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Archaism in Han Yü's poetry Yang, Alex 2007

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A R C H A I S M IN H A N Y U ' S P O E T R Y by A L E X Y A N G B. A . , The University of British Columbia, 2004 A THESIS S U B M I T T E D IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T OF T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E OF M A S T E R OF A R T S in T H E F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E S T U D I E S (Asian Studies) T H E U N I V E R S I T Y OF BRIT ISH C O L U M B I A March 2007 © Alex Yang, 2007 11 Abstract Han Y i i has long been considered an ardent supporter of the revival of the ancient ways or the fugu movement during the mid Tang. This image of Han is largely based on his prose writings, which generally resemble the simple and unembellished style of the ancients. Nevertheless, while a dedication to fugu may be observed in Han's prose, it is not at all evident in his poetry, which follows a highly unique style of its own and contains some of the most bizarre examples of classical Chinese verse. The purpose of this thesis is to demonstrate how Han Y i i ' s poetic style contradicts the principles of fugu. In my first chapter, I w i l l define the meaning of fugu and explain how it is both a literary movement for recreating the achaic writing style and an intellectual movement for revitalizing Confucian values. I w i l l also make a quick comparison between Han Yi i ' s eccentric poems and his genuine fugu poems. The former account for most of his famous works, and the latter only a small fraction of his works. The disparity in number should prove that Han consciously chose to develop a bizarre style in favour of an orthodox fugu one. In the following chapters I wi l l analyze several prominent characteristics of Han Ill Yti's poetry. Some of these characteristics, such as the use of rare characters and prosaism, may seem archaic at first, but after a systematic analysis, it w i l l become evident that they do not truly resemble the style of the ancients and are more likely to be perceived as being bizarre and unconventional by Tang times. Other prominent features, such as the peculiar imagery, humour, Daoist references, and un-Confucian themes, are more directly contradictory to the orthodox image offugu, and thus reveal Han's desire to distinguish himself from both his contemporaries and those before him. It is therefore reasonable to argue that Han Yti 's verse is almost the opposite of fugu, for it constantly breaks with tradition and does not show any true interest in returning to an earlier style. Table of Contents Abstract i i Table of Contents iv Chapter One: Introduction 1 Chapter Two: Use of Rare Characters and Expressions 24 Chapter Three: Peculiar Imagery 47 Chapter Four: Humour 67 Chapter Five: Use of Empty Words and Unconventional Caesura 90 Chapter Six: Un-Confucian Qualities 131 Conclusion 155 Bibliography 161 Yang 1 Chapter One: Introduction Han Y u (768 ~ 824 A . D.), the famous Confucian prose writer and poet, has long been acknowledged for revitalizing Confucianism and reviving the ancient or guwen l!5J>C style of prose writing in the mid Tang. Because of these accomplishments, later generations glorified Han Y u as a sage-like figure who had an absolute commitment to Confucianism and its concept offugu fjtcij, the revival of ancient ways. In reality, Han Yi i 's involvement in the fugu movement is a complex issue, and under objective scrutiny, his commitment to the movement does seem less than total from time to time. This is especially true for Han Yi i 's poetry, which includes a variety of works that fluctuate in their stylistic features. In general, Han Yu tends to reinvent archaic elements and use them in combination with other daringly innovative features that seem nearly contradictory to the idea of returning to antiquity. The result of this amalgamation is a strange new form of poetry that is unprecedented in the earlier tradition and much more complex than a style that is purely an imitation of the past, and as Han Yi i 's poems vary among themselves, only a handful of his works thoroughly resemble those of ancient times. In other words, although Han Y i i is closely associated with the fugu movement, Yang 2 and archaic expressions are indeed used in his verse, it is incorrect to call him only a fugu poet. Such a statement is too simple to describe the rich variety of his poetry, and it also fails to point out how archaism actually functions in his poems. Archaism, indubitably, is often part of the bizarre and original style that makes most of Han's poems anything but direct imitations of earlier works. Nevertheless, before any further discussion, we should first clarify the meaning of fugu. Han Yi i 's fugu in prose style was basically a more successful development of an earlier movement in the mid Tang period lead by people such as L i Hua ^ I j l 1 (715-766), Xiao Yingshi MM±2 (717-768), Dugu Ji M S 3 (725-777) , L iu Mian f P S i 1 (?~805), and Liang Su '^M5 (753~793). As Han's predecessors these people aimed at attacking the empty euphuism of pianwen WrSt or parallel prose and advocated a return to a simpler style modeled on the prose pieces of Zhou and Han. They strove for the revival of Confucian values and emphasized the traditional idea that literary compositions were supposed to serve a moral purpose. The ancients' more direct and 1 Jiutangshu, juan 190, liezhuan 140. Zhu Jianmin 7^$||JS: ed., Bainaben ershisishi jiutangshu Hflft^js: — + E 3 ^ S l f 1 1 : , Taipei: Commercial Press, 1988, p. 1454 2 Jiutangshu, juan 190, liezhuan 140. Zhu Jianmin, Bainaben ershisishi jiutangshu, p. 1454 3 Xintangshu, juan 162, liezhuan 87. Zhu Jianmin ^ i H i S ; ed., Bainaben ershisishi xintangshu UPrft^ — - f - Q S t f f l f l i , Taipei: Commercial Press, 1988, p. 1277 4 Jiutangshu, juan 149, liezhuan 99. Zhu Jianmin, Bainaben ershisishi jiutangshu, p. 1154~1155 5 Xintangshu, juan 202, liezhuan 127. Zhu Jianmin, Bainaben ershisishi xintangshu, p. 1494 Yang 3 less garnished style of writing was therefore a more suitable vehicle for transmitting moral messages, expressing personal ideals, and restoring the Confucian tradition that seemed to be declining at the time. mmc^m m^mmm mwmmwmmmm smm® mmm n mmm. ^rm msm. m^m^mm6 If the ideals are wrong, the words will not be given form. If the words are wrong, the writings will not be made manifest. Therefore the three of them ought to be used together, just as a person crossing a river must rely on a boat and an oar and then may cross. Since the Book of Documents became defective and the Book of Songs was gradually [ignored], morality of the world has declined and [people's] writings have also weakened. (Dugu Ji, "Preface to Volume Two of the Collected Works of Mr. L i 7 in Zhao Commandery") m K ^ - P am mm^mmmm* As for composing a piece of writing, at the first level it is the way in which one glorifies morality and rectifies the discipline of one's life; at the second level it is the way in which one determines9 and forms codes and rites and strengthens the righteousness in people's ethics; and further at a third level it is the way in which one exemplifies the righteous kind [of people] and stands in the centre of all under heaven. (Liang Su, "Preface to Volume One of the Collected Works of Mr. L i , as a Supplement to the Missing") ^i^imn-m^fm mmm amm mmm mm mm^mm^mr0 Since the time of Qii [Yuan] and Song [Yu]," those who write all base [their works] on 6 Quantangwen, juan 388. Feng Bingwen i|§iS3t, Quantangwenpianmufenleisuoyin ^M~$iMS5rM 5^31, Beijing: Zhonghua shuju c j ^ H M j , 2001, p. 89 7 This is Li Hua. 8 Quantangwen, juan 518. Feng Bingwen, Quantangwen pianmufenlei suoyin, p. 958 9 In this case the character cail l7f is interchangeable with the character ca/2 i)c, which means to determine. 10 Quantangwen, juan 527. Feng Bingwen, Quantangwen pianmu fenlei suoyin, p. 958 " Qii Yuan j g j ^ is the alleged author for most of the works in the anthology Songs of Chu J t iP . Song Yang 4 melancholy and gorgeousness. They busy themselves on being exaggerated and eccentric and have gone astray from the metaphors and inspirations [of the Book of Songs]. This is losing the ancient essence. (Liu Mian, "A Letter to Supervising Secretary Xu That Discusses Literature") As we can see, these people were concerned with the correlation between the writing style and moral integrity of a prose piece. A piece of writing that did not follow the style of ancient classics could affect people's morality negatively and hinder the author's ability to convey his ideals. Although starting from the Southern Dynasties similar criticism against the growing literary extravagance had never ended, it was limited to sporadic individual comments and people such as Li Hua were the first to organize a wide scale movement. As their successor, Han Yti's stance on prose reform closely paralleled that of Dugu Ji, Liang Su, and Liu Mian. He too ardently protested against the elaborate decoration ofpianwen and promoted a more ancient and down-to-earth kind of prose writing better suited for the moral purposes of literature. Overall, Han Yii's ideas on literature did not differ much from his predecessors, and the only major distinction was that while those before him promoted their ideals with more discretion, Han was brasher and more active and assumed the role of a teacher in the line of Mencius.12 Yu 7^3E is supposed to be Qii Yuan's student and a few poems in the anthology are also attributed to him. The Songs of Chu are famous for their elaborate descriptive imagery and lyrical expressions of intense frustration and sorrow. Yang 3 However, although this movement shaped a critical part of I lan Yti 's beliefs and character, it mostly focused on the writing style of prose. For fugu in poetry, we need to take a look at another movement in the early Tang period, initiated by poets such as Chen Zi'ang Ul (-b\i (661-702). During the Sui and the later half of the Southern Dynasties, the dominant poetic form had been the palace style or gongti shi H ' f j i i t . Stylistically speaking this form contained many features that led to the formation of regulated poetry or lushi Wm- However, in terms of genre and subject matters, the palace poems were very different in their lack of seriousness and almost exclusive emphasis on delicate descriptions. Most of the palace poems were about the beauty of gardens, flowers, ladies, and other delightful courtly matters, and rarely did they contain serious messages of any sort. This was a drastic change from the earlier poetic tradition, since like prose, poetry was viewed as a vehicle for expressing the true ideals and feelings of the author. In addition, as a tradition inherited from the Book of Songs, poetry had also been employed to address sociopolitical issues. Both the lyrical and political aspects of poetry were supposed to function in a serious and sincere manner, and never was it appropriate to treat poetry as a literary game of elegant words. As a result, despite its popularity, palace poetry attracted criticism for its meaningless refinement. 