells sweet; it is the symbol ofpurity, and one of the eight Buddhist precious things.”35 The withering of these flowersindicates the onset of winter and old age. And yet the tone here is not sad at all, but hopeful.Although it is the winter of Su’s life, he is still young and green like the tangerines in line 4.Indeed, Su indicates that it is a time when life should be at its best.While the passage of time and process of aging in this jueju are common themes inChinese poetry, Su Shi displays a unique joie de vivre. Pre-Song poets were automaticallydismayed about the brevity of life. Su, however, is not attached to things in life and so insteadhe celebrates it in a combination of Buddhist philosophy and wit. In this way Su believes aperson will not suffer from the passage of time. His poems in general all embody thespontaneity and rich imagery of these jueju. Similarities to Su Shi’s imaginative use oflanguage can be seen in Wang Anshi’s exceptional ability to create images in poems such as“The Nan Pu” which will be explicated later.According to William H. Nienhauser Jr., ed., in The Indiana Companion to Traditional Chinese Literature,(Bloomington, 1986), P. 133, this technique is called jieyu -f** or anbi H (cryptic metaphor),in which “both the tenor and the ground are omitted while the vehicle itself tends to become a symbol.”Huang Yongwu, Four Symbolic Plants in Chinese Poetry,” Renditions, (Spring 1978), p. 80.35 Wolfram Eberhard, A Dictionary of Chinese Symbols, (New York, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986), p.168.59Tao YuanmingThe influence of the pre-Tang poet, Tao Yuanming I i-I (or Tao Qian(365?-427 A.D.), is also worthy of mention. A favourite poet ofMei Yaochen and others likeWang Anshi, Tao often talked about the rapid passing of time and the importance of beinghappy. In his poems he straightforwardly expresses his opinions about life and poverty, asfound in the first six lines of the poem “Back to the Gardens and Fields (No. 1) (iFrom my youth I have loved the hills and mountains, ‘k *- iL illNever was my nature suited for the world of men, ii ‘ft-By mistake have I been entangled in the dusty web,Lost in its snares for thirteen long years. — -- t . -The fettered bird longs for its old wood.The fish in the pond craves for its early pool.36This poem shows how Tao was more hermit-like than Wang. As a recluse, Tao Yuanming isvery much like the chrysanthemum which survives in the autumn frost. In fact, his poems areusually filled with chrysanthemums, orchids and willows. Acutely self-aware, Tao lived amelancholy life of hardship, but enjoyed drinking. He wished to discard worldly things,tending to focus on his unfulfilled dreams and finding comfort in nature. Both poets,however, derive pleasure from the basics in life. Although they admire the strength and beautyof nature, Tao suffers from a yearning for the unattainable, which is absent in Wang’s poetry.In the tradition of Confucian gentlemen, Tao regretted not having lived during the time ofancient sages. While Wang also modeled himself on the sages, he was not burdened by such36 Ronald C. Fang, t, Gleanings from Tao Yuanming *i#, (HongKong, The Commercial Press, 1980), pp. 40-1.60oppressive thoughts as Tao whose overall message is stated directly in a couplet from his poem“Miscellany (No. 1) (#*A- i —)“:Treasure every moment, then, before it slips by; tMark, the passing years will wait for no man.37 4- ,Even though Wang’s and Tao’s attitudes were different, however, their goal of living inharmony with nature was the same. Both poets expressed a longing to return to the mountainsthey loved.Yet another aspect of their poetry which is similar is their basic approach to writingpoetry. The proponents of pingdan considered Tao Yuanming to be one of their teachers.Later in the Song dynasty, Wang Anshi shared Tao’s desire to avoid ornateness and preferencefor simple, direct language. As Liu Wu-chi notes,At a time when Chinese poetry and prose suffered from over-elaborateness andartificiality, Tao Ch’ien [Tao Yuanming] stood staunchly for the simplicity ofstyle and content. His language is direct, precise, and devoid of the ornatenessand affectation that was the hallmark of the works of his contemporaries.38Thus, although the two men were separated by seven centuries, Wang’s approach to poetrywas surprisingly similar, especially with regard to simplicity of diction and understated style.Wang Anshi’s Approach to PoetryWhile Wang occasionally expressed opinions concerning literature and poetry, unlikeOuyang Xiu, he did not write a shihua * (Talks on Poetry). Thus, although an attempt atreconstructing Wang’s literary views as they can be grasped from fragmentary evidence spreadover a variety of sources might be interesting, it is more practical to examine the way in whichFang, Gleanings, pp. 76-7.38 Sunflower Splendor, “Tao Ch’ien” by Liu Wu-chi, p. 543.61Wang embodies the styles and techniques best associated with Song poetry, such as the idea ofpingdan advocated by his contemporaries Mei Yaochen and Ouyang Xiu. As the reader shallsee, Wang Anshi’s uniqueness is found in the philosophical content of his jueju and his refinedtechnique.Northern Song poets like Wang Anshi faced a choice: to continue late Tang poetictrends or strive to create their own path. In other words, they could write poetry “primarily asa response to the works of the Tang masters,”39or pursue the belief promoted by Yang Wanli.! (1127-1206) that “the ultimate source of poetry is the primal energy of the universeitself as embodied in the world.”40 In the latter case, it was critical for a poet to experiencethe world in order to convey it through poetry.As the reader can glean from a line in one of Wang’s own jueju, the act of writingpoetry for him was a personal response to the inspiration provided by nature:“The Nan Pu”The Nan Pu river, east ridge, during the second il .month...This beautiful scene provokes me to write a new poem.4’ 44 r 4.j- *After the first line, the reader is tempted to heave a sigh along with Wang. Indeed, Wang is somoved by the scene that it inspires him to put his response into words for posterity. The directconnection between his reaction and the act of writing is demonstrated in line 2 in which hestates, “This beautiful scene provokes me to write a new poem.” Thus, from Wang’s ownwords, the reader can observe how nature triggered his creative impulse.Jonathan Chaves, “Not the Way of Poetry’: The Poetics of Experience in the Sung Dynasty,” ChineseLiterature: Essays. Articles. Reviews 4 (1982), p. 199.40 Chaves, “‘Not the Way of Poetry’,” p. 207. Emphasis Chaves’.4 See Thou Xifu, Wang Anshi shi xuan (Hong Kong, 1983), p. 156 forthe Chinese.62While Yoshikawa Kôjirô expresses the opinion that, “Sung poetry is no merecontinuation of the poetry of the Tang, but a distinct literary development, exploring directionswhich T’ang poetry had shunned or ignored, and striving deliberately for new effects and newvalues,”42 at the same time Chaves notes that although Song poets searched for a new path,they still respected established literary traditions. Chaves states that “...far from beingrevolutionaries, they turned to certain poets of the past for fresh inspiration.”43 EventuallySong poets succeeded in striking a balance between these two approaches, and so poets suchas Wang Anshi had room to further develop thejueju’s potential.From the examples of Song jueju discussed so far in this chapter, the reader can sensethat they differ from those of the Tang which I previously examined in Chapter One. Thecrucial question is, how is Wang’s approach to poetry different from his predecessors like DuFu? The following poem, the second of seven in a series entitled “Walking Alone by theRiverbank Seeking Flowers (it. iL 4 4-M. J),” might appear to be from thehand ofWang Anshi—except for one point. The only clue to its true authorship, Du Fu, is thestereotypically melancholy flavour of the Tang which is usually absent in Song poetry:Teeming with flowers, a riot of stamens, I L .fear the riverbank,But I walk on, leaning precariously, truly fr i -t thafraid of spring.Song and wine urge me on, I’m still enduring— * 4 4 -Not yet disposed of—this hoary head of mine.44 c.42 Yoshikawa, p. vii.‘ Chaves, Mei Yao-ch’en, p. 69.‘4 Translation mine. In line 2 the third character is usually pronounced qi, but here it is read yi (third tone),and means “to pull to one side.” See Stephen Owen, The Great Age of Chinese Poetry: The High Tang,(New Haven, Yale UP, 1981), p. 207, for the Chinese. Du Fu’s style, which highlights compressedlanguage and refined technique (particularly prominent in line 1 of this jueju), greatly influenced Wang.63Here, Du Pu is indulging in self-pity because although he is “not yet finished off,” he dwellson the fact that he soon will be. His complaint reinforces the popular Tang attitude that humanlife is characterized by sorrow alone, while Song poets like Wang consciously moved awayfrom sentimentality and a preoccupation with melancholy.This avoidance of melancholy evident in Wang’s jueju is just one of several poetictendencies of the Song. What makes his style distinctive is its contrast to the Xikun styleof the late Tang, which continued to be popular at the beginning of the NorthernSong. It derived its name from an anthology titled Xikun chouchangji ii(Anthology of Poems Exchanged in the Xikun Archives). William H. Nienhauser notes thatthe poems in this anthology “are characterized by the use of ornate and allusive language withmuch parallelism. There is also heavy use of mythical allegory, in conscious imitation of theninth-century Li Shang-yin school of poetry.”45According to the aesthetics ofWang Anshi’s time, pingdan was preferable to the Xikunstyle. Although Wang and others before him opposed the mannerisms of the Xikun style,contrary to some assumptions, their criticism was primarily directed toward the imitators, notthe originators of the style. All Chinese poetry is derived in some respect from the traditionalcorpus, and this fact was not considered unacceptable, because poets admired the vaststorehouse of literary images and forms from which they could draw upon. However,eleventh century poets turned away from the ubiquitous use of allusion. Thus, while LiShangyin’s J l1 (813?-858) poetry was appreciated by Wang, according to thestandards of poets like him, the poems written in imitation of Li by such followers as Yang Yi(974-1020), Liu Yün and Qian Weiyan 4t’ (both flourished in 1016),appear as mere shadows of their original inspiration because they contain no moral message.An example of this tendency can be seen in a poem by the Fujian poet Yang Yi:‘ Nienhauser, The Indiana Companion to Traditional Chinese Literature, p. 412.64“Untitled”Blue mist rises from fragrant herbs in the bronze plate;Incense sachets hang at the four corners of the roundcanopy.Shen Yueh, grieving, grows emaciated in vain;Hsiang-ju’s feelings are secret: who can convey themfor him?The rain has passed at the golden pond; it still seems adream.Kingfisher sleeves turned back in the wind: perhaps itwas a fairy.Every day she climbs the Ch’in tower; but cannot sendhim poems:He rides to the east in a screened carriage, surroundedby a thousand horsemen.46;j ,JL i.. ;êk 4J3ElThis poem is laborious and disjointed because Yang Yi tries too hard to merely pile upallusions. It lacks spontaneity and the resulting artificiality leads to the characterization ofXikun poetry as frivolous and decorative. I use it here as an example of how the obscurity ofsome Xikun poetry, which is typically nostalgic, melodramatic and sentimental, prevents thereader from grasping its meaning. Such extravagance and exaggeration as this eventually ledWang Anshi and others to oppose the Xikun style. However, some of the poems in the Xikunanthology can be considered quite pleasant, and Li Shangyin’s poetry in particular still hasvitality and charm, such as that found in one of his jueju which deals with a Tangpreoccupation—love:46 As translated by Jonathan Chaves in Sunflower Splendor: Three Thousand Years of Chinese Poetry, Liii,Wu-chi and Irving Yucheng Lo, eds., (Bloomington, Indiana UP, 1975), p. 309. For the Chinese see theXikun Chouchang ji i , Series: Cong shuji chengchu bian, (Shanghai, Shangwuchuban she, [19351 ), p. 37.65“Chang E”47Behind the mica screen the candle’s shadow burns low, - i- , *The Milky Way is gradually descending, the morning -& 5Tstars are sinking.Chang E must regret having stolen the elixir, M , ‘is- iêBetween the emerald sea and the blue sky she broods * Tnight after night.This poem has a remorsefulness that tugs at the reader’s heart strings, whereas in the Song,poetry turned away from primarily being “a vehicle of grief’48 as it had been in the Tang andinstead embraced a new sense of optimism. Li Shangyin’sjueju is intricate yet still accessible,lending itself to many different readings besides the literal one given here.49 In addition to thisattitude of transcending sorrow, Yoshikawa states that Song poets were also inclined towardnarrative poetry; followed their social consciousness; captured with wit and sincerity therealities of daily life; expressed philosophical insights; and described objects with almostscientific precision.50 The combined result of these features is the general description of Songpoetry as being “...calm, even cool.”51Translation mine. The Chinese comes from Xu Yuanchong, ed., Three Hundred Tang Poems—A NewTranslation, 2nd edition, (Hong Kong, The Commercial Press Ltd., 1991), P. 359. Chang E is a moongoddess. According to Chinese legend, she ascended to the moon after secretly drinking her husband’simmortality elixir.48 There is an article with- this title by Qian Thongshu, “Poetry as a Vehicle of Grief,” in Stephen C. Soong,ed., A Brotherhood in Song: Chinese Poetry and Poetics, (Hong Kong, The Chinese UP, 1985), pp. 21-40.49 See Teresa Yu, Ph.D. diss., “Li Shangyin: The Poetry of Allusion,” (University of British Columbia,1990), Pp. 110-11, for four other interpretations which offer allegorical and possibly symbolic meaning.50 Summarized from pp. 28-38 of Yoshikawa’s analysis of the differences between Tang and Song poetry.51 Yoshikawa, p. 32.66Yet another characteristic was that, rather than the ornate, florid style of late Tang, inthe middle of the Northern Song, poets strove for “diction that [was] plain and concrete.”52 Inorder to achieve this ideal, Song poets used more colloquialisms than ever before. Accordingto Jonathan Chaves, they “were more concerned than any of their predecessors to findprecisely the right language for the accurate evocation of a particular phenomenon or event.”53Wang Anshi’s power of description verifies this point.The final question which needs to be addressed concerning Wang’s approach to thenature and function of poetry, is what role did Confucian ideals play in his jueju? In fact, therevitalization of Confucianism in the Song dynasty had a great impact on his ideas becauseWang Anshi as well as others like Ouyang Xiu and Mei Yaochen helped develop thehumanistic concern of neo-Confucianism by injecting poems with didactic purpose. Du Fu ofthe Tang dynasty also often expressed concern for the suffering of the common people. WangAnshi admired Du’s social awareness because he too was concerned with the welfare of thepoor and social injustice. Indeed, one of Wang’s best known poems, “Confiscating Salt.