1 2 Edwin G. Pulleyblank, Essays on Tang and pre-Tang China, Burlington: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2001, p.97 Yang 6 The situation was similar to how pianwen was criticized by the fugu prose writers, and Chen Zi'ang was one of the pioneer critics in this matter. For example, Chen wrote a poem called "Poem on Long Bamboo" j&YJJmf. t n e preface of which reads: . ftmwmn ftmm mwif* x&mw mMsw mmm>mm mwrnm -mw.. The way of literature has been corrupted for five hundred years! The character and backbone of Han and Wei were not passed down to Jin and Song, and there are things that can prove this in the surviving texts. I once read the poems of the Qi and Liang [Dynasties] when 1 was idle; they collected beautiful [words], competed in being elaborate, and the inspirations and expressions [inherited from the Book of Songs] are all cut off. 1 heaved a long sigh every time [I read them]. I think of how the people of antiquity were constantly afraid that [literature would] insinuate itself into depravity and that the "Airs of States" and "Odes" would no longer be composed. I feel deeply concerned because of this. Yesterday in Mr. Xie ' s 1 5 place 1 saw you sir's '"Poem on Chanting about the Lone Paulownia.'" Its backbone and essence are upright and soar [like birds]; its sound and sentiment have [the proper tonal] delays; it is brilliant, splendid, clear, and refined and has the [splendid] sound of gold and fine stone."' 1 then used it to wash my mind, clean my eyesight, and express my deep and depressed [thoughts]. I never imagined that the sound of Zhengshi17 can be once again witnessed here. [This poem] 13 Quantangshi, juan 83. Luan Guiming fHjpt;B£l et al., Quantangshi suoyin Chen Zi'ang Zhang Yue juan ^BM^M^^Wtti^, Qinhuangdao: Xiandai chubanshe MiXtHM't 1994, p.71 1 4 Wang Lan j£iiL Chen Zi'ang shiwen xuanyi PJi^lpf#>tsill?, Chengdu: Bashu shushe B S l f t L 1994, p. 65 1 5 The original text says "Xie Number Three," meaning this person ranked the third in his immediate clan. Not much is known about this person beyond his surname. 1 6 The sound of gold and fine stone hitting each other is a term often used to describe beautiful music. Because of poetry's close association with music, the term is also commonly used to praise the musical quality of a poem. Moreover, the term also refers to the incorruptibility of metal and stones and can therefore be used to describe the positive moral qualities of a poem. 1 7 Name of a reign period under the state of Wei during the Three Kingdoms period, lasted from 240 to 249 CE. The term can also refer to the poetic style during this period, which'is a kind of penta-syllabic poetry more developed than the previous Jian'an period but not as refined as the later Jin or Southern Dynasties. Famous poets during this period include Ruan Ji Picif (210-263) and Ji Kan ftEJjf (223-263). Yang 7 can make the poets of Jian'an1 8 look at [it] and smile. Chen began the tendency of moving away from the palace style poetry and none of the later poetic masters of the high Tang were known for writing palace style poems. The form had since been branded decadent and fallen out of fashion and any serious poet would try to avoid being associated with it. However, this rejection of the palace style was largely limited to theme and subject matter. Stylistics-wise, features developed by the palace style, such as compact language, tonal regulation, and parallel interior couplets, are not thought to be signs of decadence and are passed on to the regulated verse of the High Tang. Although Chen Zi 'ang tried to compose some poems in the simpler and more direct style of Han and Wei, he was unable to stop the trend towards regulated poetry. Therefore, during Han Yi i 's lifetime, there was a second wave offugu, which aimed to replace the refinement and balance of regulated verse with a conscious primitivism in the choice of poetic devices in order to create a form of poetry that was stylistically closer to the ancient. Although Han Y i i achieved such stylistic fugu in prose, it is questionable if he managed to do the same in poetry. Just how fugu is Han's poetry? Do his poems 1 8 Last reign period under the Eastern Han Dynasty, lasting from 196 to 220 CE. Like Zhengshi, the term often refers to the poetic style during this period, which marks the transition point between the more colloquial penta-syllabic poems and the more literary ones. Famous poets during this period include Cao Cao H f ^ l (155-220), his sons, and other prominent figures in the Wei court. Yang 8 possess the "character and backbone" of the Han and Wei? Or do they resemble the "Airs of States" and "Odes" in the Book of Songs! The answer is that while a few of his poems meticulously follow the style of the ancient poems, the majority and the most well-known poems of his are in an strange and extravagantly new style. To illustrate this drastic variation in style, I have chosen two poems by Han Y u , one being a thoroughly archaic piece and the other a flamboyantly innovative piece. "Zither Song of Mount Qi, with Preface" It was composed by the Duke of Zhou for King Tai. My home is in Bin , 2 0 Since [the time of] my ancestors. I have inherited the legacy; How do I dare to differ from it? ^ikzx m±mt. Now the people of D i , 2 1 Are about to [extend their] root22 into my land. m\mm People are fighting for me; Who [dares to] cause death and injure [among them]? 19 Quantangshi, juan 336. Chen Kang Wffi et al., Quantangshi suoyin Han Yu juan ||a#^?<3 Beijing: Zhonghua shuju c j ^ t r J I j , 1992, p. 224 2 0 Name of an ancient state during the Zhou Dynasty. Located to the east of today's Bin County in Shanxi Province 2 1 Name of a foreign tribe during the early half of the Zhou Dynasty, mainly active in the north. 2 2 The character ±_ should be read du4 in this case, which means root. Yang 9 In that land of Qi there are obstacles; I go and stay there alone. Don't you chase after me; Don't you think of my sorrow. This poem is one of a ten-poem series called "Zither Songs" #$ | , which consists of close imitations of the Book of Songs. Like the rest of the series, "Mount Qi" is composed in the archaic tetrasyllable meter, and the shifts in rhyme in such a short space also resemble a more primitive rhyming pattern.24 The language of poem is also simple and repetitive, carrying a feel of natural ruggedness that is characteristic of some of the poems in the "Airs of States" S J H section of the Book of Songs. The preface explaining the purpose of this poem also resembles the "Lesser Prefaces" of the Book of Songs (^t^khj^) . 2 5 Furthermore, certain grammatical patterns in the lines also echo what Pulleyblank calls pre-classical Chinese and would seem highly archaic to Tang readers.26 2 3 Qian Zhonglian H H ^ f e Han Changli shi xinian jishi H l f i t f ^ l S , Shanghai: Guji chuban she #8tBlififfit 1984, p. 1161 2 4 For example, the first two couplets rhyme with the characters fi- and |W], which are under the category upper level tone number one jfl in Guangyun J f t l i . In the third and fourth couplets the rhyming category changes to lower level tone number ten with the characters i l and f|§. There does not seem to be a rhyme in the fifth couplet and the rhyme changes again to upper level tone number six in the sixth couplet, which is a rhyming couplet with the characters f£ and x§. 2 5 The short prefaces under the title of each poem in the anthology. These prefaces are written by the traditional commentators and tend to attach socio-political meanings to the poems. 2 6 For example, the reversed position between the verb and object in the negative sentence i f H ^ l l is a Yang 10 Thus stylistically, this poem is a skillful replica of distant antiquity, and in terms of its purpose of composition this poem is also highly consistent with the values of fugu. Judging from the preface, this poem seems to be about the two sagely figures Duke Zhou and King Tai, but critics have pointed out that the poem may also indirectly refer to the contemporary situation and the foreign people of Di is possibly a metaphor for the foreign religion Buddhism. Duke Zhou, the speaker of the poem, would thus be Han Yu himself, and the speaker's lonely departure at the end would refer to Han's exile to Chaozhou MM after his "Memorial for the Buddha Bone" MB#it in 819. 