“ (a seven-syllable gushi), deals with the subject of the government trying to preventpeasants from making money through salt production. Thus, Wang’s attitude toward poetry,particularly in his early works, reflected the humanitarian influence of neo-Confucianism,which manifested itself in an awareness of the plight of the common people.There is also a spiritual dimension of neo-Confucianism which is different from theTang interest in everyday experience. It is the idea that the everyday and the absolute areconnected in Song thought, linked by the principle of ii (). Reduced to its basic substancethis means that if there is a correspondence between literature and nature, then there is also aconnection between the intellectual process and the world. This emphasis on philosophyaffected their whole approach to writing poetry. Consequently, the Song dynasty was a period52 Ibid., p. 39.Chaves, “Not the Way of Poetry’,” p. 199. Emphasis Chaves’.67of rationalism in which poets wanted to explain everything, sometimes even in scientific terms,which was a particularly prominent feature in the style of Southern Song poets such as YangWanli.Confucianism at that time was further enriched by Taoist and Buddhist ideas, which“...added metaphysical richness and breadth of vision to the old Confucian world view, [and]Confucianism in turn modified these ideas in the direction of greater warmth andaccessibility.”54 Wang Anshi’s poems on nature themes possess this glowing philosophicalrichness. Unfortunately, an investigation into the philosophical sources of his jueju is beyondthe scope of this thesis. However, it is usually unnecessary to label the tremendous energypulsing in Wang’s jueju as either Taoist or Buddhist in order to grasp their meaning.Thus, to summarize Wang’s approach to poetry, it is best to say that although he wasnot the originator of Song poetic trends, he had a clear voice of his own. He worked withinthe boundaries established by others like Ouyang Xiu and Mei Yaochen, but succeeded intranscending them in spirit. This explains how, according to Jonathan Pease, “He [Wang]could be disarmingly, frankly himself—unadorned, unallusive, individual yet whollytraditional.”55 Although he did not completely reject all late Tang poetry, he preferred thepingdan style as a mode of expression and thus assisted in its development. He never shockedhis readers with jueju that were odd or contrived. Instead, he felt that poetry should state thespiritual and the abstract in positive terms by using simple language, while simultaneouslyinfusing it with profound meaning, as will be seen in the analysis of his literary techniquewhich follows. His attitude toward poetry was complex but balanced, and it is fair to concludethat he shared many of the same basic traits of Mei Yaochen, Ouyang Xiu, and Su Shi, whoestablished the new trends in Song dynasty poetry.Watson, Chinese Lyricism, p. 205.Pease, p. 242.68Wang Anshi’s Literary TechniqueWang Anshi’s poetry is lyrical and transcendental. However, it is his technical skillwhich makes his poetry outstanding. This impression is supported by a quote from ChenShidao it (1053-1102), another eleventh century poet and scholar, who said “...SuShi succeeded through ‘freshness’ , Huang Tingjian through ‘strangeness’ *, whileWang Anshi succeeded with his ‘skill’ -L•”56 Thus, the devices which demonstrate Wang’stechnical virtuosity shall be examined here, such as his careful use of words and creative use ofallusion.57As for technique, Wang’s jueju are exquisitely polished. He demonstrates the mostremarkable skill in the way he uses individual words. For example, he can create objectsthrough colour rather than actually naming them outright. In the last couplet of the poem “TheNan Pu (ij a),” the gosling-yellow colour represents the willow’s curvaceousness andsoftness:The wind blows over the duck-green [water], * 4producing [crystal clear] ripples,Playing with the sun, the gosling-yellow [willow -W El M’ * I Ibranches] droop gracefully.5856 Ibid., p. 233.Wang employs the use of such prosodic devices as reduplication and alliteration, but they are not unique tohis poetry and so will not be discussed in detail. Readers have already seen reduplication in line 2 from thejueju “North Mountain” (“The straight ditches and winding ponds were inundated IL t1“) in which the word yan was repeated to emphasize the vast amount of water. The same line isalso onomatopoeic because yanyan sounds like rushing water. Alliteration is yet another common feature.A reader should never ignore a poem’s rhyme patterns because there is an intimate relationship betweenrhyming in poetry and its literary effect. For example, see Wang’s jueju “Going to the Outskirts of Town”in which both alliteration and reduplication are evident in line 2: “In the dark obscurity of dense trees, noflowers can be seen IL58 See Thou Xifu, p. 156, for a detailed explanation of the use of colour in this poem.69The same method is used to conjure up the water by describing it simply as duck-green. Thisdevice is known as pangjie 4* (metonymy), which Nienhauser defines as “substitution ofa characteristic or trait of an entity for the entity itself the location for the entity, the author orproducer for the entity... .“Yet another example of this technique can be found in the last line of the next jueju, inwhich Wang Anshi talks about shade in terms of the green colour of trees without directlynaming the trees:“Written on the Spot About Early Summer”Stone bridge, thatched hut, there is a windingpath over the mountains,Flowing water gurgles into two small lakes. L 73( * *The fine weather and warm breeze give rise to El -flourishing wheat,The green shade and hidden grasses surpassspring blossoms.Tension is created between parallel lines 3 and 4 by the contrast of the masculine and feminine,as symbolized here by the sunlight and shade (yang and yin respectively). A pattern isemerging here concerning Wang’s technique of identifying objects indirectly, which can beseen once again in line 2 of the following jueju “Afternoon Nap (-êt)”:Taking an afternoon nap in front of the flowers, on aflowing bamboo mat,The sun hastens the red shadows [of flowers] enticing El 4 *them to shine upon the window curtain.Peeking at me a bird chirps, rousing me gently from , k *. “my dream,Separated by a stream, the mountain contributes to my r]( 4 61pervasive melancholy.Nienhauser,p. 133.60 For Chinese, see Zhou Xifu, p. 175.61 Ibid., p. 296.70Wang’s preference for indicating the scenery through its colours, fragrances, sounds andshadows gives his poetry sensuality. His perception of everyday experiences provokes idyllicscenes in the mind of the reader, and the creation of these images demonstrate his effective andskillful use of words.62Personification, a common technique used in Song poetry, can be seen in the last lineof “The Nan Pu”:63The wind blows over the duck-green [water],producing [crystal clear] ripples,Playing with the sun, the gosling-yellow [willow - * k -branches] droop gracefully.The verb nong W (to play with or to mock) endows the willow with a human quality, as if itwere intentionally playing with the sun as it flickers in its branches and receives a sense ofenjoyment from this action. The use of personification in the Song was a device which couldinfuse life into poems if the subject was quite commonplace, as it is here. In Tang poetrypersonification is much less common than it is in Song verse. The last two lines are also well-balanced. There is parallelism between the two types of birds (duck and goose), adjectives ofcolour (green and yellow), reduplicated adverbs, and fmal verbs.The last couplet of “Going to the Outskirts of Town (tt )“ again demonstrates theSong fondness for talking about the intentions of inanimate objects:62 Another aspect of the careful use of words coffesponds to the popular phenomenon in the Song of “tz’u-yünor ho-yun, ‘rhyme following’ in which one composes a poem employing the same rhyme or rhyme wordsas those of some previous poem, usually when responding to the poem of a friend or visitor.” (Yoshikawa,p. 40). To use a poet’s rhymes as inspiration for one’s own poem was considered a compliment, and despitethe challenge of writing a poem around the rhyme words, there are many examples in which the reply oftensurpasses the excellence of the original poem.63 Nienhauser, p. 133, notes that personification is “a type of metaphor involving the presentation of theanimate in terms of the inanimate (and vice versa) or the human in terms of the non-human (and viceversa).”71The river plain, a vast expanse of interlocking )11 , — *green,In the dark obscurity of dense trees, no flowers flLcan be seen.The wind and sun have feeling, but no place to JL Elexpress it,They begin to shift their light and warmth tothe mulberry and hemp.64In the English translation I have tried to preserve the effect of alliteration in the Chinese phraseshenshu () “dense trees” by combining it with the word “dark” in the reduplication ofmingming ( )—an extended sound in the Chinese original which emphasizes thedarkness. The sun and wind literally “have feeling,” but because of the darkness of the densetrees, they cannot “express” themselves to the hidden flowers. So they “decide” to shine uponand nourish the mulberry and flax crops. In this jueju Wang uses colour masterfully bycontrasting the darkness of the woods with the warm, bright sunlight. A contrast also existsbetween the vastness of the plain and the closed quarters of the forest. Ending on a solid noteof hope, there is a sense of continuity and growth, as well as a confidence in the quiet strengthof nature.The second most important technique of Wang Anshi’s jueju was his judiciousemployment of allusion. Nienhauser notes that jigu * (allusion, cf. exemplum): is “areference to incidents, stories, or events contained in an earlier text (the source need not alwaysbe given).”65 Allusions are typically references to myths, important historical figures andevents or literary works. According to Pease, Wang believed “a poet should use allusions or64 See Zhou Xifu, p. 190, for the Chinese version. The sign of a good poet such as Wang is his judiciouschoice of words. However, any terseness of language here is from my translation, and is not found in theChinese original. The style of this poem is vaguely reminiscent of Tao Yuanming. As Thou notes, p.190, Wang adapted a line of his favourite poet Du Fu ( f1 3. ho to create line 1 here.65 Nienhauser, The Indiana Companion to Traditional Chinese Literature. p. 134.66 Teresa Yu lists seven different categories of allusion, pp. 24-5, adapted from an article by James Hightower.72historical references to jolt or change the reader’s perception. Too many poets simply choseallusions that made a single point... “67 Therefore, unlike the obscurity of the Xikun stylecaused by the excessive use of allusion, Wang was striving for an effect compatible with thepingdan concepts so that the meaning of any given poem would not be too difficult for thereader to penetrate. Allusions are also quite practical, especially when they are “...used as aneconomical means of presenting a situation,”68as is the case of the jueju form in which spacelimitations are critical.Liu suggests that a guideline for judging the effectiveness of an allusion is to ask:“Does this allusion add anything to the total poetic effect or does it simply show off the poet’slearning?”69 Wang’s jueju “Peeping at the Garden (t 1)” provides an example of a gooduse of allusion in which the meaning is revealed and enriched by linking it with the past, and indoing so, “...stretch[esj both the spatial and temporal dimension of [the] poem”:70With a walking stick, I look at the garden, 1i ] El t iinspecting it several times a day,Picking up flowers and playing with grass isoften interesting and always new.Scholar Dong is only deluded by theGongyang commentaryWould he be willing to believe that the phrase t —“throw away books” is true!71This jueju contains allusions to the literary work Chunqiu (Spring and Autumn Annals) and theGongyang commentary, as well as the Han dynasty scholar Dong Zhongshu 41’(c. 179-c. 104 B.C.) who, as an expert on the Chunqiu, was known for uniting Confucianism67 Pease, p. 294.68 Liu, The Art of Chinese Poetry, p. 132.69 Ibid.70 Teresa Yu,p. 18.71 For the Chinese see Thou Xifu, p. 138.73with the principles of yin and yang. This is an example of a type of allusion in which, “unlessthe [allusion] is identified, one does not know what the poem is about.”72 Wang’s message inthis jueju is that if Dong were alive, he would not have spent so much time studying theChungiu, but would instead have enjoyed the beauty of life such as that found in a garden.Indeed, he is said “to have concentrated so hard on his books that he did not peek at his gardenfor three years.”73 Wang Anshi is advocating a more relaxed and open attitude toward life. Ifpeople shared his approach they would be as refreshed as he is by learning from observationsof nature, in addition to academic study. According to Pease, Wang hoped to enlighten readersto the point that, “One should step beyond the classics to learn directly from common sense,Nature, and folk wisdom.”74In the case of Wang Anshi, his purpose for employing allusion was to enhance therichness of meaning by putting his vast knowledge of poetry to good use. For example, thispractice can be seen in line 3 of the poem “North Mountain” (previously analyzed):Carefully counting the falling blossoms,I sit for a long time.According to Pease, this line “evolved from a popular song based on a poem attributed toWang Wei”:A long time sitting; many blossoms fallWang Anshi echoed this line by Wang Wei almost verbatim. Pease also suggests that line 4 ofthe same poem—”Leisurely searching for fragrant herbs, I’m late returning home(4i)”—might be derived from Meng Haoran (689-740), or72 Teresa Yu, p. 24.‘ Pease, P. 292.‘ Ibid., developing Thou Xifu’s idea, pp. 294-5.‘ Pease, P. 558.74even earlier from the Chuci: “(..J would go seek fragrant herbs, If it did not mean leaving afriend behind *t.&It )t’76 Wang borrows these lines fromTang poetry, but he changes them slightly and in doing so adds deeper meaning.77 Despite hiserudition, Wang restrains his bookishness, using just enough allusion to entice the well-readreader who can appreciate the subtlety of his skill. However, in this poem the reader does notneed to understand the allusion in order to grasp the meaning of the poem—the allusion simplyenhances it.Another example of his effective use of allusion can be found in the poem “FollowingMy Desire... ()!&)“:Following my desire, I open the brambles with myown hands,Along the ridge, crossing the moat, again I climbthe tower.Small bridge, wind and dew, a skiff-shaped moon,Lost birds, with their fettered mates, sense mycomings and goings.78‘ Ibid., p. 559.7 A technique which is typically assigned to Wang Anshi’s style (and thus one for which he is sometimesmistakenly credited with inventing), is jiju J (line-collecting or quotation as it is also known), inwhich, according to James J.Y. Liu, in The Art of Chinese Poetry, p. 141, “isolated lines were taken frompoems of the past, particularly those of the T’ang, and were put together to form a new poem.” This isanother form of allusion in which a poet integrates whole borrowed lines into new poems. Such“quotations” serve a similar purpose as does allusion, which is to evoke the past in order to add significanceand meaning to an experience in the present. As to whether or not such a practice is praiseworthy dependson the poet’s reasons for borrowing lines. This technique, however, should not be condemned by the modemreader as simply pilfering. The reader is justified in such a criticism only if a poet quotes lines merely toshow off his erudition. However, poets such as Wang were able to give borrowed lines a new twist.78 Yang Jialuo * , Wanglinchuan quanji 1 ) L (Taipei, 1988), p. 150.75It is the last line of this jueju which is of particular interest. Pease states that the phrase “Lostbirds, Widowed She-birds,” (I*, is an allusion to a Xie Lingyun poem titled“Going Out From the Western Archery Hall at Twilight ( tLWidowed she-birds cherish their old mates, qLost birds long for their former woods. I *They have emotions, and they know love’s labor * ‘How can I part from the one my heart admires?80 aSuch allusions tend to have a ripple effect. In fact, line 2 of Xie Lingyun’s poem is in turn avariation on a line by Tao Yuanming, which I found in his poem “Back to the Gardens andFields (No. 1) (i TThe fettered bird longs for its old wood 81In line 3, bian thou yue 9- ) literally means “shallow-skiff moon,” or coracle moon. Acoracle is a small, light boat made of a wooden frame, covered with waterproof material.According to Pease, “shallow-skiff’ is a name Wang was also known by in his retirement.Thus, it is an example of yet another type of allusion, one in which “The line makes perfectsense; the allusion, when identified, adds overtones that reinforce the literal meaning.”82‘ Pease, p. 605.80 Ibid., p. 606. Emphasis Pease’s. In addition, Pease argues that the fifth character in the fourth line shouldbe jue , rather than .. or, as it appears in some editions, which he supports with a reference to aDu Fu poem:.No one senses when I come or go, - kStopped, listless, how long this feeling lasts! i,t 1T -&81 Ronald C. Fang, Gleanings from Tao Yuanming J3 l I (Hong Kong,The Commercial Press, 1980), pp. 40-1.82 Teresa Yu, p. 24.76Wang’s superior skill is also demonstrated by his wit and his plainness of language.He was often humorous, but his wit was usually accompanied by didactic meaning, as in thecase of the following jueju:“Casual Lines on Being Called Upon in Shuzhou 4 f M 4 tto Go For Examinations, But Refusing”Supporting a tray on one’s head it is hard to t(simultaneously) view the sky,I laugh at my own empty reputation, and loathe €. , ilmyself.Rotten soil and sacrificial animals each havetheir own taste,Is it possible only the earthworm is a clean, 83honest and capable official?Wang is comparing himself to an earthworm in this jueju, written in 1051 A.D. at a time whenhe was exempt from capital service and assigned to Shuzhou. Wang was working inagriculture then, and his closeness to the earth is paralleled with the earthworm that lives indecaying soil. It is paradoxical that a lowly creature like the earthworm, that is, Wang, knowswhat it means to be a good official, while other higher officials do not. As conveyed in thetitle, Wang prefers his life away from the capital and resists being part of the official court life,because he could see its hypocrisy. The first couplet is especially clever. In line 1, Wangadapts the expression daipan wangtian lct which literally means “to try to viewthe sky with a tray on the head,” into a phrase. The word tian 3.. is traditionally associatedwith the court, thus the tray represents the obstructions put in Wang’s path by his enemies.As for plainness of language, the fmal example of this chapter embodies this feature aswell as another example of allusion:83 ZhouXifu,p.27.77“Entering the Pass”Wild clouds, cold rain, river far and vast, * 1 1Saddled horses everywhere, the drums and whistleshave stopped.There are still a few people of Yan who shed tears, *Turning back to look, the tears flow south of the 11 *. 84border.At age thirty-nine in 1060, Wang was in the capital. This jueju is an example of a poem inwhich the reader must understand the allusion in order to benefit from the poet’s message,otherwise its meaning would suffer greatly. However, in Wang’s poetry his allusions arealways easily accessible. A dramatic event is obviously taking place, which is indicated by thewild weather in line 1. The second line further jars the reader. There is a static qualityintroduced by the horses, which are motionless. Silence emphasizes the tension of the poem.This is relieved in line 3 when emotions are displayed by the tearful Yan people. Theirhomelessness could be a metaphor for an official like Wang, whose duties force him to leavehis family and travel to distant parts of the country, or it could parallel Song history and theshift of the capital to the south, during which people in the north living under enemyoccupation were longing for the south. In either case, a bleakness of mood is successfullyachieved through the use of simple, direct language, particularly poignant in the image clustersof line 1.Thus, in this chapter I demonstrate the link between Wang’s views on the admirablequalities of poetry and the way he achieves these ideals through technique. He strove towardapplying Mei Yaochen’s quality ofpingdan, which consisted of calmness of mood, realism oftheme, and plainness of language. Like Ouyang Xiu and Mei Yaochen, Wang also explorednew subjects previously considered too mundane. He used allusion in an apt and precise way84 Ibid., p. 75.78in order to stretch the meaning of his jueju (the indirectness of allusion providing complexityand contrast to the directness of pingdan), making a deliberate effort to counteract theexcessiveness of the previous Xikun style. However, most insightful is the wit andintelligence he expressed through the skillful manipulation of individual words as seen in theanalysis of such poems as “The Nan Pu.” In this respect a glimpse of Su Shi’s freedom andflair for language can be seen in Wang’s style. In Chapter Three, I shall expand upon thesecharacteristics in a more detailed examination ofWang’s jueju, which further demonstrate howhe applied his keen perception to capturing the beauty of nature.79IIINature ThemesThe stage is now set for an in-depth analysis of Wang’s response to the natural worldaround him. In this chapter, I discuss how the sensitivity of his voice as a poet is captured inthe imagery of his jueju. As I mentioned in Chapter Two, Wang’s attitude toward naturereflects the generally more optimistic mood of the Song dynasty. However, in his poetryWang does more than merely describe nature, he enhances the world he observes with hisartistic skill and imagination.According to J.D. Schmidt, “Without a doubt, the most important theme of Sungpoetry, and possibly of Chinese poetry in general, is nature.”1 Although the jueju in thischapter all share the theme of nature, it would be incorrect to label Wang a “nature poet” assuch, because his eclectic style encompasses a diverse scope of themes. The varied life andcareer ofWang, like that of other Northern Song scholars such as Su Shi, are expressed in thewide range of topics in his poetry. Wang’s willingness to explore different topics also reflectsa common trend at that time toward experimentation. This broadness of outlook is the reasonwhy he did not belong to any particular school, nor had a group of followers after his death,unlike many other poets.Yoshikawa Kôjirô expresses the opinion: “It would seem an anomaly that a greatpolitical leader like Wang An-shih should have had such a fondness for poetry that was purelylyrical, and consequently extremely apolitical in nature.”2 However, this fact is not unusualwhen it is remembered that Wang was a complex man with many interests. Yoshikawa’scomment is also somewhat misleading because, in addition to nature jueju, Wang did write1 J.D. Schmidt, Yang Wan-li, Twayne’s World Authors Series, (Boston, Twayne Publishers, 1976), P. 103.2 Yoshikawa Kôjirô )11 * k , trans. by Burton Watson, An Introduction to Sung Poetry,Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series, No.17, (Cambridge, Mass., Harvard UP, 1967), p. 94.80politically-oriented poetry, especially as a young man.3 Accordingly, the Canadian scholarJan Walls has divided Wang’s poetry into four thematic categories: (1) political and historicalconcerns; (2) personal relationships; (3) idleness; and (4) Buddhistic matters.4 While it issometimes difficult to categorize poems exclusively as historical or personal, the emphasis inthis thesis is primarily on the third category of idleness, because most of Wang’s nature poemscoincide with his “idle” or retirement years. As for the subject of love, it is rarely found inSong shi poetry, and Wang’s jueju are no exception. The issue at hand, however, is not whichcategory ofWang’s poetry is better, but identifying and highlighting the salient features of hisnature poetry.Since this thesis concentrates on his jueju with nature themes, it is important to placeWang within the tradition of Chinese nature poetry. The realm of nature is vast and complexand therefore it is necessary to clarify the term “nature.” There are two genres of Chinesenature poetry: shanshui iii * “mountains and rivers” (or landscape poetry), and tianyuanJ1 “fields and gardens” (or bucolic poetry).5 While the Shijing * and Chuciare sometimes referred to as the beginning of Chinese nature poetry, the natural imagery foundin these works is used in a formal way, and is not intended as an appreciation of the beauty ofnature. The true beginning of nature poetry started around the third century A.D. with thepoets of mysterious learning - or xuan xue, who were first inspired by such activities as3 Jan W. Walls, “Wang An-shth’ in Sunflower Splendor: Three Thousand Years of Chinese Poetry, Wu-chiLiu and Irving Yucheng Lo, eds., (Bloomington, Indiana UP, 1975), p. 588, states that Wang’s poetryroughly approximates stages of his life: “The historical and political poems mostly reflect the strong viewsofWang’s youth, while poems of idleness and Buddhistic thought stem largely and naturally from his lateryears in retirement; poems to friends and relatives span his whole life.”Ibid.5 Eugene Eoyang, “Moments in Chinese Poetry: Nature in the World and Nature in the Mind,” in RonaldMiao, Studies in Chinese Poetry and Poetics, (San Francisco, Chinese Materials Center, 1978), p. 107.81climbing mountains to write down their impressions and observations.6 Since then the poetsmost commonly associated with nature are Tao Yuanming (also known as “the spiritualancestor of all nature poets in China... “),7 Xie Lingyun, Wang Wei, Meng Haoran and LiuZongyuan. These poets can be roughly divided according to the two nature genres. Forexample, Xie Lingyun represents the typical landscape poet, while the bucolic poet isepitomized by Tao Yuanming. Although there are elements of both Xie’s landscapes as well asTao’s rural scenes of cottages and fields in Wang’s jueju, he tends to favour the former.Of Wang’s 493 jueju, only a small sample are included in this thesis for close reading.In the process of choosing poems which best represent Wang’s poetic voice, it is inevitable thatmany are overlooked. It should be noted that some of his historical poems are also excellent(such as several poems named after historical figures like “Jia Sheng l.,” “Xie Anit-,” and “Han Xin 44”), as well as the Buddhist-inspired poems, “Inscriptions onthe Wall of the Banshan Temple (I#k i-).” The analysis of the followingpoems will suggest that in Wang’s hands the jueju form seems particularly well suited toexploring nature. Specifically, his treatment of man’s relationship with nature, mountains,rivers, flowers, and the change of seasons will be examined.6 William H. Nienhauser, Jr., ed., The Indiana Companion to Traditional Chinese Literature, (Bloomington,1986), P. 66. This type of poetry, also known as the poetry of emotion, was part of a “quest for spiritualmeaning” at that time. It is a transitional period which took as its dictum: “Poetry is based on emotion[expressed in] patterned splendor.” Poets of the Six Dynasties Period include Lu Ji L (26 1-303A.D.), Ruan Ji 4- (210-263), and Cao Zhi t Ei (192-232). (The Six Dynasties Period refers toWu [222-280], Eastern 3m [3 17-420], Liu-Song [420-479], Qi [479-502], Liang [502-557], Chen [557-589]). See Kang-i Sun Chang’s excellent article “Description of L.andscape in Early Six Dynasties Poetry,”in The Vitality of the Lyric Voice, (Princeton, Princeton UP, 1986), pp. 332-85 for more information.