2 7 Han Y u is famous for his hostility to both Daoism and Buddhism; he considered Buddhism an inauspicious and pernicious influence on the state due to its alien origin. It is therefore not surprising for him to compare this imported religion with the barbarians that devastated the Zhou Dynasty. With this possible allegorical message in mind, "Mount Q i " resembles the Book of Songs even more, since many poems in the "Ai rs of States" section of the anthology have been traditionally interpreted as sociopolitical allegories. A fugu poet such as Chen Zi 'ang would have appreciated such expression of social concerns and personal frustrations, and this poem would have been seen not only as a feature typical of a more archaic form of classical Chinese. Edwin G. Pulleyblank, Outline of Classical Chinese Grammar, Vancouver: UBC Press, 1995, p. 103-106 2 7 Xintangshu, juan 176, liezhuan 101. Zhu Jianmin, Bainaben ershisishi xintangshu, p. 1356 Yang 11 stylistic imitation of the past but a proper successor to the ancient spirit as well. However, not too many of Han's poems are like this. A large number of his poems differ drastically from this simple and rugged style of archaism, and it was often these not so typically fugu poems that became the most well-known of his works. A typical example is the following: "Mountain Fire of Luhun, in Response to Huangfu Shi 2 9 and Using His Rhymes" (Line one to line twenty-seven) Huangfu was filling in for an office in ancient Luhun; 3 0 It was winter at the time and the lakes were dry to their sources. The mountains were wild and the valleys were fierce as they swallowed and spat each other out; Whoosh, the wind was blowing at full force without stopping. mmta^mm mm^mmw, [The wind] shook and ground to produce fire in order to burn by itself; There were sounds during the night and [the animals] were startled without knowing why. mmmmtm mm±mmmm Heaven jumped and earth leapt and the universe was upside down; Bright light from the fire shone upward all the way to the edge of the cliffs. mmrnmrnmi 7mn,mmmH Distinctly at the height and in the surrounding, the fire was burning in all four directions;31 Quantangshi, juan 339. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han YiX juan, p. 622 2 9 Huangfu Shi M S $ t (777~835) was a student of Han Yi i and wrote poems and prose pieces in a style similar to Han's. Xintangshu, juan 176, liezhuan 101. Zhu Jianmin, Bainaben ershisishi xintangshu, p. 1358 3 0 The character i U is supposed to be read lu in the fourth tone. It is an ancient variant of the place name appearing in the Gongyangzhuan under the "Third Year of Duke Xuan" J C f i - H ^ . ( M i ^ J c J t JJjfjSo "Chuzi attacked the Rong in Luhun.") Xue Ke !}]£ , Xinyi gongyangzhuan § f P 4 > ¥ # , Taipei: Sanmin shuju H S S l , 1998, p. 369 Yang 12 31 The gods were scorched; the ghosts were cooked, and there was no place to run. =.%sm^tm mmmmm The three lights [of the sun, moon, and stars] are ruined and destroyed and cannot recover their brightness again; The tigers, bears, deer,32 pigs, including the monkeys and apes, The dragons in the water, the alligators, the turtles, the fish, and the giant tortoises, The crows, the owls, the hawks, the eagles, the pheasants, the swans, and the wild chickens, Were all singed, broiled, roasted, and cooked in ashes and who could still fly or run? The fire god Zhurong asked for leave and poured wine for guests both lowly and noble; Red jewellery and red jades were mixed and lined up to build a garden. zmsmmmm =f-mnmmm Hibiscus blooms in disorder and was stuffed with freshness and abundance; A thousand bells and ten thousand drums were noisy as they stuffed one's ears. mmmmwm mmmmmm The whispers and shouts were gathered and mixed together as they boiled the bamboo pipes and clay flutes; [There were] vermillion flags and crimson banners and purple gonfalons. IK The officials of fire and their subordinates of heat [wore] red caps and pants; They painted their flesh and skin in blackish red which ran all the way to their thighs and buttocks. tmmmwm mmmmmm They sucked in their chests, stuck out their stomachs, and lifted the shafts of their chariots; [They had] brown faces, stockings on their thighs, and paired leopard skin cases for bows and arrows. With a chariot made out of rosy cloud and straps made out of rainbow, [They pulled out] the suns from the wheels of their chariot, Lit: "four walls." 3 2 To be exact, mil fg is a subspecies of deer known as Pere David's deer. It is similar to an elk and is now extinct in the wild in China. 3 3 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinianjishi, p. 684-685 Yang 13 Which had rosy tassels, cardinal canopies, and scarlet pennons. Even at first glance, "Mountain Fire" differs significantly from "Mount Q i " in its overwhelming complexity and length. The entire poem is twice as long as the quoted section just translated. The untranslated part contains further elaborate descriptions of the fire god's banquet. The language in this poem is also very complex and peculiar, with many rare characters that are hard to understand or pronounce. The overall format of the poem seems like a normal hepta-syllabic ancient poem but there are many irregular lines. As a result, the boundary between couplets becomes blurry, creating difficulties for readers. Furthermore, the descriptions in this poem are extravagant and chaotic. The lengthy and dazzling descriptions resemble the fu K or prose-poems of early Western Han, but these earlier works rarely contained so many grotesque details. Various animals being roasted and singed by the fire, vicious deities who paint their thighs and buttocks in blackish red, fire gods who suck in their chests and stick out their stomachs, these are highly chaotic and disturbing images unprecedented in earlier verse. The style of this poem is very different from the natural ruggedness of the "Zither Songs" series, and instead it presents a crafted ugliness that is put together to shock or even repulse most readers. In other words, this strange new style is by no mean an imitation of any earlier works, and very little trace offugu can be sensed in such daring innovation. Yang 14 Furthermore, although the poem is an allegory that takes the fire god as a metaphor for the evil officials in the imperial court, its allegorical element and sociopolitical relevance are severely undermined by the flamboyant descriptions of the fire. The intensity, power, and eccentricity of the imagery wil l certainly impress readers most strongly, and whatever allegorical message the poem may carry is secondary. It is thus hard for this poem to be seen as being in accordance with the spirit of fugu, as the supporters of fugu all stress that moral content and expression of sincere feelings should be emphasized over stylistic details. Out of the three hundred and sixty surviving poems by Han Y u , about ninety-one of them are long ancient poems that consist of more than twenty lines. These poems are either penta-syllabic or hepta-syllabic and resemble the more eccentric style of "Mountain Fire." As for the tetra-syllabic poems like "Mount Q i , " there are only about sixteen of them. Perhaps this is because direct imitation of the Book of Songs is a rather extreme form of fugu and focusing too much on this type of poetry does run a risk of seeming uncreative and formulaic. This is understandable if Han Y u did not wish to dedicate himself entirely to imitation, but why do so many of his works differ so much from both the contemporary and ancient conventions? The simplest answer is that Han Yang 15 Yi i was not strongly committed to fugu in his poetry. Unlike his prose, most of Han's verse is not modeled on any particular period in the past. Like "Mountain Fire," most of his poems seem eager to impress readers with their audacious originality and are less interested in reviving the style and spirit of antiquity. However, in Han Yti 's own view, he does not seem to find any contradiction between his eccentric poetic style and fugu ideals. In fact, in a letter Han wrote to L iu Zhengfu ^H'JIE^i l r , 3 4 he points out that his admiration for the strange and unique is an inspiration drawn from reading the ancient texts: Nobody would pay attention to the myriad matters which are seen day and night. It is only until people witness something different, that they will look at it together and talk about it. How does writing differ from this? Nobody during the Han Dynasty was incapable of writing, but only Sima Xiangru (179-117 BCE.), the Sima Qian (145-87 BCE.) , 3 6 Liu Xiang (77-6 BCE.), and Yang Xiong (53-18 BCE.) were the best. However, those who made deep efforts had their fame spread far.37 If they all sank and floated with the rest of the world, without setting up their own [style], then they would definitely not be taken differently at that time, and they would certainly not be transmitted to later generations either. Quantangwen, juan 553. Feng Bingwen, Quantangwen pianmufenlei suoyin, p. 1025 3 5 Chen Jingyun ISsjljftil, Han Changli quanji f t H l j I ^ i l , Beijing: Zhongguo shudian ^ S H i i ; . 1991, p. 264 3 6 As seen in the original text, Sima Qian is often referred to as the Grand Duke of History ^ C ^ f i - , a title that commemorates his compilation of Shiji jifeiE, the Record of History. 3 7 Lit: "collected from afar." Yang 16 Although this comment is more on the writing of prose, it also gives us good insight into how Han Yu views his own poetic style. According to this logic, the strangeness of his verse can be explained as a mutated form of fugu as well. In Han's mind, what he did in his poetry was to follow in the footsteps of ancient masters in their attempts at creating an impressive piece of work. Accordingly, striving for the strange and unique is not a contradiction of fugu, but part of the truth behind fugu. Nevertheless, it is a view few fugu activists would agree with, and over the centuries, the daring innovation of his poetry has attracted some of the most severe criticisms of Han Y i i : In Han Yii's poetry there is no way to explain the source. People of the Song [Dynasty] called him a great master; this was just an insincere repetition of what influential people had said. (Wang Shizhen (1526-1590), Fragmented Notes on Art and Literature) Sima Xiangru, Sima Qian, Liu Xiang, and Yang Xiong were all famous literary figures of the early Han. Al l four of them were associated with the writing of prose and not poetry. Among them Sima Xiangru and Yang Xiong were particularly well-known for their prose-poems or fu, which is categorized as a prose genre. 