‘‘ Schmidt, Yang Wanli, p. 118.82Man and NatureThe crucial question to consider is how Wang depicted nature in his poetry. He had aspecial relationship with nature, which he regarded as a positive force. For Wang Anshi likeWang Wei before him, “Nature is neither forbidding nor comforting: it simply is.”8 Indeed,in Wang Anshi’s opinion, if nature is either of these two alternatives, it is sympathetic to man.However, with regard to Tang poets’ view of nature, Burton Watson states that, “...when theystopped to consider the matter at all, [they] usually saw nature as wu-ch’ing, ‘heartless’ or‘unfeeling’... . “ This was not the case in the Song dynasty. Although Wang Anshi createdlandscapes with emotional overtones, he did not think of nature as an escape which it had beenfor others such as Xie Lingyun who, “...consciously aimed at identification of the self with thecosmos.”10 Nor did Wang Anshi ever actually lose himself in nature as Wang Wei managedto in his Buddhist-inspired philosophical landscapes.Wang’s attitude toward nature was strongly influenced by Du Fu, whose “...maintheme is not solely nature but man and nature... .“‘ Wang also identified closely with nature,regarding man as an important part of it. He shared Du Fu’s preference for depicting the worldin its rugged state rather than in the ways it is cultivated by man. The following pentasyllabicjueju is a little gem which demonstratesWang’s harmony with nature:8 Eoyang,p. 118.Burton Watson, Chinese Lyricism: Shih Poetry from the Second to the Twelfth Century. withTranslations, (New York, Columbia, 1971), p. 206.10 H.C. Chang, Chinese Literature 2: Nature Poetry, (Edinburgh, Edinburgh UP, 1977), p. 44.11 Henry W. Wells, “Man and Nature in Tu Fu’s Poetry,” Tarekang Review 5.1 (April 1974), p. 29.83“In the Mountains”Following the moon out of the mountains, 1itI search for clouds to accompany me home.A spring daybreak, there is dew on the flowers—Their fragrant scent clings to my clothes. 12In this poem, the clouds and moon act as Wang’s companions by guiding him through themountains. An atmosphere of peacefulness, seclusion and quietude prevails, which Wangexperienced while in retirement. The early morning hours have special meaning for him andthey help produce an enchanted environment in which the clouds “...float naturally from theouter into the inner world.”13 As Wang comes back to the ordinary world, the fragrance fromthe other world still clings to his gown. There is a strikingly feminine quality to the scent offlowers clinging to his clothes like the perfume of a woman. This is supported by the presenceof the moon, which is associated with yin (or feminine) traits. The last line is worthy of apoetic genius—the fragrance of the flowers is the thread that connects Wang’s mysticalsurroundings with his calm inner self.Once again in the jueju, “Two Poems Written on Master Huyin’s Wall”(t-1), Wang shows how nature and man can co-operate:Under thatched eaves the frequently well-sweptpath has no moss,Flowers and trees form a plot planted by my ownhand.A river protects the fields, encircling them with — J( fits green—Two mountains push open the gate delivering ablue shade.1412 Zhou Xifu )1 4L Wang Anshi shi xuan . 4- * it, (Hong Kong, 1983), p. 193.13 Wells, p. 21.14 Thou, p. 199. Master Huym was one ofWangs neighbours on Thong mountain.84The last couplet of this poem is significant because it captures nature and man interactingharmoniously. Here, Wang conveys a sense of satisfaction with his life and finds comfort inthe natural, unthreatening environment. In particular, the river encircling the fields of line 3shows how nature can be protective towards man. However, the most noteworthy aspect ofthe poem is the human qualities ascribed to the mountains. According to Yoshikawa, “Sungpoetry makes frequent use of personification and the pathetic fallacy, drawing nature, as itwere, into the world of human activities.”15 An example of this is evident in line 4 with theimage of the mountains pushing open the gate as a man would. Here the mountains are takingon the characteristics of a guest bringing a gift to a host. In this case, the mountains bring blueshade to their host’s thatched house. In addition, this poem appeals to the senses. Wang has afondness for the colour green found in the river of this jueju. Green is the colour whichsymbolizes spring, life, and happiness. The manner in which sensations play a role in Wang’spoetry is another aspect of Du Fu’s significant influence on his style.Wang’s keen sensory perception is also evident in the next poem, which againdemonstrates the union of man and nature:“Traveling to Qi An Temple in the First Monthof the Gengshen Year”16North of the water, south of the water, drooping,drooping willows,Behind the mountain, in front of the mountain, 4. iii * A A êeverywhere plum blossoms.Until this body of mine follows the changes of nature,Year after year I will take advantage of coming at 4- -L 1tthis season.15 Here, Yoshikawa in An Introduction to Sting Poetry, p. 46, is pointing out the opinion of another Japaneseprofessor, Ogawa Tainaki.16 Yang Jialuo Wanglinchuan guanji i )II4, (Taipei, 1988), p. 159. The year is1080 A.D. Once again in this poem Wang was inspired by the area of Nanjing where, according to Pease,p. 596, “the Qi An Temple (Temple of Undifferentiated Peace), [is located] outside the east gate ofJiangning, by the road into town from Wang’s house at Banshan.”85His response to the natural surroundings is clear and succinct. Wang excels others in thedegree of conviction with which he is able to convincingly, but not overtly, express hisemotions. The poem reinforces a common theme in Wang’s poems—acknowledging the cycleof life and death. He believes that as part of nature, man must accord with and submit to thetransformation of all things. This poem, however, is also notable for its linguistic aspects.The first couplet strictly observes parallelism according to categories of direction indicators,flowers, and other nouns. Despite the brevity of thejueju form, Wang dares to fill the preciousspace with repetition. There is alliteration not only between words such as chongchongtt and chuchu AA, but also between lines, with the words shan i and shui ,J< inlines 1 and 2. Such alliteration and repetition make this jueju pleasant to read aloud. Wang’sphonetic patterns, in this case the use of doublets, reinforces the emotions he is trying toconvey. The repetition beautifully expresses the link between the scenery and Wang’s desire toreturn again and again.In the next jueju, “The Tops of the Trees” (lc) which depicts man relying onnature for his livelihood, Wang’s profound colour sense and power of suggestion make itexceptional:The tops of the trees on North Mountain,the mist moves in gradually;The roots of the grass by the Nan mountainstream, the water gurgling.Silk like white snow, mulberries greenagain—Finishing the harvest of yellow clouds, riceseedlings now sprouting up green. 17The parallelism of this jueju is notable, especially in the first couplet. Different vantage pointsare gained from the tops of the trees and the grass roots. Parallel direction-words and17 Thou, p. 159.86reduplicated verbs end lines 1 and 2. In addition, the second couplet is filled with an•abundance of parallel colour adjectives. Here, Wang is emulating his predecessor XieLingyun’s, “keen awareness of the tone and gradation of colours.”18 Wang also uses thetechnique which I defined in Chapter Two of simply describing an object by its colour in orderto imply the identity of the object itself. For example, his colour image in line 4 allows thereader to extrapolate that the “yellow clouds” actually refer to yellow fields of wheat. Thisevocative power of Wang’s pen makes his descriptions all the more persuasive. As in theprevious landscape poems, this jueju conveys the vitality of nature as it transforms and renewsitself, as well as the ways it interacts with and benefits man.MountainsThe mountain landscape is a particular favourite ofWang’s. In fact, in Chinese culturethe mountain has been “...an object of reverence from remote antiquity.”19 I quote a Handynasty interpretation of Confucius’ words in the Analects (*ê) about mountains here,because it is important for understanding the prominent role they play in Wang’s nature jueju:Mountains are what the people of the realm look up to with reverence. Plantsand trees grow on them. A myriad things find a home on them. Birds flock tothem; beasts rest on them. People from all directions obtain benefit from them.The clouds emerge from them; the winds blow over them. They stand uprightbetween heaven and earth; they complete heaven and earth. They bring securityto the State. For these reasons do the virtuous delight in the mountains.20Thus, relatively speaking, mountains are solid and long-lasting forms which serve as home tomany creatures and are responsible for the production of mist and rain. The reader will noticethat many ofWang’s poems refer specifically to Thong mountain. His nature poems reflect theimportance of this mountain located in Jiangning, which he knew intimately during his18 Chang, p. 44.19 Ibid., p. 2.20 Ibid.87retirement. According to Jonathan Pease and others, Wang’s best nature poetry comes fromthis period. Perhaps it was one of his most creative phases because he concentrated on writingpoetry rather than spending his energy fighting over political issues.A poem which employs the symbolism of the mountain is “Climbing the Peak of FeilaiMountain (-i4).” This jueju was written early in Wang’s political career between1047 and 1049, when he was in Yin County:On the summit of Feilai Mountain there is a t 4 4pagoda eight thousand feet high—I have heard that when the cock crows, one 5’ - t El 4can see the sunrise.I am not afraid of the floating clouds blocking * t ithe distant view,Because I’m perched on the loftiest peak.21The reader has already seen a poem on a similar theme from the same stage of Wang’s life,entitled “The Western Pavilion of Yin County” (i) in the biographical outline.This poem also has political overtones, but it conveys Wang’s optimism rather than hisfrustration. He has supreme confidence in his ability to achieve his cherished desire ofattaining high political office. By using the floating clouds as a metaphor for the crafty,fawning individuals at court who hope to block his advancement, he makes a persuasivecomment about their superficiality. Positioned at the top of the mountain above this sea ofclouds, Wang has a vantage point from which to look down on such people. The clouds willnot obstruct his view, nor will these individuals impede his path to fame.The most praiseworthy aspect ofWang’s style in this jueju is the sense of grandeur hecreates. If the political overtones of the poem are disregarded, the nature imagery still forms acompletely satisfactory picture of a pre-dawn scene. High amongst the mountains surroundedby clouds, Wang becomes part of a mystical atmosphere. Although the distant view of the sun21 Thou, p. 10.88rising, that is, Wang, is obscured by the clouds, he is not afraid. He still manages to climb tothe top of the mountain and is perched like a bird at its peak.Mountains often have religious significance in China, and thus provide suitablesurroundings for spiritual contemplation. J.D. Schmidt comments that,By the time that Buddhism became firmly entrenched in Chinese thought, themountain was already a symbol for ultimate truth, so it is no wonder thatBuddho-Taoist nature poets such as Hsieh Ling-yUn wrote of the enlightenmentthey had attained midst wild and craggy peaks.22This is also the case in Wang’s journey for truth, as seen in the jueju “Awareness of TruthTemple (‘-),“ which dates from his retirement years:Untamed waters flowing in all directions cleansethe front steps of the temple.Disturbing my afternoon dream, birds cry to eachother outside the window.Day after day the spring breeze blows the fragrantgrass,To the north of the mountains, to the south of themountains, the paths are about to vanish.23The title of this poem indicates that Wang’s reflections are influenced by Buddhism—the ideaof “awareness of truth” being one of this philosophy’s tenets. In line 1 the proximity of the“untamed waters” to Wang’s house is particularly revealing. The water is acting as a cleansingagent, both physically and spiritually. In line 2 Wang’s dream-like state is disturbed by thecries of birds which usher him back to reality, while in line 3 the wind brings the sensualfragrance of grass to Wang’s nostrils as he ponders where the paths of the mountain lead. Inline 4 the disappearance of the paths is probably a reference to Chanl Zen Buddhism, whichwas most popular in the Song dynasty. An individual such as Wang could experience22 Schimdt, Yang Wan-li, p. 123.23 Thou, p. 197.89enlightenment in an instant, but then realize that the path did not exist in the first place, or thatthere is no difference between the path of someone unenlightened versus someone enlightened.Although Wang was not seeking immortality, the significance of the mountains as definedearlier lifts his quest in this jueju to a cosmic level. His reflections in this poem were obviouslyinfluenced by Buddhism, but this does not necessarily imply that he held a systematicphilosophy of life. His mood is meditative, yet his poetry is generally more concerned withemotions than intellectual issues. Thus for Wang, nature is a source of both pleasure andenlightenment.Prompted by the experience of sitting face to face with Thong mountain, Wang conveyshis impressions of this encounter in the nextjueju:“Written on the Spot at Thong Mountain”The mountain stream, without a sound, - , f1flows around the bamboo.West of the bamboo, flowers and grass playwith the gentle spring.Under thatched eaves, face to face, sittingfrom morning till night—Not a single bird chirping, the mountain is —still more tranquil.24This jueju incorporates many of his favourite landscape images, such as mountains andstreams, as well as flowers and birds. He uses juxtaposition to create compound images,which engage the reader intellectually. The brevity of the jueju form lends itself to this style.Although Wang does not state directly that he is facing the mountain, the reader infers this ideafrom the description of the scenery in the first couplet. He is a master of the jingi qinginterplay of scenery and emotion. Thus, the silence of the mountain stream in the first line setsthe tone for the whole jueju. In this case, silence is more effective at creating a mental and24 Yang, p. 166.90physical environment than noise. An unspoken dialogue exists between Wang and themountain, but it is apparent that the relationship is one of mutual respect and harmoniousinteraction. They meet as equals, and so while there is no indication of humanity except thethatched eaves, Wang is not really alone.Again in this jueju Wang uses personification for effect. In the second line, spring isascribed the human qualities of softness and tenderness. The poem is further injected with lifeby the contrast between the dynamic force of the flowing water and the static image ofWangsitting in contemplation. The result is a broadening of the poem’s meaning: Wang is not onlyfacing the mountain, but all of nature—the stream, the bamboo (a traditional symbol ofintegrity), and the flowers. Finally, in the fourth line, the silence of the birds brings thenoiselessness of the stream introduced in line 1 full circle, provoking an ever-deepening, moreprofound silence.RiversThe antithesis of the permanence of mountains is the mutability of water. Wang wrotemany poems in which rivers and streams feature prominently. The next four jueju representthis category of his nature poetry:“By A Stream on Mt. Tiantong”The stream water is pure and rippling, thetrees are old and grey.Walking through the woods by the stream, 4-i- 4I tread upon the spring sunlight.The stream is deep, the woods are dense in k ,this uninhabited spot,There is only the fragrance of hidden flowers zK -crossing the water.2525 Thou, p. 3.91Although this is an early jueju (dated 1047 AD.), its serene quality is similar to the maturestyle ofWang’s poetry written in retirement. The stream is mentioned no less than three timesin the first three lines, indicating that it has philosophical significance for him. Water is oftenassociated with Taoism, and here the stream symbolizes purity. It is also a conventionalsymbol for the passage of time connected with the journey of life. The juiiju is sophisticatedand graceful, yet Wang makes what took great effort to create seem informal and spontaneous.His phrasing is precise and his images are rich with nuance. As Wang does in many of hispoems, he juxtaposes the sense of sight in the first three lines with the sense of smell in the lastline. By doing so, he successfully produces the illusion of leaving mundane matters behindand becoming caught up in a magical, separate world that exists deep in the woods.The jueju “Mooring A Boat At Guazhou (4J-),” often found in Chineseanthologies of Wang’s works, is one of his most popular:Jingkou and Guazhou—a river between them,Thongshan separated only by a few layeredmountains.The spring wind again greens the southern bankof the Yangzi River,When will the bright moon illuminate my return?26According to Pease, this poem’s rhymes are based on those of a jueju by Li Bai entitled“Leaving Early From Bocli Town (-- i26 Ibid., p. 141.27 Jonathan Otis Pease, “From the Well-Sweep to the Shallow Skiff: Life and Poetry ofWang Anshi (102 1-1086),” Ph.D. diss., (University of Washington, 1986), PP. 517-8.92Leaving Bodi in the morning amongst thecolourful clouds,The thousand ii to Jiangling we went backin a single day.On both shores the sound of gibbons’ criesdo not cease—The light boat has already passed a myriadof layered mountains.28Comparing these two poems, it is evident from the absence of chattering monkeys in Wang’sjueju that he has a preference for refinement, while Li Bai leans toward romanticism. Fromclues in Wang’s poem, it is safe to assume that it was written on his journey back to the capitalafter his first retirement. Once again the poem’s events are taking place during Wang’sfavourite season—spring. In the last line he indicates his wish to return to Zhong mountain assoon as possible. The moon, a symbol used by virtually all Chinese poets, representsseparation, melancholy and loneliness. The serenity and calmness with which Wang acceptsbeing recalled to the capital is admirable, and on occasions such as this when he expresses hispersonal feelings, they deeply move the reader.Line 3 provides yet another example of Wang’s careful selection of words to conveythe right image. As in all artistic undertakings, whether visual, literary or musical, it is oftenthe exceptions to rules which make a work of art remarkably beautiful. Here, for example,Wang uses the adjective “green” (lu *) as a verb, reflecting the attention and creativity heapplied to refining the language in his poetry through the manipulation of individual words.Pease states that, “It took almost a dozen revisions before he arrived at the word ‘green’.”29Thus, within the demands of the structural tightness of the jueju, Wang has taken a word andgiven it new meaning.28 Translation mine. See Pease, p. 517 for the Chinese.29 Pease, pp. 52 1-2. In the process of deciding on the word “green,” Wang also tried the words “comes” ],“crosses” i, “enters”A, and “fills” , to name just a few.93Wang’s skill at writing poetry improved with experience. Thus, the poetry written inthe later period of his life is generally regarded as superior to his earlier efforts. This is thebasis for the parallel Pease draws between Du Fu and Wang Anshi when he states that forboth, “constant honing of technique let the insights of old age find their best expression.”30Such is the case in the next jueju by Wang:“The Nan Pu River”On the Nan Pu following the flowers,My boat loses its way returning home,Their subtle fragrance can be found nowhere,The sun sets on the west side of the painted - Ibridge.3’Wang possesses the ability to evoke emotion through sensory images. In this jueju the light ofthe sunset highlights the decoration on the side of the bridge, and the phrase anxiang -- ofline 3 (which also appears later in the poem “Plum Blossoms”), carries the scent of a light butpersistent fragrance. However, Wang was never overcome by emotion because he wasrestrained by the rationalism of the day. Although he avoided the eremitic tradition of TaoYuanming, the state of being lost in this poem creates a fantasy-like quality which resonateswith aspects of Tao Yuanming’s poems mentioned earlier. Thus, there is the subtle indicationthat this jueju harks back to earlier models, but Wang accomplishes this effect without usingspecific allusions.The next jueju on the topic of rivers is filled with tension:30 Pease, p. 233.31 Thou, p. 194.94“On the Yangzi River”On the Yangzi River the gloomy autumn skyhas half-opened and cleared,Evening clouds filled with rain still hover low.Blue mountains rising around one upon another; * iii *-it is doubtful there are paths—Suddenly a thousand sails can be fleetingly J -1- *t .glimpsed.32Wang finds himself alone on a boat. Will his solitude be inteffupteci? Is a storm about to breakon this autumn evening? Suddenly not just one, but a thousand sails appear on the horizonwhich alleviate the tension. Wang produced this tension not only by controlling the content ofeach line, but also by exploiting the structure of the jueju. In line 4, the word “suddenly” grabsthe reader’s attention, performing its function according to the qi cheng zhuan he(i’!#*-) outline as a “punch line.” It also happens to be the most powerful line in thepoem. Wang masterfully creates palpable anticipation of the unknown by harnessing theunpredictability of nature. Even in the final line the sails appear only intermittently—firsthidden, then visible again. In fact, Wang’s hope is embodied in these sails. Never once in thisjueju does he directly state how he is feeling, and yet it is clear to the reader. Wang frequentlyuses imagery in this way to suggest emotions.The compelling force of the next poem, which shares the same title as the previousjueju, is the wind. It is the connecting element that holds all four lines together and preventsthe poem from becoming static. Wang’s poems usually contain this kind of dynamic motion,whether it is derived from the movement of the wind, clouds, or water:32 Ibid.,p.212.95“On the Yangzi River”The river water is rippled by the west wind, i JLAnd river flowers, late-blooming red, are stripped.The sentiment of separation reaches him throughthe flute,Blowing over the scattered mountains to the east.It is rare in Wang’s jueju to find melancholy, but in this case, leaving his friends has made himunusually sad. The only link which remains between him and the people he is separating fromis the mournful tune of the flute. The wind is rippling the water, blowing the petals off the redriver flowers, and carrying the faint sound of a flute playing a parting song over the mountains.It is even acting as the force which pushes Wang’s boat to a new destination. This west wind,as well as the disappearance of the red colour of the flowers, indicates that it is autumn. Wangexpertly captures this occasion, but also simultaneously manages to avoid superfluous detailswhich would detract from the poem’s timelessness. The jueju is highly polished, thus givingthe reader the impression that Wang never loses control of his emotions. His feelings areexpressed in a genuine, yet unromantic manner. However, Wang consistently balances thiscareful refinement of language with spontaneity of feeling, so that his poems do not have anartificial tone.It is useful to compare this jueju to a nature poem on the same theme from the Tangdynasty by Wang Wei. His influence on Wang Anshi is important because he contributed tothe endowment of “...the object-laden world of court poetry with a greater philosophical andemotional significance.”34Wang Wei’s poetry embodies lightness and graceful contemplation,as seen in the seven-syllable yuefu entitled “Wei City Song” (*i):Ibid,p. 198.Pauline Yu, The Reading of Imagery in the Chinese Poetic Tradition, (Princeton, Princeton UP, 1987), p.203.96In Wei city the morning rain moistens thelight dust,A guest house—green, green the colour offresh willows.Urging you to empty one more cup of wine, t *Foronce you go westoutthe Yang Gate,I A 35will be without my old friend.Although parting is a common theme in Chinese nature poetry, Wang Anshi treated itdifferently than Wang Wei. The key to the success of Wang Anshi’s jueju is that the typicalTang dynasty clichés of separation, such as wild geese and willow branches, are absent here.This reflects the fact that Song dynasty poets were generally more innovative than those of theTang in their use of expressive imagery. Song poets also tended to down-play their emotions,thus the sympathy of the reader is engaged by poetry which does not succumb tosentimentality, but is instead stoic in the face of sadness and loneliness. Wang Anshi does notexplicitly state how he is feeling, yet it is apparent through his description of nature, such asthe condition of river flowers stripped of their blossoms. Wang Wei, on the other hand, tellsthe reader exactly how he is feeling in the last line of his poem.FlowersIn the next section, I will analyze four poems which deal with Wang’s treatment offlower blossoms, two of which are examples of pentasyllabic jueju. According to HansFrankel, “It was during the Sung dynasty that poetry inspired by the plum reached the height ofits development.”36 Before I discuss these poems, however, there are a few basiccharacteristics of the plum blossom (*) in Chinese tradition of which the reader should beaware. First, they blossom in late winter; second, they have a reputation for being a hardyTranslation mine. The Chinese version can be found in Qiu Xieyou, ed., Xinyi Tangshi sanbai shou*t1)*EW t, (Taipei, Sanmin shuju yinxing, 1991), p. 393.36 Hans H. Frankel, “The Plum Tree in Chinese Poetry,” Asiatische Studien, 1/4 (1952), p. 106.97plant; third, they are rare in North China; fourth, they have a fragrance, but it is faint; and fifth,they are often used as a metaphor for the exiled scholar.37 It is also noteworthy thatassociations between plants and human personality traits became popular in the Song dynasty.It is evident in the following jueju, that by identifying with the plum blossom, Wang istaking on these qualities as his own:“Red Plums”38It is just now in mid-spring that the blossoms shoot forth—Chances are that they probably cannot endure the cold.Northern people at first do not understand, b A. *i . *Mistaking them for apricot blossoms.39In this poem, Wang is playing on the word mei fê (plum). As Frankel notes, “Chinese plumblossoms may be white, red, pink, yellow or pale green.”40 Although the hongmei shares theFor more details about the characteristics and motifs of the plum blossom see Frankel’s excellent article,“The Plum Tree in Chinese Poetry,” which traces its depiction in Chinese poetry from pre-Han times to theSong dynasty.38 have translated this poem’s title as “Red Plums,” but it is actually a different variety from the regularrneihua. Although they both use the same character mei ê, the hongmei L* blooms later thanthe meihua which blooms in late winter or early spring. Consequently, the hongmei is oftenmistaken for the apricot blossom. Su Shi has a series of poems with the same title “Red Plums”*--t (see p. 131 of Su Shi shi xuan *i!, ed. by Xu Xu f* [Hong Kong,Joint