3 9 Yan Yiping f t — c o m p . and ed., Houshanjushi shihua f^lJjjgjdrJKfiS. Baibu congshu jicheng Hfpl'S i i l l r l l l ^ C 33, Taipei: Yiwen yinshuguan W^CfflitM, 1965, p. 4 4 0 Luo Zhongding Sff i f t l . Yiyuan zhiyan jiaozhu I I ^ J E l s S r / i . Jinan: Qilu shushe |^ | | i J i r_t , 1992, p. 187 ,40 Yang 17 m mmm mmmmf Those with great talents do not show off42 in their speech and appearance. They move about43 casually at will, or their arrogance can be seen immediately. This is the reason why Li Bai (701~762) was marvelous in his [poetic] mastery. Han Yu could not help having the shortcoming of being highly exaggerated. (Lu Shiyong (fl. 1633-1643), "General Introduction to the Mirror of Poetry") What these critics mean by "unexplainable sources" is that Han Yu tends to create phrases and expressions on his own instead of borrowing them from earlier poets. This happens especially when he writes on peculiar subject matter or constructs an exaggerated scene. Take "Mountain Fire" for example, since Chinese poetic tradition lacks a large inventory of words for grotesque or violent scenes, Han has to invent new expressions by combining rare ancient characters in order to create his desired atmosphere. The need for creating new terms makes Han focus less on literary allusions, which can be taken as a fatal flaw in a tradition that stresses lineage and heritage. Clearly the critics who dislike Han Yu do not see anything fugu in his verse, while those who appreciate him also tend to praise him for his boldness and originality and give him less credit for reviving antiquity in his poetry. 4 1 Wang Yunwu 3 E B E ed., Gushijing ^ g t i l , Siku quanshu zhenben liuji VBM^W&^/^M 1106 -1113, Taipei: Commercial Press, 1976, p. 57 4 2 Lit: "to move." 4 3 Lit: "to point with their fingers and look back." Yang mmzm IMALMW S J S - S mm U H L U ^ M ) 4 4 The poetry of Han Yu [is like] a mountain standing up and thunder exploding. It creates a style of its own. (Cai Tao (1080?~1163?), Miscellaneous Talks of Mount Tiewei) If one wishes to be heroic when composing poetry, he should take a look at Han Y i i and L i Bai. ~ Han Yi i knew how to change [the format of] poetry, and with a single swipe he washed away all the mundane nags of all ages. (He Xiwen (fl. 1196-1206), Poetry Talk of Bamboo Villa) None can compare with Han Yi i in the beauty of poetry; however, the change of the format of poetry also began with Han Y i i . (Wei Qingzhi (fl. 1234-1244), Jade Shards of Poets) In the eyes of the pro-Han Y i i critics, the ingenuity and power of his verses are the most appreciated qualities. Some agree that Han's style is one that stands out uniquely from those before him, but rarely does a critic relate his daring innovation to any kind of fugu or detect any trace of the fugu spirit in his poetry. However, due to Han Yi i 's well-established status as a pioneer in the fugu of prose, contemporary scholars tend to acknowledge him as a fugu poet and feel reluctant to discuss how his poetic style contradicts the principles of fugu. For example, in L i 4 4 Yan Yiping f|—jqs comp. and ed., Tieweishan congtan U H l l j ^ g ^ , Baibu congshu jicheng jlfp$it Hf t$C 33, Taipei: Yiwen yinshuguan g ^ e P i t i g , 1965, p. 42 4 5 Chang Zhen'guo S B I H , Zhuzhuang shihua t^'tf±f#l§, Beijing: Zhonghua shuju cp^NI^J . 1984, p.10 4 6 ShenQian f A l i ed, Shirenyuxie f f A S S , Taipei: Shijie shuju ffifMrMs, 2005, p. 320 Yang 19 Zhuofan's book Expounding the Poetic School of Han Yu and Meng Jiao f $ ^MMMffll, he writes: ' The fugu ideology in the poetry of Han Y u and Meng Jiao was a continuing development of the works of Chen Zi'ang, Li Ba i , 4 8 and Yuan Jie (719-772),49 which reached a climax in the fugu movement in poetry during Tang... [Han Yu'sj/wgw consists of two levels. One is the revival of the ancient ways, and the other is the promotion of ancient style prose and poetry and the rejection of parallel and overly ornate lines.50 In Li 's book, Han Yi i ' s poetry is regarded as being fugu simply because of his rejection of tonal regulation and parallelism, as well as his vaguely defined longing for the "ancient ways" or gudao "fi"xl. It seems that writing in the gushi or the ancient poem format is enough for one to be qualified as a fugu poet, and as L i begins discussing the unconventional and bizarre characteristics in Han's ancient poems, the issue of fugu is curiously left out and no explanation is given as to how such a strange style fits the principles offugu. In Charles Hartman's book Han Yu and the Tang Search for Unity, we find a Meng Jiao ]j§;jc|3 (751~814) was a close friend of Han Yu and a well known poet himself. He and Han are considered the two leading figures for the strange and eccentric poetic style of mid Tang. His biography can be found in the Old Book of Tang under Han Yu. Jiutangshu, juan 160, liezhuan 110. Zhu Jianmin, Bainaben ershisishi jiutangshu, p. 1206 4 8 Although L i Bai is mostly remembered today for the bold and unconstrained style of his poetry, he actually wrote many archaically styled poems as well, the most famous of which being the "Ancient Style" "rSIE series. 4 9 Yuan Jie 7fj|p (719-772) was another fugu poet well known for his highly archaic tetra-syllabic poems, which were close imitations of the Book of Songs. Xintangshu, juan 143, liezhuan 68. Zhu Jianmin, Bainaben ershisishi xintangshu, p. 1184 5 0 L i Zhuofan r^l^I^f, Han Meng shipai chanwei H ^ l f S l l S I , Taipei: Tiangong shuju ^ l H ^ l j , 2001, p. 130 Yang 20 comprehensive discussion of Han Yi i 's fugu theory and approach, but the book's focus is on Han's prose and many of the literary concepts and theories discussed by Hartman are only evident in Han's guwen or ancient style prose and not in his verse. For example, when explaining Han Yi i ' s view on fugu, Hartman writes: Han Yi i conceived of "Antiquity" (gu) as an almost spiritual state, yet a state that stood in dialectical complementarity to "modernity" (Jin); the two states, although distinct, are ultimately identical, and when each is perfected, "Antiquity is now."5' This is an insightful comment on how Han Yi i 's understood fugu; however, to support this statement Hartman quotes a prose piece by Han Yu called "Preface Seeing Off Qi Hao After His Failure at the Examination" i i ^ a l T H J ? - 5 2 The essay deals with Han Yi i 's ideas for concrete political reform, a topic that is not broached in his poetry. As Hartman further elaborates on Han's view on fugu, he continues to use Han's prose to support his comments and makes little reference to his poetry, and much of Hartman's discussion on fugu thus becomes irrelevant to Han Yi i 's verse. Hartman also fails to mention the drastic differences between Han Yti's prose and poetry, and instead, he attempts to demonstrate a "unity of style" between the two. Hartman's view is correct in the sense that Han tries to blur the genre distinction between prose and poetry by introducing prosaic features to his verse and poetic features to his essays, but in general 5 1 Charles Hartman, Han Yii and the Tang Search for Unity, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986, p. 217-218 52 Quantangwen, juan 555. Feng Bingwen, Quantangwenpianmufenlei suoyin, p. 138 Yang 21 his essays and poems still appear to be very different. While most of his prose pieces show a concern for the propagation of Confucian ideals and express an orthodox view of fugu, his verse includes some highly eccentric creations that defy Confucian poetic traditions. Among contemporary scholars, Stephen Owen is one of the few who has addressed the topic of fugu in Han Yi i 's poetry in detail. In his book The Poetry of Meng Chiao and Han Yu, he has pointed out that Han's commitment to fugu was something that allowed him to invent a daringly new style of his own: There were some poets, however, who did try to actualize the ethical and stylistic ideals offugu, and in their hands fugu became an instrument of literary change and, more significantly, of literary consciousness. The very idea of "return to antiquity" implies literary reform, a conscious rejection of the contemporary poetry, to re-create an antiquity that was at least partly imaginary. Legitimized by the general acceptance of fugu as a literary ideal, such poetry could dare to be original despite the considerable demands of conformity to conventional poetic taste.53 Owen recognizes that many features of Han's verse actually signify a pursuit of originality and a desire to break away from the contemporary mainstream rather than an r attempt to literally return to the style of the ancients. Nevertheless, Owen does not say that Han Y i i gave an insincere allegiance to fugu. He sees Han Y i i as being genuinely committed to the movement, and consequently, he interprets Han's pursuit of an Stephen Owen, The Poetry of Meng Chiao and Han Yii, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1975, p. 9 Yang 22 unconventional style as part of the broader frame of fugu, in which the word "antiquity" is abstractly used as a symbol for one's ethical and stylistic ideals, and thus, it does not have to appear in the form of actual archaic devices in the work. However, this definition offugu is quite nebulous, for it basically states that as long as the poet is using antiquity to represent his personal ideals, his works can be considered fugu. Under this definition, fugu would become irrelevant to the actual stylistic features, which would make the literary movement seem like a meaningless exercise. Moreover, Owen also seems to contradict himself by saying that the prosaisms and archaisms in Han's verse have achieved an elusive sense of "ancientness" sought by many fugu poets, 5 4 which implies that Han Yi i 's poems are also fugu due to some archaic qualities in their style. Owen's comment seems dubious, since many of the seemingly archaic devices in Han's verse actually cause more weirdness than ancientness. Finally, Owen also says that the ethical focus of Han Yi i ' s poetry conforms to the high moral standards that are supposed to accompany fugu,55 which is another questionable statement, since a number of Han's poems defy Confucian moral norms. In other words, although Owen's book contains some of the most comprehensive discussions about Han Yi i 's fugu in poetry, it still fails 5 4 Stephen Owen, The Poetry of Meng Chiao and Han Yii, p. 17 5 5 Stephen Owen, The Poetry of Meng Chiao and Han Yii, p. 17 Yang 23 to confront certain fundamental contradictions between Han's poetic style and the fugu movement. Yang 24 Chapter Two: Use of Rare Characters and Expressions Although various kinds of archaism appear in Han Yii's verse, most of the time it is not used to create truly archaic pieces. It is commoner for Han to use archaic devices to create other desired effects and reinvent them to become parts of his original style. One example for such reinvented archaism is the use of rare and ancient characters as seen in "Mountain Fire." Many, of Han's poems are famous for their staggering amount of descriptive details that consist of bizarre Chinese characters or strange phrases. Most of these characters were not commonly used by the Tang time; they belong to the language of the early Han prose-poems or fu H ; and are hardly ever used in poetic works of the Tang before Han Yi i . Depending on their sources they may be either unfamiliar or highly obscure to the Tang readers. Since these are dated characters, naturally they originate from ancient sources, but they do not necessarily generate a fugu effect. In fact, as Han employs these dated expressions in his poems, the effect is often stunningly bizarre and not reminiscent of orthodox antiquity at all. For example, the following is a section from the "Poem on South Mountain" | ^ L L | | # , 5 6 one of the most well-known 5 6 Quantangshi, juan 336. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 198 Yang 25 masterpieces by Han Y u : (line one hundred sixty-five to line one hundred eighty-eight) Some [of the mountain mists] are like the flame of a bright fire; Some are like the vapor of steaming grains. Some go on without stopping; Some go astray and are not brought back. Some are slanted and do not lean [on anything]; Some are loose and not drawn tight.57 Some [of the mountains] are barren like a bald [head]; Some are smoking like a pile of firewood. Some are like tortoise [shells] that break into patterns; Some are like hexagrams that split into divinations. mrtmm imwmm Some lie horizontally in the front like [the hexagram] bo. Some break in the back like [the hexagram] gou. Extending over the distance, they part from [each other] and attach to [each other] again. Resolutely, they turn against [each other] but encounter [each other] again. Stretching upward like fish's mouths, [the mountain peaks are like] fish that rush between the duckweeds;58 Being lofty and sparse, [the high peaks are like] the moon passing through the constellations.59 Being tall and big [the mountains] stand like walls; Being high and steep [the mountains] are assembled into storerooms and stables. 5 7 Lit: "to pull the string of a bow." 5 8 The duckweed is a metaphor for the trees below the peaks. 59 Xiu are constellations of the zodiac. Here the high peaks that stand out from the rest are compared to the moon, whereas the lower peaks are compared to the stars. Yang 26 Reaching up, [the peaks are] carved like swords and halberds; Shining brilliantly, [the mountains are] inset with crystals and beautiful stones. msmm $mwm Spreading widely, the flowers cover themselves with calyxes; Dropping down, houses destroy their eaves.60 Being relaxed, 1 am comfortable and peaceful; Being distressed, I am mad and untamed. "South Mountain" is one of the longest poems by Han Y i i . With a total of two-hundred and four lines, Han gives a highly intricate and inventive description of the scenery of Mount Zhongnan $£j^]LL[. 6 2 Like "Mountain Fire," difficult characters are used throughout this poem. In the quoted section above, there are already several characters and phrases that are hard to comprehend without annotations. For example, the binome fenliu t i l l , "the cooking of grains and the steam that rises up from them," 6 3 are extremely uncommon characters that can only be found in obscure sources such as the Erya HJfJt, a pre-Han glossary of cryptic terms, and the Shuowen jiezi ^yCM^F, the earliest Chinese dictionary compiled around the middle of the Eastern Han. Other 6 0 This is probably describing boulders that roll down the mountain slopes and smash into other rocks. 6 1 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 432-435 6 2 South of today's Xi'an City g ^ r f j in Shanxi Province 6 3 Originally found in the Erya, this phrase here seems to refer to the ripening of grains. ( ^ I h IstJJ "Fenliu is the ripening [of grains].") Its meaning of cooked grains and vapour appears later in the Shuowen. (Uf fff IStil |§f fOR^MOU "Fen is to cook grains. Liu is the steaming of vapour emitted from cooked grains.") Guo Pu #[5E| ed., Songben erya t ^ ^ M f t , Taipei: Yiwen yinshuguan I I ^ E P l r f l , 1988, p. 16 Wang Yun JEFJf, Shuowen judu i & X ^ l f t . Shanghai: Shanghai guji shudian J l ^ ^ f f l r l d S , 1983, p. 639 Yang 27 examples in the quoted section include the character qian fjf, "to become bald without side locks," 6 4 the character yong PU, "a fish's mouth that looks up," 6 5 and the character niu 33, "the untamed nature of a wild dog." 6 6 These characters and phrases can be found in the Shuowen and a few other texts dedicated to character etymology, but they are rarely seen outside of these obscure sources. Given their rarity and peculiar meanings, these expressions are far more likely to create a feel of strangeness instead of antiquity. If Han Y i i is trying to emulate the archaic style, he would have used more accessible expressions like those of the "Zither Song" series, as fugu does not demand extreme complexity in diction. Furthermore, Han Y i i is also very creative in the use of these words. These peculiar characters and phrases are not used in a literal sense; instead they are used to form metaphorical images to describe the mountain. When Han writes the phrase fenliu, he borrows the image of the rising steam to describe the ascending mountain mist of Mount Zhongnan instead of referring to actual cooked grain. The balding image of qian is also used metaphorically to describe the rocky and barren parts of the mountain that 64 s&3C'- rHi i f j'S'til Shouwen: Qian is the balding of sidelocks. Wang Yun, Shuowen judu, p. 1218 6 5 ^ P ± M t ! 2 Shuowen: "Yong is a fish's mouth that looks up." Wang Yun, Shuowen judu, p. 176 66M3C'- fir. ^ffi^JHiJ Shouwen: "Niu is when the nature of a dog is untamed." Wang Yun, Shuowen judu, p. 1355 Yang 28 have no vegetation. The reduplication of yong also forms an interesting metaphor, which compares the shape of the mountain peaks with the image of numerous fish stretching their mouths upward and waiting for food. Finally, the character niu is used almost comically to describe how Han Y i i himself is being moved by the powerful scenery; the scenery is so impressive that it excites Han and makes him feel like an untamed beast. This clever usage of obscure expressions shows that Han's focus is on impressing his readers. He wants to show not only that he has fully understood the meaning of these rare characters, but also that he can use them in an inventive and unconventional way. Therefore, in terms of the stylistic function of these characters, fugu is at best the secondary concern, and the archaism they may create is merely a byproduct of their obscurity and novelty. Nevertheless, among the difficult characters, some are more understandable than the ones discussed above, because they have appeared in widely-read sources such as the Confucian classics the Book of Songs f l f $ | and the Book of Rites fJt |5. For example, the character you f@ means "to pile up firewood" and appears in the poem 'Tw and Pu Trees" flclft in the "Greater Odes" i\W section of the Book of Songs.61 The phrase 67 TiKMM. "Flourishing are the yu and pu trees; we turn them into firewood and pile them up." TengZhixian H ^ R , Xinyi shijing duben Hfl¥I#!M 11$, Taipei: Sanmin shuju EL^WM, 2000, p. 783 Yang 29 yanyan [IBPffJ can also be written without the "door" radical as yanyan H H ; it means "tall and big" and appears in the poem "Glorious Alas" in the "Greater Odes. These characters and phrases were probably not too unfamiliar to an educated Tang Dynasty reader, since the thorough memorization of these Confucian classics was the basic groundwork for all literati education at the time. However, it is also true that such diction had fallen out of conventional poetic use by the Tang period. Upon seeing these characters, a reader would at least find their appearance strange in a penta-syllabic poem, even if he understood their meanings. Furthermore, although characters such as you and phrases such as yanyan can be traced to the classics, their usage in this poem does not echo the moral significance attached to their source.6 9 Instead of being used as allusions to the original texts, they are used in their literal meaning in a descriptive passage. The use of these archaic characters should thus not be equated with fugu, as the fundamental goal of fugu is to recreate the moral superiority of the ancient instead of merely 6 8 EmffiPiPf TIzWBW "The siege towers and battering rams are strong and mighty; walls of [the state of] Chong are tall and big." Teng Zhixian, Xinyi shijing duben, p. 801 6 9 According to the "Lesser Prefaces" of the Book of Songs, the poems "Yu and Pu Trees" and "Glorious Alas" is a praise for the brilliance of King Wen of Zhou JHJX3E. ^ t l fb 'B 'A ' t i l ulYu and Pu Trees,' [it praises] King Wen for his ability of employing people as the right officials." M £ H i i i f e A i a f t l S H ^ M l mWWW€M%>C3. '"Glorious Alas,' it is a praise for Zhou. Heaven has brilliantly realized that for the replacing of Yin, none was as [suitable] as Zhou. For generations [the royalties of] Zhou cultivated their virtue, and among them none was as [diligent] as King Wen." Teng Zhixian, Xinyi shijing duben, p. 785 and p. 803 Yang 30 readopting archaic words and phrases. The general tone and structure of the poem do not strongly resemble the solemnity of the classics either. The poem is much more similar to the fu or prose-poems of the early Han in terms of its lush descriptive details. Although fu is an archaic form of literature, its strong emphasis on lexical elaboration tends to disqualify itself from being an ideal model for fugu. It is thus strange for Han to adopt this poetic style offu if fugu is his one and only concern. Also, it is worth pointing out that although yanyan HfHf is in fact a fairly common phrase in classical Chinese, it is written with the highly obscure character of yanyan frnJiH] in this poem. The character yan |H] is interchangeable with yan U, 7 0 but in the original version of the Book of Songs, the phrase