Publishing Co., Ltd., 1991]). Thou notes, p. 210, that Wang’s poem matches the rhymes of a poemon the same topic by Yan Shu --* (991-1055), another native of Lmchuan, Jiangxi province. He wasknown for transplanting the hongmei to the north. See the Zhonwen da cidian 4’ . k. -, Vol.25, p. 237, (1967) and the Zhongguo zhiwu tujian 4’ I I, ed. by Mai Zuzhang-* (Beijing, Zhonghua shuju chudian, 1958) for further details.Thou,p.210.40 Frankel, “The Plum Tree in Chinese Poetry,” p. 102.98moral character associated with the true plum, here it represents a different variety of flower.Its red colour, like that of the peach and apricot blossom, causes it to be confused with theseother plants, which is evident in the last line of Wang’s poem. The red plum blossomsymbolizes a stranger from another place, that is, Wang himself. He shares a comradeshipwith the red plum blossoms. Because the plum tree is rare in the north, thus northerners do notrecognize the hongmei. The implication is that they also cannot recognize a true scholar ofintegrity like Wang, which is supported by the fact that he held many posts while waiting forhis administrative talent to be appreciated.The seconcljueju on plum blossoms can also be interpreted as autobiographical:“Plum Blossoms”In a corner between two walls there are severalplum branches,Braving the cold, blossoming all by themselves.From a distance I know it is not snow,Because there is a light but persistent fragrancefloating about.41Simplicity is the key to Wang’s style. Indeed, he uses such simple language it verges oneveryday speech. However, he combines this clarity of expression with complexity ofmeaning. The reason the plum blossoms might be confused with snow refers back to the factthat they blossom in late winter and are typically white in colour. Wang uses this image tosuggest that a person can never be absolutely sure that what he! she sees is real. In otherwords, appearances can be deceiving. Thus, the turning point of this poem is line 3 in whichhe says, “From a distance I know it is not snow.” The sense of smell is the crucial factor inmaking this distinction between the blossoms and the snow. Although Wang does not have apersonal system of symbols, stylistic patterns emerge regarding his use of images and phrases.41 Thou, p. 209.99For example, in the last line Wang uses one of his favourite images, anxiang n4-, whichmeans “an aroma or fragrance which is not strong but very persistent.”42Another aspect ofWang’s handling of imagery is that, “In Chinese poetry, the effect ofimagery often depends on symbolic significance and emotional associations rather than visualappeal.”43 This is true when it comes to interpreting Wang’s jueju. As the symbolic plumblossom, Wang finds himself in a corner between two walls. These walls could represent theboundaries of the civilized world and nature, while the cold he braves could be hostility fromthe court. Although he seems trapped in a corner and appears as tiny as the plum blossom, heis not oppressed. Just like the blossoms that are able to bloom without assistance because oftheir hardiness, Wang too is extremely independent.The next jueju on the topic of plum blossoms was praised by Yang Wanli for itssuperior refinement and meticulous use of language:44“Three Poems Written on the Spot in Jinling” (No. 1)On the water’s edge, a brushwood door ishalf open—A small bridge branches into a deep green, 4* - A. *mossy road.Behind me reflect the shadows of countless * A-willows,Next door blows a fragrance entirely of k 4- 4*plum blossoms.4542 Liang Shiqiu, ed., A New Practical Chinese-English Dictionary 4k-, (HongKong, Far East Book Co., Ltd., 1972), #2270, P. 482.43 James J.Y. Liu, The Interlingual Critic: Intereting Chinese Poetry, (Bloomington, md., Indiana UP,1982), p. 47.‘4 Thou, p. 202.‘ Yang, p. 165. The Thou edition, p. 202, has the character “cang” rather than “qing” * in line 2.However, regardless of which of these two editions is preferred, the meaning of the line is basically thesame.100Dating from Wang’s later years, the poem’s scene is in Jinling (another name for modernNanjing). His poems have a potential for lingering meaning beyond their mere twenty-eightwords. These undertones provide for richer appreciation. However, Wang’s imagery is neveroverly abstract. For example, the brushwood door of line 1 implies that it belongs to the homeof a poor family. The willows and plum trees found together here are a popular combinationof trees in poetry. The fragrance of the plums featured prominently in the last line creates aquaint, ethereal atmosphere of serenity.Finally, the last poem to be analyzed about blossoms is “The Apricot Blossoms ofNorth Slope (--)“:On a slope the spring waters encircle the — 4 7J( tL 41’blossoms’ forms,The shadows of the blossoms, seductive and k - 4graceful, each foretelling spring.Even if they are blown by the spring wind 4 44:;into snow—That is much better than being ground to duston the South Path.46This jueju is outstanding because of its philosophical depth. It is undated, but judging by itstone it is probably from the period when Wang lived in Jiangning. The first couplet beginspeacefully with Wang emphasizing the seductive qualities of spring, like that of a woman—another motif of the plum tree. However, as he indicates in line 4, the fate of the snow-likeblossoms being scattered in the wind is better than that of settling on the path to be trodden intoa white powder under the feet of man. The very last character of the jueju (chen ) literallymeans “dust,” which refers to the transient human world. In Taoism it is associated with thespan of a lifetime, while in Buddhism it symbolizes impermanence. This closure provides aforceful punch line which contrasts with the calm beginning.46 Ibid., pp. 155-6.101Du Fu’s influence on Wang’s use of flowers is apparent in this jueju. Wells notes that,“In the flowers he [Du Fu] sees the intensity of pleasure and, conversely, the brevity andprecariousness of all life’s joys.”47 Likewise, in Wang’s opinion it is inevitable that a scene ofbeauty would end this way. The falling petals of the blossoms are symbolic of the loss ofyouth and beauty. Wang often showed the transformation of nature in his poems, and becausenature is not static, he did not depict it as so. He lived in the real world and accepted life in allits changing forms. Consequently, the fate of the blossoms was not a source of sadness.SeasonsDu Fu was also highly aware of seasons. According to Henry Wells, “In many eyesthe prime feature of the natural world is its propensity for change... “48 This process ofchange is often reflected in Wang’s poems. While autumn was Du Fu’s favourite season,spring features most predominantly in Wang’s nature jueju.In the jueju “On Night Duty” (&) which describes an evening scene when studentstook turns on night shift at the academy, Wang responds to the natural scenery, in a way thatshows his awareness of this particular time of year:Metal incense burner, the fragrance burned off, 4 . 6- tonly the sound of dripping water remains—The biting wind brings an intermittent chill. *The spring scenery vexes me, unable to sleep—The moon shifts, the shadows of flowers climb upthe wooden balustrade.49Wells, p. 26.48 Thjd., p. 15.Thou, p. 105.102Wang develops a picture through the contrast between the scenery and the feelings it evokes inhim according to the jingi qing pattern mentioned in Chapter One, which explained how a poetsets the scene and then responds to it emotionally. In this case, the surroundings of the springseason make Wang restless. The expression chunse * (translated here as spring scenery)also has erotic associations because springtime signals a burgeoning of life. In line 1 the soundof dripping water is a reference to an instrument used for calculating time. Thus, in a subtleway, he is suggesting the fleeting passage of time. In addition, the wind prevents him fromsleeping. The vexatious quality of this biting wind is emphasized by two examples ofreduplication in line 2. Fortunately, however, the last line brings the poem full circle byrestoring peace and calm. Here, Wang employs one of his favourite images, huaying“the shadows of flowers,” previously seen in “The Apricot Blossoms of North Slope.”However, the most prominent feature of this jueju is the contrast between Wang’s innerfeelings of turmoil and the outer scene of silence. In other poems the opposite is sometimestrue, so that Wang is at peace internally while things are chaotic externally.The assorted themes and occasions to which Wang applied the jueju form is evidence ofboth the form’s flexibility and Wang’s resourcefulness. Throughout this thesis the reader haswitnessed Wang pursuing various activities such as napping, boating, mountain climbing, andstrolling in nature. Although Wang experimented with a wide range of topics in his jueju, thefollowing poem is yet another example of his preoccupation with the spring season:“The Snow is Gone”The snow has disappeared, the clouds are gone... .t - 4I can see the distant hill top.On the southern footpath between the fields, I 1L 1 4can again seek fragrance and beauty.Exchanging thousands of frowns for a smile— 4 -f —The spring wind blows the willows—a myriad - *gold pieces.5050 Yang, p. 149.103In this jueju Wang has captured the freshness and newness of spring. He ultimately trades inthe knitted, furrowed brows of worry, grief and anxiety, for the promise of spring and thecheeriness of a smile. The effect of spiritual rejuvenation is intensified by the physical signs ofthe return of spring—the melting snow, the dissipating clouds, and the blowing of the wind inthe willows. Walking amongst the fields with Wang, the reader can share his sense ofyouthfulness and delight.The final jueju of Wang’s which I will analyze in this section is “The Sloping Path(*4).” It returns to the basic underlying current of his nature poetry examined earlier—theamiable union of nature and civilization:The sloping path crosses Southern Dam Roadunobstructed,Several houses face the distant peak ofNorthMountain.Grass tips, butterflies, late-blooming yellow *flowers;Water caltrops, dragonflies, burgeoning bluish-green creepers.51A spirit of youthfulness, lushness, and tranquility prevails in this poem. The first coupletfeatures man-made structures such as the dam and the houses, which fit into the naturalsurroundings without any conflict. In the second couplet, the structure of lines 3 and 4 isbased on parallelism between the grass tips and water caltrops; butterflies and dragonflies; andlate-blooming yellow flowers (a reference to chrysanthemums which bloom in the fall), andburgeoning bluish-green creepers. Although Wang’s style is rather sparse compared to theornate descriptions of the Tang, his poetry is no less beautiful. He was a great admirer andpromoter of Tang dynasty poet Dii Fu, and so it is likely, as Pease notes, that the last coupletmay in fact be adapted from one of Du Fu’s works:51 Ibid., p. 167.104Crossing through flowers...butterffiesdeep, deep revealed,Touching the water. ..dragonfliespurposefully loft.52These dense images from Du F&s poem are also found in the series of juxtaposed images inWang’s poem. Using his power of observation, Wang often creates compound imagery byputting objects next to each other without linking them directly.In addition, this poem demonstrates Wang’s adroit manipulation of perspective. Hestarts off with a distant view of nature, gradually moving from inanimate to animate objectsuntil he is close-up to the flora and fauna. In fact, this is one of the few poems in which Wangactually incorporates insects into his characterization of nature.Although Song poets made detailed observations of nature, Wang was not inclined toexamine small things such as insects. He did not relate to insects or animals on an intimatelevel, nor did he transfer human emotions to them. Consequently, his poems provide fewglimpses of interaction between man and animal, or even animal and animal. Instead, aspreviously mentioned, Wang relates to mountains, streams and flowers. However, byexploring a greater variety of themes and being interested in everyday life, Northern Songpoets like Wang enriched the stereotyped nature poetry of the Tang. This statement issupported by Burton Watson’s observation:Whereas the T’ang poets had for the most part been content to view thelandscape from a distance, or to evoke it through the naming of a few symbolicplants or creature, those of the Sung seem much more disposed to examine thecomponents of the natural scene and render an accurate, detailed report of whatthey find.53This tendency was probably inspired by the philosophy of the time. The combination of neoConfucian humanism with Buddhism and Taoism led to the new way Song poets related to52 See Pease, P. 557. From Du Fu’s poem “Crooked River”(1 L).Watson, p. 201.105nature. Wang had an eye for realism, but not necessarily minute details. He attentivelyobserved the physical world, but did not dissect it in a scientific way. Later in the Songdynasty the exercise of describing objects would be taken further by poets such as Lu You(1125-l2l0), Fan Chengda *(1l26-1l93) and Yang Wanli ê(1127-1206).IfWang is compared to a Southern Song poet like Yang Wanli this fact becomes clear.One of Yang’s poems, “The Cold Fly” (*i), is solely concerned with an insect:By chance I see a fly warming itself onthe windowsill,Rubbing his legs, enjoying the morninglight.He seems to know when the sun’s light Elwill shift,A sudden buzz... and he’s at another &window.54Yang’s beautifully constructed jueju makes no pretense of dealing with profound ideas. It issimply charming and has a surprise twist in its closure. Wang never took descriptions this farin his poetry. Instead, he preferred to have lingering meaning. In fact, in Silcong Tu’sopinion, “...the best poetry, which arises out of the poet’s intuitive identification with thecosmos, does not aim for precise mimetic description of external phenomena but ratheremploys those objects to suggest something ineffable and intangible.”55 However, this is alsothe reason why Wang’s poems, while conveying emotion, can sometimes appear detached.Wang often chooses to down-play emotions or leave them completely unstated.After explicating a representative survey of Wang’s nature jueju, several patternsemerge concerning his depiction of nature and his technique. He writes predominantly, but notTranslation mine. For the Chinese see Zhou Ruchang, ed., Yang Wanli xuanji ‘(Hong Kong, Zhonghua shuju, 1972), P. 93.Yu, Imagery, p. 208.106exclusively landscape poems. In his poetry the grasses are always fragrant, the wind is alwaysone of springtime, and mountains provide a backdrop to most events. Unlike others such asYang Wanli, Wang was not interested in insects, except in passing. His fluid style generated asense of grandeur which was achieved by combining simple language with complex ideas andfeelings. In the poems analyzed in this chapter, I have demonstrated that Wang couldsimultaneously strive for perfection of word selection, and yet create an impression ofspontaneity. This style reflected his personality, which was a mixture of modesty, confidence,and forthrightness.Most impressive, however, is the way Wang’s poetry displays his great sensitivity toboth nature and language. His choice of words and selection of images, used to indirectlyexpress his feelings, are presented in a refined manner. Using simple language to sketch wordpictures for the reader, his poems avoid unnecessary decoration. Each of them is a perfect littleworld in itself. The immediacy of his poems is derived from his talent for capturing anexperience in a way that makes it appear as fresh for the modem reader as it was for him whenhe actually experienced it, more than nine hundred years ago.Thus, in the detailed examination of jueju in this chapter, the reader has seen thecharacteristics ofWang’s style as they reveal themselves in his nature poetry. In Chapter Four,I shall assess his place as a poet in Chinese tradition, and analyze the significance and impact ofhis jueju.107IvWang Anshi’s Place in the Poetic TraditionThe objective of this thesis was to identify and analyze the essential characteristics ofthe jueju form with regard to Wang Anshi’s seven-syllable jueju on nature themes. In theprevious three chapters, I outlined the technical skill and subtleties of his style. In the finalchapter, I examine and summarize his accomplishments in these areas, as well as establishWang’s contributions to the jueju form and his place in the Chinese poetic tradition.As I mentioned earlier, Wang did not belong to any particular school of poetry. Thismakes it difficult to label him as a particular kind of poet because his views on the function ofpoetry were broad and complex. Although he did not write a systematic treatise of poetry, aparallel can be drawn between Wang’s approach and the four views of literary criticism asoutlined by James J.Y. Liu. In his work, The Art of Chinese Poetry, Liu defines fourtraditional views of Chinese poetry: Didactic (poetry as moral instruction and social comment),Individualist (poetry as self-expression), Technical (poetry as literary exercise) andIntuitionalist (poetry as contemplation).’ These categories are useful for discussing Wang’spoetry, but they are not necessarily distinct and are not meant to be used to distinguish Wang aseither a “didactic” or “technical” poet. Indeed, elements of all four of these views can be foundin Wang’s jueju.First, concerning the didactic view, Liu notes that:Somewhat paradoxically, didactic critics, who advocate imitation, at the sametime condemn artificiality and over-elaboration in poetry. Simplicity is theirideal. This is partly due to the fact that early poetry, especially poetry before theend of the Han dynasty, tends to have a simple style, and partly due to theideals of moderation and correctness... 21 James J.Y. Liu, The Art of Chinese Poetry, (London, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1962), pp. 63-87.2 Ibid.,p.68.108This attitude is embodied by Song poets such as Wang, who advocated the ideal of simplicity,which corresponded to the pingdan style. As Jan W. Walls notes, “In Wang’s view, literatureshould be functional, and the function of literature was first to work for the improvement ofsociety.”3 Although Wang was an ethically-minded social and economic reformer, hiscompassion for the suffering of the lower classes is not prominent in this thesis, because it isnot a significant component of his nature jueju.Secondly, in accordance with the individualist view, poetry was considered to be “anexpression of the heart.”4 Poets with this outlook relied on “...spontaneous feelings ratherthan technique of learning or imitation.”5 In the case of Wang’s jueju, they are not only anexpression of his emotional response to nature, but are also examples of well-honed techniqueand borrowing from models of the past. Thus, while his emotions were spontaneous, theprocess of writing down those emotions in a poem was not. The most importantconsideration, however, is that Wang successfully managed to make them seem as if they wereeasily composed. He appreciated the value of inspiration and this was the reason why hecondemned the imitators of the Xikun style.Thirdly, Wang’s style demonstrates the technical view of poetry because he shared DuFu’s belief in experimenting with language in order to get the most from it. In this sense,Wang viewed poetry as a literary exercise useful in achieving different effects of language andimagery. As noted in Chapter One, he was influenced by Tang predecessors such as Du Fuwho was known for his fondness of parallelism and new use of language as seen in the poem“Four Quatrains.”William H. Nienhauser, Jr., ed., The Indiana Companion to Traditional Chinese Literature, (Bloomington,Indiana UP, 1986), p. 854.Liii, The Art of Chinese Poetry, p. 71.Ibid., p. 74.109The fourth view of poetry represented by the intuitionalist school is summed up as,“...an embodiment of the poet’s contemplation of the world and of his own mind.”6 Wang’spoetry is profound because of its philosophical richness. His nature jueju frequently containelements of Buddhism and Taoism which reflect his observations of the cycle of nature. In thisrespect his jueju on nature themes are his most memorable poems because he derived energyfrom nature itself for his inspiration, rather than from his duty to Confucian morals or politicalissues.Wang combined all of these perspectives to create beautiful scenes, which resemble thevisual imagery of Chinese painting. He exemplified the strikingly modem view of nature atthat time, which understood and accepted the cycle of transformation.Accomplishments in his JuejuThe skill with which Wang employs the jueju form was discussed in Chapter Three.The patterns which emerged demonstrate Wang’s place in the poetry of the Northern Song as aconvincing, creative, adept craftsman ofjueju. From his naturejueju the reader can also derivean understanding of Northern Song poetry in general because Wang’s poetry embodies itspopular trends toward the plain and precise use of language, rationalism and philosophicalinsight, as well as an emphasis on the power of observation and realistic descriptions ofmundane topics. The following jueju is an example of all these elements as they are manifestedin his polished, restrained style:6 Ibid.,p.81.110“Raven-Black Pond”7Raven-black Pond—vast indistinct green—level with the embankment.8On the embankment people walk, each carrying 1i& ii Athings along with them.“Let me ask, where is the spring wind finest?” 4“West ofMulberry Ridge the magnolia treesare like snow.”9This poem describes the spring scene at a pond where Wang played in his youth. The dynamicquality of his jueju is evident in the contrast between the two couplets according to the structureof the jueju outlined in Chapter One. The last couplet uses a question and answer format tobring it to life. In the penultimate line, a shift takes place when Wang inquires of the people onthe dike where the spring wind is finest. The language here is straightforward and thetransitions are logical.In this jueju, as in the others, Wang specifically structured his poems within the limitsof the jueju form by following the rules for regulated verse, and yet he still brought vitality toit. However, Wang did not allow his concern for following the rules to overshadow hisbrilliant use of words, nor did he need to use ornate language to make his jueju rich. Thematurity of his later, fruitful years demonstrate his partiality toward simple, plain language.‘ See Yang, p. 149, or Thou, p. 62. Raven-black Pond is located east of Linchuan in Jinxi countyi where Wang grew up.8 This line could also read, “Raven-black Pond—vast and clear—level with the embankment,” because theThou version (p. 62) uses the character i instead of 11 as it appears in the Yang edition (p. 149).The xinyi, or Magnolia kobus, is a deciduous flowering tree. According to Zhou, p. 62, it has largeblossoms with six white petals and is sometimes called the mubi 2fc-, because the flower is shapedlike the tip of a pen. This type of tree grows in the area of Thegaug, which is located 20 ii west of Ravenblack Pond.111The use of allusion is frequently suggested by scholars as the main trait of Wang’spoetry, and yet this poetic device is not prominent in his nature jueju. Although he employedallusion judiciously in a few of the poems analyzed in this thesis, such as “Wu Jiang Pavilion”and “Peeping at the Garden,” and he reworked lines from other poets like Wang Wei in thepoem “North Mountain,” Wang Anshi distanced himself from allusion in his jueju on naturethemes. He used it sparingly because he believed that otherwise it was a liability whichinhibited lyricism. However, allusion does help achieve economy in jueju, and so Wangapplied his vast knowledge to suggest imagery from previous poems without directly referringto them. Thus, when he did use allusion, he avoided the pitfall of artificiality.ContributionsAn assessment of Wang’s contribution to the jueju form can be made with theassistance of the judgements of both his contemporaries and his successors. However, thecrucial question that needs to be answered with regard to Wang’s style in his jueju on naturethemes is whether or not he was innovative. In order to do this, it is first necessary to make adistinction between the terms originality and creativity. According to James J.Y. Liu, “Theformer means doing something that has never been done before or doing it in a way that hasnever been done before, whereas the latter means producing something that did not existbefore.”10 Using this definition to assess Wang’s contribution, it must be concluded that,strictly speaking, he did not use language in a way that had never been done before. However,this does not diminish the excellence of his jueju. Wang’s voice was uniquely his own becauseit embodied sincerity.The reader can glean some understanding of the importance of Wang’s contributionsfrom the introductions of various editions of his poems issued after his death. For example,10 James J.Y. Liii, The Interlingual Critic: Interpreting Chinese Poetry, (Bloomington, Ind., Indiana UP,1982), P. 69.112from the introduction of a 1561 edition of Wang’s works written by Wang Zongmucomes the following quote: “His [Wang’s] style is direct, penetrating, and pure.He really forms a school by himself.”11 The first part of this statement is accurate, but in thesecond sentence the scholar over-idealizes Wang’s contribution by attributing a whole school tohim. Wang did not represent a school unto himself. The desire to categorize poets intoschools is perhaps a reflection of the fact that after Wang, “The increasing proliferation of‘schools’. ..changed forever the way the Chinese poet viewed his own work in relation to thework of the past.”2Regarding the contributions Wang made tojueju on nature themes, the following pointsare most important:(1) Wang supported and promoted the principles of pingdan which had beenestablished by Mei Yaochen. He applied Mei’s beliefs to his nature jueju in order to arrive athis own individual style. Thus, Henry R. Williamson is incorrect when he credits Wang withtransforming the Xikun style, “from its high colouring and sickly conceits to a bold, concise,and direct style of composition.”3Wang wrote jueju relatively late in the development of thisgenre, so he played a role in exploring and expanding upon what Du Fu, Mei Yaochen andOuyang Xiu had already introduced.(2) Wang embodied the underlying attitude of the pingdan style—moderation. WangAnshi’s style combines freshness with refinement, as well as depth and resonance with spiritand style. He mixes simplicity and directness with literary skill and sophistication. The beautyof naturalness was considered greater than that of ornateness. For example, although he usedwords carefully, Wang did not take this technique to the ambiguous excess of Huang Tingjian11 Henry R. Williamson, Wang An-shih. Chinese Statesman and Educationalist of the Sung Dynasty,(London, A. Probstham, 1935-37), Vol. 2, P. 282.12 Nienhauser, p. 71.13 Williamson, Vol. 2, p. 291.113(1045-1105), who preferred complex allusions. Yoshikawa Kôjirô notes thatHuang’s “introverted personality is reflected in the extreme attention which he gave to theselection of words, an attention which at times led him into obscurity.”14 For example,“Huang admire[d] poets like Tu Fu not for their thoughts and feelings but for their skilfulmanipulation of tones and pauses and their subtle use of particles and verbs.”15 In contrast,Wang pursued a more balanced approach. There is no aspect of his style which is shocking orextreme. He drew upon the whole poetic tradition in his pursuit of a middle path ofmoderationand rationalism.