is written without the "door" radical as yanyan "aH- It is quite strange for Han Y i i to use this more obscure variant, and in all likeliness, this decision appears to be for the sake of novelty Strictly speaking, fa] should be pronounced yin and is only interchangeable with I f when the character is read as yin as well. Yinyin or yinyin [MJ[al is supposed to be completely different Worn yanyan fill". While yanyan H l f means tall and big, yinyin f g or yinyin fHUfl means to be amiable. The phrase yinyin originates from two sources; one is in the "Home Village" MM chapter of the Analects m In- ( J ^ - h A ^ I ! PsTal$n-rJ2 "[When Confucius] talks to the high ranking ministers, he is amiable.") The other source is in the chapter "Jade Tassel" 3£il in the Book of Rites j f i lB. ( S ^ £ t £ i l t ! j Ifffilfe?i5$nt!! — MWlBsWi "When a nobleman drinks, his appearance is proper and solemn as he receives a goblet [of wine]; he is amiable as he [receives] two goblets [of wine].") Thus, jsJfVl can be interchangeable with g | only when it is pronounced as yinyin and means to be amiable and respectful. When read as yanyan and used in the meaning of being tall and big, the phrase is not supposed to be written with the "door" radical. However, under the context of this poem, Han Y i i obviously uses to describe the loftiness of the trees that grow on Mount Zhongnan. He has somewhat violated the proper usage of the character for the sake of using the more peculiar character in this line. Xie Bingying 8f<7KH et al., Xinyi sishu duben §fl¥G31§f 1 $ , Taipei: Sanmin shuju H K l l J I j , 1987, p. 176 Jiang Yihua, Xinyi liji duben, p. 412 Yang 31 and eccentricity. Once again this shows that Han is more interested in startling his readers rather than being consistent with the fugu spirit. Moreover, in the quoted section there are also creative references to the hexagrams in the Book of Changes that would seem highly original rather than fugu. For example, the characters bo gou #Jj=f, and guai are all names of hexagrams. Bo, which consists of five disconnected yin | ^ lines at the bottom and one connected yang line at the top = j= , signifies "impending misfortune."71 Gou, which consists of five yang lines at the top and one yin line at the bottom ===• , indicates an "inauspicious time for taking a bride."72 Guai, which consists of five yang lines at the bottom and one yin line at the topEEE , indicates that "a gentleman is being both firm and cautious in getting rid of evil."73 It is interesting to know that the hexagrams bo and gou are used entirely for their graphic values in the poem, which is a unique technique not seen elsewhere. Han Yii is using the solid and broken lines of the hexagrams to describe the patterns of the 7 1 f U i h H — + H : ffl ^ I JWfr j t f i "Number Twenty-three, the Hexagram Bo:" "Bo, [it signifies that] it is disadvantageous to go forth." GuoJianxun f|5^1Jl, Xinyiyijing duben § f I ? ^ I I I B $ , Taipei: Sanmin shuju H^RKMl, 1996, p. 185 7 2 #5§I^H+E3: £g 1£T\± ty)f%MPi "Number Forty-four, the Hexagram of Gou:" "Gou, [it signifies that] the woman is [too] strong; do not take this woman [as your bride]." Guo Jianxun, Xinyi yijing duben, p. 341 7 3 ^ h U E + H : J I T M £ S © mm\M± "Number Forty-three, the Hexagram of Guai:" "Guai, [it signifies that the crime of the wicked one] is publicly announced at the king's yard. With credibility [the king] instructed that there will be danger [in getting rid of the wicked one]. He informed his cities that it is disadvantageous to raise troops; [only then] will it be advantageous to go forth." Guo Jianxun, Xinyi yijing duben, p. 333 Yang 32 mountain range. The only significance of the hexagram bo is that it has a connected yang line at the top and is therefore "laid down horizontally in the front." Likewise, the hexagram gou is only used because it has a disconnected yin line at the bottom and is therefore "broken in the back." 7 4 Only the hexagram guai is used according to its divinatory significance of being firm and resolute, but instead of referring to someone's moral attitude, it is used to describe the sharpness and steepness of the mountain range. The term is thus removed from its original contextual meaning to describe the scenery and does not reflect the moral significance of its source. Like the Book of Songs and the Book of Rites, the Book of Changes is one of the paramount Confucian classics. However, the fugu movement is supposed to revive these classics for their moral superiority and is not about the reinvention and stylistic usage of the classic's language. The descriptions given by Han Y i i in this poem are impressive and original, but it is questionable whether or not they are a form offugu, as Han incorporates archaic language mostly for his own stylistic needs. In other words, the main reason for Han to adopt this kind of language is probably not because of fugu but because it helps him to establish a new style that is drastically different from his contemporary colleagues. 7 4 Before Han Y i i , poets such as Xie Lingyun itfHjJi (385-433) had referred to the Book of Changes in their landscape poetry, but they never referred to the shapes of the hexagrams. An example would be the poem "Ascending to the Chamber by the Pond" H:tfe_hfli by Xie Lingyun. L i Yunfu $ 1 1 , Xie Lingyun ji Uf WkWM, Changsha: Yuelu shushe S l t lF f r J : . 1999, p. 43 Yang 33 As a result, critics tend to appreciate "South Mountain" for the originality and the skill of language over any archaism it contains. For example, in the Qing anthology Pure Essence of the Poetry of Tang and Song j^7^|#@f commissioned by emperor Gaozong J S J T H (reigned 1736-1796),75 "South Mountain" is praised for its powerful and unique style and is not appreciated as a particularly fugu piece: mnmmm mmmm mtmm m t ^ r ^ m m ^ 1 6 The whole poem's vigor is lingering and long lasting; the power of his brush is solemn and lofty. The trails and paths [formed by his words] twist and turn, containing grand and deep [meanings]. If he did not have such skill, [the poem] would not be a match for its subject.77 Contemporary scholar Stephen Owen has also commented that "the complex and exotic arabesques performed by these mountains betray an energetic and eccentric talent." Although Owen sees the theme and sentiment of "South Mountain" to be consistent with fugu, he acknowledges the eccentricity of this poem's style and points out that Han's experiment with "assimilating the diction and devices of the then moribund fu" is part of the poet's general trend toward "assimilating into poetry a wide variety of elements that hitherto considered to lie outside its scope."78 Similarly, the critics that dislike "South 7 5 The fourth emperor of the Qing Dynasty, more commonly known by the title of his reign period Qianlong $g! t 7 6 Liang Shizheng ^?f#jT£ et al. ed, Yuxuan tangsong shichun P P S J ^ ^ I ^ S I , Sikuquanshu huiyao E 3 0 462, Taipei: Shijie shuju 1988, p. 201 7 7 It means that the beauty of the poem would not be able to match that of Mount Zhongnan. 7 8 Stephen Owen, The Poetry of Meng Chiao and Han Yii, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1975, p. 198 Yang 34 Mountain" also tend to attack it for its over-emphasis on craft and consider it a poor example of fugu. For example, the Qing Dynasty critic Yao Fan felH (1702-1771) once wrote the following comments: "South Mountain" is only extraordinary in its descriptions. When we look at the whole poem, [we feel that] the sentiment of its words could be increased or decreased.80 [It is unlike] the verse of Master Du [Fu], whose essence of antiquity can be vividly felt.81 In other words, Han's use of obscure and dated expressions creates a feel of energy and extravagance rather than fugu. This is a major stylistic feature of Han's poetry and can be observed in many other poems besides "South Mountain." The following are lines from a few other poems in which Han adopts the cryptic language of the classics. 7 9 Yao Fan Yuanchuntang biji J g f l ^ i j S g B , Taipei: Guangwen shuju JUr^CltJlj, 1971, p. 1564-1565 8 0 It means in some sections of the poem Han Yii's wording is too strong, whereas in some other sections it is not strong enough. 8 1 Lit: "seems to be right within one's throat." 8 2 Quantangshi, juan 340. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 189 8 3 The number twenty-six means the person ranks the twenty-sixth in the same generation of his immediate clan. Yang 35 The character gua |® means a yellow horse with black mouth, and // | I is a black horse. The two characters are found in the poem "Small C h a r i o t " / J \ ^ in the "Airs of 84 States" IIM, section of the Book of Songs. "Sent to Cui, Number Twenty-six, Lizhi" (line eighty-five to line eighty-six) Your eldest daughter should be old enough to marry now, [But] who will provide the dowry handkerchiefs? The character shui ifi£, which means "a handkerchief," appears in the poem "There Is a Dead River Deer in the Wi ld " SfW^ESf in the "Airs of States" section of the Book of Songs.85 The character // fH, meaning "a handkerchief worn by a bride during a wedding," is found in the poem "East Mountain" MlU in the same section of the anthology.86 Both shui and // are associated with females and are used in Han's poem as a symbol for the dowry of Cui Lizhi 's daughter. "Sent to Cui, Number Twenty-six, Lizhi" (line one hundred and nine to line one hundred and ten) 8 4 0 t t ? L # 7 N # ^ E ^ l £ f § l l l t J 1#§!III# "The four stallions are big and mighty; the six reins are held in my hands. A horse with black patterns and a horse with red and black hair are in the middle; a yellow horse with black mouth and a black horse are at the sides." Teng Zhixian, Xinyi shijing duben, p. 339 85 ffiWStSStf? M^Wf&tj "Slowly and lightly, do not shake my handkerchief." Teng Zhixian, Xinyi shijing duben, p. 54 8 6 H I P ^ S I fh'f'^im "Her parents tie up her wedding handkerchief for her; the ceremonies are as many as nine or ten." Teng Zhixian, Xinyi shijing duben, p. 425 Yang 36 More than half of the young men 8 7 have died; Dark insects feed on their rotten bones. The character ci fft, meaning "bones with rotten flesh still attached," appears in the chapter "Monthly Command" ft ^ in the Book of Rites.ss "Sent to Cui, Number Twenty-six, Lizhi" (line one hundred and forty-one to line one hundred and forty-two) 7b^-mm ^mmmf9 [It] then causes a whale of a thousand lis long, [To become] insignificant like a small locust. The character zhong j |§, meaning "a locust-like insect," is found in the poem "Locust" M f f in the "Ai rs of States." 