(3) Wang’s nature jueju were admired and emulated by later poets. For example, theSouthern Song poet Yang Wanli looked to him as a model, particularly emphasizing thecolloquial use of language. Yang also helped carry on the tradition of landscape poetry, whilethe bucolic type of nature poetry was continued by Fan Chengda. Wang Anshi’s belief in thebenevolence of nature became even more popular in their poetry. Huang Tingjian also admiredWang’s work, but was not his student. His assessment of Wang is found in a Song dynastywork quoted by Williamson: “The shorter poems [i.e.,jueju] written by Wang An Shih in laterlife are unequalled for their purity, elegance, and perspicacity. He rose far and away abovecurrent styles of writing.”16 This is supported by the statement in another Song dynasty workwhich asserts:14 Yoshikawa, p. 124.15 Liu, The Art of Chinese Poetry, p. 79. Thus, Huang was later known for the techniques of “Changing theBone” (huan ku l’) and “Evolving from the Embryo” (to t’ai According to Liu, p. 78:“The former means imitating the idea while using different words; the latter means imitating the wordswhile using a somewhat different idea.”16 Williamson, Vol. 2, p. 293.114Great improvement is noticeable in Wang An Shih’s poetry, as he grows older.At first his style was direct and obvious, but later much progress is observablein art and depth. His writing became so concise and the language so apt that itcould not be improved upon.’7Perhaps Huang’s admiration for Wang’s ju/u is the reason why the two poets are sometimesmistakenly identified as belonging to the same school despite the vast differences in theirstyles. For example, Williamson incorrectly includes Wang in a school along with Su Shi andHuang.’8 However, this is not the case at all. Huang’s style was very different, as noted byJ.D. Schmidt who states, “Wang Anshi’s poetry has little in common with Huang Tingjian.”9In fact, Wang was much less concerned about literary theory than Huang, who is recognized asthe true founder of the Jiangxi School of Poetry.(4) Wang maintained the popular attitude in the Song dynasty of optimism andtranscendence of sorrow. An appreciation of life prevails in his poetry. He deliberately avoidsmelancholy, self-pity, and affectation. Wang saw nature as a non-threatening force, andtherefore it provided an excellent conduit for expressing his own feelings. Man was an integralpart of nature, and Song poets enjoyed personifying it in their poetry. Wang’s overall positiveperception of the world around him is displayed in his sensitive use of colour, words, andimagery.(5) Wang contributed to the study of poetry, especially Tang poetry. The mostimportant extant work written by him is the Anthology of the Tang Poets ILW*.20In it he collects and presents the work of Tang poets in a way that provides the reader with agood idea of the character of Tang poetry. He also wrote many other works on the study andinterpretation of Chinese literature, such as commentaries on the Analects (*-), Mengzi17 Ibid. Williamson is quoting from the Shi Lin shi hua 4 Mc*18 Ibid.,p.291.19 J.D. Schmidt, Stone Lake: The Poetry of Fan Chengda. 1126-1193, (Cambridge UP, 1992), p. 178,footnote #27.20 For a complete list of his works, see Williamson, Vol. 2, pp. 264-5.115(-), and Laozi (-i) as well as others, but these are all lost. His broadscholarship earned him a reputation as “...master of every form of composition, [having] everyart and device of fine writing at his command.”21 Thus, while he did not write a systematicwork on his literary theory, he obviously continued the tradition of studying past models inorder to improve his own poetry.ConclusionThe critical examination in this thesis ofWang’s literary style, as it manifests itself inhis seven-syllable nature jueju, provides only an initial understanding of Wang’s work. Hissuccess in writing jueju, despite the high degree of difficulty in making a statement or creatingbeautiful images within the strict confines of the form, is commendable. Although this thesis isnot a diachronic study of the changes in his jueju throughout his lifetime, Chapter One andTwo do touch upon the historical evolution of the jueju with regard to how Wang fits into thetradition ofjueju and nature poetry, and the poets who influenced his literary development. InChapter Three, however, the analysis of each jueju from a mainly descriptive rather thanhistorical viewpoint is synchronic. In fact, since most of his nature jueju coincide with the laterperiod of his life, this study is fundamentally synchronic because it deals with a single type ofpoetry within a particular time frame.Due to the difficulty of separating Wang’s roles as statesman and poet, the reversal ofhis reforms meant that his poetry would be neglected by his detractors, despite the fact that itsbeauty has never been disputed. While his jiwju were not forgotten, they were destined to beeclipsed by political events. The later incompleteness of Wang’s works resulted from thisneglect. Consequently, although Wang is one of the most notable poets of the Northern Song,his poetry never quite attained the popularity as that of Su Shi.21 Ibid., p. 289.116Another explanation for the later oversight of his poetry is perhaps the fact that there isno mention in historical sources of Wang’s disciples. Considering that special relationshipsoften existed between poets and their followers, it seems unusual that Wang did not havestudents to promote his work after his death. This makes it difficult to establish links betweenWang and later poets or to assess his influence on posterity, because the interval during whichhe was in political disfavour negatively impacted on the preservation and promotion of hispoetry.Wang’s seven-syllable jueju, however, are worthy of additional study, becausealthough they are readily comprehensible, their deeper layers of significance have the potentialto reward the intelligent reader. For example, even though a great deal has been written on hisNew Laws—most of which is now outdated—his political thought has not been definitivelyoutlined in an unbiased manner. In addition, concerning previous studies specifically about hispoetry, the most in-depth monograph in the English language is Jonathan Pease’s 1986 Ph.D.thesis on Wang Anshi’s poetry. However, its goal is not to provide a detailed analysis ofWang’s style, but “to show what were the events, pressures and thoughts that eventuallyproduced his remarkable outpouring of late verse.”22Fortunately, James T.C. Liu’s book from 1968, Reform in Sung China: Wang An-shih(1021-1086) and his New Policies, provides useful background information about Wang’slife, while An Introduction to Sung Poetry from 1967 by the Japanese scholar YoshikawaKôjirô is an excellent source for gaining a general understanding of Song poetry. A few goodChinese anthologies of Wang’s work exist, such as Zhou Xifu’s )1 1983 work WangAnshi shi xuan -*it, but at present there is no English anthology of Wang’spoetry.23 Due to this scarcity of sources in Western languages, it is necessary to rely on22 Pse, Vol. 1, p. xvii.23 The Canadian scholar, Professor Jan Walls, is currently working on a book about Wang Anshi’s poetrywhich is due to be published by the end of 1994. It will include 130 translations of a variety of Wang’s117general books about Song poetry and Wang’s contemporaries in order to attempt to understandhis approach to poetry. It is hoped that this thesis will help fill the gap of knowledge inEnglish language sources about Wang’s nature jueju. Although his poetry is the least-studiedaspect of his career, plentiful material exists which still needs to be analyzed and translated. Infact, most of thejueju in this thesis are translated for the first time here in English.In addition, the analysis of Wang’s jueju in this thesis revealed Buddhist elements inhis works which were only briefly touched upon, as in the poem “Awareness of TruthTemple.” The role of Buddhism in the intellectual life of the Song is complex as it relates toWang’s poetry. He was interested in Buddhism, but in his poems he preferred to hint at itrather than go into the details of the doctrine. Thus, his jueju achieve an effect of religiousserenity without being overtly religious. Wang’s nature jueju allude to infinity—reaching outto something in the distance—but its not clear that it is Buddhism specifically. Unless Wangquotes from the Buddhist scripture, it is not prudent to draw too many close parallels. In thetradition of landscape poetry, Wang Anshi like Wang Wei subtly disguises Buddhism in mostof his jueju. An investigation of the philosophical! religious aspects of his jueju wouldcontribute to a more detailed understanding of his relationship to nature, which is especiallyimportant considering the fact that Buddhism played an increasingly significant role later in hislife. A good starting point for studying the philosophical and intellectual richness of the Songdynasty is Peter Bol’s 1992 work, This Culture of Ours: Intellectual Transitions in Tang andSung China.Yet another area which may warrant further research is the similarities betweenJapanese haiku poetry and the jueju form. A haiku is “a lyric form that represents the poet’simpression of a natural object or scene, viewed at a particular season or month, in exactlypoems (the choice of which was determined according to the readability of the poems in the Englishlanguage), as well as a critical introduction with a discussion ofWang’s “modes of awareness.”118seventeen syllables.”24 Like the jueju, it uses concrete images to convey the essence ofvarious subjects in free verse employing common speech. In both genres, poets describeeveryday topics in a witty way.25The most distinctive qualities of Wang’s style are naturalness, purity, directness,simplicity and eloquent sophistication—the qualities which also make him a fine writer ofessays, memorials and records. Able to evoke a mood in just a few lines, Wang createsvignettes which sometimes seem austere and reserved, because his emotions are restrained byrationalism. However, they are examples of lyric, suggestive phraseology, keen sensoryperception, subtle juxtaposition of images, and contrast between motion and stillness. Hisunderstanding of nature and the transience of life in his poetry testify to the central importanceof optimism in the Song dynasty.Wang’s poetry bears the unique stamp of his individuality, yet remains within thebounds of tradition. According to Yoshikawa, “Wang An-shih’s poetry, like his personalityand his politics, is marked by fastidiousness and sensitivity, its lyricism deriving from the latterquality.”26 These aspects of his character are evident in the way he responds to nature in hisjueju. He consistently shows appropriateness and flexibility in his style. Above all, Wangexcelled in the use of language. Although Wang’s poem titles often start with the words,“Written on the Spot at... ,“ which indicate his spontaneous response to nature, the skill heuses to express his impressions is complex and purposeful. Indeed, Wang was one of “the last24 M.H. Abrams, A Glossary of Literary Terms, Fifth Edition, (Toronto, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc.,1985), p. 83, entry “Imagism.”25 See Alex Preminger and T.V.F. Brogan, The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics,(Princeton, Princeton UP, 1993), p. 493. An excellent general reference work dealing with haiku isKenneth Yasuda’s The Japanese Haiku: Its Essential Nature. History, and Possibilities in English. withSelected Examples, (Vermont, Charles E. Tuttle Co., 1957.)26 Yoshikawa, p. 96.119poets ever to command a mastery of the entirety of the Chinese poetic tradition.”27 Thus, hisstyle was the result of a combination of vast learning and great skill. Wang’s poems from thistime show the benefits of experience and mature technique, yet in spirit they are as youthful asthe springtime which he adored.27 Nienhauser, p. 71.120BibliographyAbrams, M.H. A Glossary of Literary Terms. Fifth Edition. 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Song wujia shichao Shanghai, 1981.126AppendixA List of the Poems Analyzed in this ThesisPoet Poem Title Page(alphabetical order) (in order of occurrence)DuFuFour Quatrains (No. 3)___,,,,,___,,,,,____43Ten Songs of Kuei in the Chueh-chü Form (No. 1)Walking Alone by the Riverbank Seeking FlowersCrooked River (couplet) 104Emperor Jianwenof LiangA Chueh-chu on Seeing the Water Catcherson a Temple Spire atFour Poems on Spring Parting, Matching theShih-chung Hsiao Tzu-hsien (No. 3)Li BaiDialogue in the Mountains____ ______Leaving Early From Bodi Town______ __Li ShangyinChang E ,_,__ 65Mei YaochenSeeing offWang Jiefu [Wang An-shihj——on hisDeparture to Become Prefect ofPiling_______6Olives (excerpt).When Hsieh Shi-hou and I Stayed Overnight in theLibrary ofMr. Hsü, We Heard the Sound ofRats and Were GreatlyOuyang XiuLeavingCh’uSn ShiReply to Wang Anshi’s Rhyme (inTraveling Alone to the Auspicious Temple on the DayofWinter Solstice 55Two Poems for Monk Huichong: Evening Scenes onaRiveratSpring __,__56Presented as a Gift to Liu127Tao YuanmingBack to the Gardens and Fields (No. 1)______________Miscellany (No. 1) _6OWang AnshiThe Western Pavilion of Yin County,Old Pine 8Bidding Farewell to My Daughter inWritten on the Spot Behind the Examination HallonaFineSpringDay,,Miscellaneous Odes (No.2)Mengzi.Traveling to ZhongWalking in the Suburbs,,,,_________________Wu Jiang Pavilion,,_,,,,____________ ___32North Mountain____ ________ _51The Nan Pu (first couplet)_ ,,__,__ _61(secondcouplet),,_,,,_68Written on the Spot About Early Summer______ 69AfternoonGoing to the Outskirts of Town_,,,,_______Peeping at theFollowing My Desire..._,.__Casual Lines on Being Called Upon in Shuzhouto Go For Examinations, But Refusing_76EnteringthePass____ ____In the Mountains (5 syllab1e)__,_____,_,_83Two Poems Written on Master Huyin’s Wall___83Traveling to Qi An Temple in the First Monthof the GengshenYear_,_,,,,,,,,___84The Tops of the Trees_ _ ___85Climbing the Peak of Feilai Mountain,,,_,,_____Awareness of Truth Temp1e__,,,Written on the Spot at Thong MountainBy A Stream on Mt. Tiantong,Mooring a Boat at Guazhou,____ _91The Nan Pu River (5 syllable)On the Yangzi River (7On the Yangzi River (5 syllable)Red Plums___ ___ _97Plum Blossoms 98Three Poems Written on the Spot in Jinling (No. 1)The Apricot Blossoms ofNorth Slope_,,,,,,,,_,,,,_1OOOn Night DutyThe Snow is Gone__ _102The Sloping Path ,,_,, _103128Raven-Black Pond________________110Wang ChanglingBoudoir Lament___ ______ _______41Wang WeiDeer Enclosure__39Wei City Song,,,______________96Xie LingyunGoing Out From the Western Archery Hall at Twilight_75Yang WanliThe ColdFly_ ___105Yang YiUntitled 64

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