9 0 "Minister Duke Zheng 9 2 from the South of the Mountain" (line fifteen to line sixteen) uwmm\ mmmw.9' 8 ' Lit: those with black hair. 88 W$fck%L MWMM H f S S M "[During this month,] do not gather people into crowds; do not expand the city walls. Cover the bones and bury the bones with rotten flesh [when you see them in the wild]." Jiang Yihua, Xinyi liji duben, p. 230 8 9 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 860 ~ 862 9 0 HiKff <0 skWtfv "The locusts are vibrating their wings; they rattle and rattle." Teng Zhixian, Xinyi shijing duben, p. 13 9 1 The complete title of this poem is "Minister Duke Zheng from the South of the Mountain and Vice Director Fan Have Composed Poems and Sent Them to Each Other; I Have Not Seen Al l of Them; When I Talked to Fan [About This] He Put Them in a Seal and Showed Them to Me; I Followed [Their Rhyme] and Composed Fourteen Rhymed [Couplets] and Presented to Them" l l l ^ i W I ^ ^ j R ^ i ^ ^ i t ^ ; ^ Quantangshi, juan 342. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 198 9 2 This is Zheng Yuqing Jiutangshu, juan 158, liezhuan 108. Zhu Jianmin, Bainaben ershisishi jiutangshu, p. 1193 Yang 37 During the day he invites people to lecture on the great instructions [of the sages]; The divination tortoise shells are mixed together with the ceremonial robes. Fu ® is a kind of ceremonial robe worn by feudal lords. It appears in the poem "Zhongnan" $£j^f in the "Ai rs of States" section of the anthology.9 4 "Poem of Lunar Eclipse, an Imitation of Lu Tong's9 6 Work" (line three to line four) The myriad gloomy trees stand frigid at night; The cold air is angery and strong, and viciously there is no wind [blowing]. The character bi H means anger and has appeared in the poem "Vast and Great" | § in the "Greater Odes" section of the Book of Songs 98 "Stone Tripod Linked Verse" 9 3 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 921 9 4 i t - p M l t i K S ® H : "The prince has arrived here; he wears fine ceremonial robe and embroidered skirt." Teng Zhixian, Xinyi shijing duben, p. 347 9 5 Quantangshi, juan 340. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 634 9 6 Lu Tong Igffc (795-835) was a student of Han Yii 's. In the actual title of the poem he is referred to by his style name Yuchaunzi 5)11"? or Mr. Jade River. Lu Tong's biography can be found in the New Book of Tang under Han Yii 's biography. Xintangshu, juan 176, liezhuan 101. Zhu Jianmin, Bainaben ershisishi xintangshu, p. 1358 9 7 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 745 9 8 Wfi^pEpil l WEl^f) "Internally you have triggered anger in the central kingdom; it [even] extends to the barbaric places far away." . Teng Zhixian, Xinyi shijing duben, p. 877 9 9 Supposedly this poem is not written by Han Yi i but a record of a series of couplets composed by three people named Liu Shifu fljglfilg, Xuanyuan Miming $figjjf|B£l, and Hou X i f 5 l | | . However, critics have agreed that this is actually a poem composed by Han Yii himself, and that Han is only presenting it as a work of others for the sake of satire and humour. This poem is not included in the Quantangshi anthology. Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 852 ~ 853 Yang 38 (line eleven to line twelve) wummm %m.'X& Nonsensically it has been caught between the tripods; Recklessly it has caused the water and fire to compete. The character nai means a large tripod; it has appeared in the poem "Si lk Clothes" in the "Hymns of Zhou" MM. section of the Book of Songs.100 (line twenty-five to line twenty-six) Smooth and shiny, there is no trace of a blade; Round and flawless, it looks as if made by heaven. The character huan § t g for smooth and shiny has appeared in the chapter "Tangong" f l ^ in the Book of Rites.101 (line fifty-nine to line sixty) [It is said that this tripod] is a whole lot more valuable than [the ancient vessels of] hu and lian, but vainly [people's] mouths only spread the fame. Both hu 5$ and lian I j | are names of ceremonial vessels used to contain grains; they have appeared in the chapter "Position of the Brilliant Ha l l " H ^ ^ f i in the Book of Ritesm 1 0 0 i i J f f i J f F i S . ^ "From the lambs to the cows, from the large tripods to the small tripods...' Teng Zhixian, Xinyi shijing duben, p. 1017 101 MBrc A ^ 5 l JJJSI "It is beautiful and smooth and shiny. Is it the bamboo mat of a minister?" Jiang Yihua, Xinyi liji duben, p. 80. 1 0 2 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 849 ~ 852 1 0 3 JCJai£i2.EI§I fUkZrsM "The four lian vessels of the Xiahou clan, the six hu vessels of Y i n . . . " Jiang Yihua, Xinyi liji duben, p. 440. 1 0 4 Quantangshi, juan 340. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 640 Yang 39 "Presented to Liu Shifu" 1 0 5 (line three to line four) Now I am all empty [inside my mouth] and [the teeth] that have fallen are many; The remaining ones are about a dozen and they are all shaking and unstable. The character nie fji means shaking and uneasy; it has appeared under the hexagram kun @g in the Book of Changes m A l l of the above examples are dated characters and phrases found in the Confucian classics. Like the ones in "South Mountain," they are adopted for their literal meanings and do not reflect the moral significance which they carry in their sources. They are used as a stylistic feature to make the lines look more unusual. They are also abruptly inserted in lines that do not resemble the archaic language of the classics. The overall effect is therefore more of an eye-catching strangeness rather than the solemnity and righteousness offugu. Furthermore, as the following examples wil l demonstrate, Han Y i i is also fond of even more obscure expressions found only in the classical dictionaries such as the Shuowen. 1 0 5 Liu Shifu §iJBfjiS& was a friend of Han Y i i . Very little is known about him except that he passed the jinshi examination. 1 0 6 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinianjishi, p. 843 1 0 7 _h A ffl-plSlI " f H H ! "The yin line at the top of the hexagram [signifies that] one is trapped in between the vines and is shaking and uneasy." Guo Jianxun, Xinyi yijing duben, p. 369 Yang 40 "Miscellaneous Matters from Reading Dongfang Shuo" (line seven to line eight) He sneaks into the room of thunder and lightning; With the sound of raging carts he turns the mad chariot. The character hong $tj, representing loud noise produced by carts or chariots, can be found in the sixth century dictionary Yupian Z E U " 0 under the "cart" radical. 1 1 1 The character leng f j | also means "the sound of carts" and can be found in the tenth century rhyming dictionary Guangyun S t e H under the lower level tone number seventeen H+-fcr." 2 "Mr. Zheng from the South of the Mountain" (line seven to line eight) God [of heaven] has consulted with you and me [and told us to] go forth; In front of the ivory army banner,"4 dust is rising. IUS Quantangshi, juan 342. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 701 1 0 9 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 904 1 1 0 The Yupian is a classical dictionary compiled by Gu Yewang J||!1J:E (519-581) during the Liang Dynasty of the Southern Dynasties. It follows the format of Shuowen in its arrangement of radicals and characters. " ' I I ^ S f f e "Hong, it is the sound of carts." Chinese Character Analysis Group |S^SI3 / .h$& ed., Yupian 3£f|, Taipei: National Central Library, 1983, p. 267 1 1 2 H? ^ jjf: "Ling, [it is] the sound of carts." Lin Yin ffi^ ed., Xinjiao zhengqie songben guangyun 0 f | ^ I E ^ : ^ ^ j j l t t l , Taipei: Liming wenhua ~|?0£j 3tft, 1976, p. 201 ' 1 3 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 921 1 1 4 It means that the pole of the banner is decorated by ivory. Yang 41 The character ben means "dust;" it is interchangeable with the character fen fft, which can be found in the Shuowen jiezi under the "earth" rad ica l . " 5 The character fo i% means "dust rising" and is found in the Guangyun under the entering tone number eight A§?flA.116 "Sent to Cui, Number Twenty-six, Lizhi" (line one hundred and one to line one hundred and two) Diligently I lean against my desk, Like those birds stuck to the trapping glue. The character chi f | means "a kind of sticky glue used to trap birds" and is found in the Guangyun under the upper level tone number five J i ^ ^ E . 1 1 8 " A Record of a Dream" (line nine to line ten) 1 also walk along with them and tread uneasily, But my spirit is intact, my bones are sturdy, and my feet do shake. 1 , 5 lHtJ2 "Few is dust." Wang Yun, Shuowen judu, p. 1987 116 i% MB "Fo, [is] dust rising." Lin Yin, Xinjiao zhengqie songben guangyun, p. 476 1 1 7 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 861 1 1 8 %% ifi t i l ~ ^PftWt&M, "Chi is glue. ~ Chi, [it is] what is used to glue birds." (The character appears twice because it has two different pronunciations.) Lin Yin, Xinjiao zhengqie songben guangyun, p. 46 and p. 48 1 1 9 Quantangshi, juan 342. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 47 1 2 0 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 652 Yang 42 The phrase qiaoyao'^UjWA means "uneasy;" it can be found in the Yiipian under the "height" radical / L ^ . 1 2 1 Mliiff122 "Ballad of Mound Feng" (line nine to line ten) They cross the ford, go down the hill, and the reed pipes and drums are sobbing; The high mountains then run all the way to the front gate of the dark palace.124 The phrase dienie |I$rlIlj| means "the loftiness of a mountain;" it can be found in the Guangyun under the entering tone number sixteen A3fSrl~r"7v 125 "Poem of Lunar Eclipse, an Imitation of Lu Tong's Work" (line sixty-four to line sixty-five) nmmmm mmm^126 The tiger crouches in the west; The [Tian]qi and Maoftou] stars guard its long hair and fur. 1 2 7 The character san #| for "long hair" can be found in the Yiipian.128 The character sha meaning "a fur coast" is found in both the Yiipian and the Guangyun}29 l 2 '^1^(5[k^^tb. ^IMltQiao, qiaoyao is uneasy. ~ Yao, [see] qiaoyao." Chinese Character Analysis Group, Yupian, p. 83 122 Quantangshi, juan 339. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 187 1 2 3 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 463 1 2 4 It refers to Mound Feng, the imperial tomb of Emperor Shunzong A H f ? (761-806), reigned from 805 to 806. 1 2 5 lllif |!lf HitSlil "Die, dienie is high mountain." Lin Yin, Xinjiao zhengqie songben guangyun, p. 493 126 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 746 1 2 7 The tiger is the guardian beast of the west. It is guarded by the stars Tianqi A iK and Maotou because they are both located in the western part of the sky. Yang 43 "Song of the Red Vine Staff' (line three to line four) The king of Dian sweeps his palace and avoids the messengers; He moves forward as he kneels down, bows repeatedly, and speaks with sobs and with sadness. The character wa nj§. means "to sob" and is found in the Shuowen under the "mouth" radical. 1 3 2 The character yi DfjJ means "to feel sadness" and is found in the fourth century etymology text Zilin ^ # 1 3 3 under the "mouth" radical. 1 3 4 The above examples are highly obscure characters and phrases adopted solely for their eccentricity. Similar to the expressions from the classics, they are used to make the lines look more unfamiliar. Given their extreme rarity, the effect they create is of strangeness and incoherence rather than archaism. There is no need to dig up so many 128 ^hM^L [it is] the appearance of having long hair." Chinese Character Analysis Group, Yupian, p. 373 1 2 9 i M . - ^ - ^ ^ J ^L^zJ SBStti Yupian: "Sha, [see] jiasha. ~ Jia, jiasha is the clothes of the Hu people." Chines^ Character Analysis Group, Yupian, p. 373 MWk'-^^j -=&J^CL/ Guangyun: "Sha, jiasha [is] a fur coat." Lin Yin, Xinjiao zhengqie songben guangyun, p. 168 130 Quantangshi, juan 339. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 393 1 3 1 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 711 1 3 2 UJH Dgi i "Wa is to sob." Wang Yun, Shuowen judu, p. 164 1 3 3 Similar to the Yupian, the Zilin is a classical dictionary that follows the format of the Shuowen. It was compiled by Lu Chen g t t during the Eastern Jin Dynasty. 1 3 4 If? ftjjgtfe "Yi, it is to feel sad inside." Ren Dachun \i^M, Zilin kaoyi ^ # ^ 1 ^ , Nanjing: Jiangsu shuju 'iXMlisfw, 1890, p. 43 Yang 44 peculiar characters to capture the essence of the ancient poems, as archaism is often better achieved with simpler language. In fact, as seen before, the more thoroughly fugu pieces of Han, such as the "Zither Song" series, do not contain so many bizarre characters and phrases. Finally, as seen in the phrase yanyan fajfM] with the "door" radical, Han has a tendency to choose interchangeable characters that are more uncommon and less understandable, which can only mean that his priority in word choice is strangeness rather than fugu. The following are a few examples of this. f ' J£ I# 1 3 5 "Poem of Mr. Liu" (line thirteen to line fourteen) [People] ask if there is a reason for his not returning home; [It is because of] the fine wine that pours like water and the roasting of the rich beef. The character zhi ^ | is a rare variant of zhi which means "to roast meat with fire." 1 3 7 "Number Nine of the Eleven Poems on Autumn Reminiscence" (line five to line six) [People] say that the essence of the night has disappeared; 135 Quantangshi, juan 339. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 615 1 3 6 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 222 1 3 7 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 225 138 Quantangshi, juan 336. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yu juan, p. 288 1 3 9 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 556 Yang 45 [The lunar god] Wangshu has brought down the round [moon]. The character yun jjf is the old way of writing yun which means "to fal l " or "to rain down." It can be foundJn the Shuowen under the "rain" radical 1 4 0 and also appears in the chapter "Seventh Year of Duke Zhuang" H t f i - f c : ^ in the Gongyangzhuan f $ . 1 4 1 OjUJiWifi "Mr. Zheng from the South of the Mountain" (line eleven to line twelve) Between his brush and ink it is vast and boundless; His fingers and strokes transforms quickly. The characters huanghu f£ are variants of huanghu \jt fl?> • The expression originates from chapter twenty-one of the Daodejing and means "vague and obscure." 1 4 3 Later it also comes to mean "a short period of t ime." 1 4 4 In conclusion, although the use of rare, peculiar, and unexpected characters and S Sti2 " K M is to rain." Wang Yun, Shuowen judu, p. 1638 1 4 1 ' I ' M J I ^ J T L - j ^ ^ S M ^ P P I f "The stars that were constantly [bright] could not be seen; during the night [shooting] stars fell like rain." Xue Ke, Xinyi gongyangzhuan, p. 118 1 4 2 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 921 1 4 3 TM.ZMI$J fi'btfStS "[As for] the Way's creation of various matters, it is vague and obscure." YuPeilin ^ i § # , Xinyi laozi duben $rff|^g^pijJTp:, Taipei: Sanmin shuju HSUrJ l j , 1973, p. 46 1 4 4 B g S J ^ j i fl-AfT: §&Mt&M& Vt%&®M$k "Ballad of Heavenly Ascent" from the Prose Anthology of Crown Prince Zhaoming: "It rolls and flips like the turning of one's hand; it [lasts] as briefly as the morning flowers." Zhou Qicheng JH^ FfrJc et al, Xinyi zhaoming wenxuan WfW^a^MSiM, Taipei: Sanmin shuju HKflr^rj, 1997, p. 1255 Yang 46 phrases is a signature feature of Han's poetry, its relevance to fugu is questionable. It is a feature that does not necessarily agree with the moral goals of the movement. It shows Han's effort in crafting his lines and creating a poem that is strangely original, but it does not make the poem genuinely archaic. It indicates that Han Yii's true desire is to impress or even astonish his readers rather than to recreate the ancient world. Like other aspects of his poetry, this feature is more likely to contradict his commitment to fugu than to support it. Yang 47 Chapter Three: Peculiar Imagery The peculiarities in Han Yii's poetry are not limited to its language. In many cases, the imagery of his verse is also extremely bizarre and contradictory to the idea of fugu. One cause for this eccentric imagery is that Han's poems contain elaborate descriptions of violence. This is highly unusual because throughout the history of classical Chinese poetry, violence and brutality have been treated as evil and unsightly matters which are unfit for elaboration. Violent images may appear in sociopolitical satires for the sake of criticizing an immoral tyrant or a turbulent age, but the depictions are usually brief and generic and rarely involve specific details. For example, the following are some lines from the "Graveyard Ballad" by Cao Cao W£S (155-220): (line eleven to line sixteen) Lice are growing inside the armor;'45 People are dying by tens of thousand. White bones are exposed in the wild; For a thousand liN6 there is no rooster crowing. 1 4 5 Because the soldiers never take the armor off. 1 4 6 A li H is a distance unit roughly equivalent to three hundred and sixty paces The exact length of this unit varies from period to period. Yang 48 As for the surviving commoners, only one remains [alive] in every hundred; When one thinks of this it breaks one's heart. The poem attacks the various warlords who tore apart the Eastern Han empire and expresses sympathy for those who suffered from the war. Although the lines describe atrocities committed during an extremely violent age, few details are provided. Words such as "people dying by tens of thousand" and "white bones exposed in the wi ld" only present a vague and formulaic image for the death and suffering of the people. The scene is described from a great distance, where the desolation of a thousand // is presented at once. The poem also gives no specific details about how the people were slaughtered; all the kil l ing and destruction are already finished before the lines begin and only the aftermath is described. Nevertheless, in the ancient poems of Han and Wei, this level of violence was sufficient to serve its satirical purpose. Through these controlled descriptions, the reader can already sense the author's strong disapproval of those responsible for the war. Further elaboration of the bloodshed runs a risk of damaging the aesthetic balance of the poem and making it too gruesome to be appreciated as fine literature. Most of the poems that were considered "ancient" by Tang times exhibit this restraint in the description of violence, but contrary to his predecessors, Han Y i i shows 1 4 7 FengBaoshan Xinyi gushiyuan ffirW^WM, Taipei: Sanmin shuju HKHlj, 2006, p. 340 Yang 49 little regard for avoiding gruesome scenes in his poetry. For example, the following lines are from the poem "Ballad of a Ferocious Tiger" S^fr ' 4 8 b y H a n Y u : (line five to line twenty-four) [The tiger] eats the father of the yellow bear; His son eats the cub of the red leopard. He chooses his flesh from among bears and leopards; How would he even look at the rabbits and raccoons? At mid-day he sleeps facing the valley; The fierceness of his eyes are visible one hundred feet away. He is proud and thinks no one can oppose him; He is dissolute and allows his nature to become perverse. One morning he is angry and kills his cubs; ln the evening he returns and eats his mates.149 His peers scatter and run to all four directions; The ferocious tiger thus returns to his lonely nest. Foxes cry beside his door; Magpies follow [the foxes] and bother him with noise. He goes out to chase them and monkeys occupy his lair; The tiger does not know where to return. Who says that the ferocious tiger is evil? He is crying sadly in the middle of the road. 1 4 8 Quantangshi, juan 341. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 475 1 4 9 Lit: concubines. Yang 50 A leopard comes to bite his tail; A bear comes to tear his jaw apart. The poem talks about a vicious tiger that not only hunted other animals but also murdered its own kind. Because of its brutality, the tiger was abandoned by its peers and eventually devoured by other beasts. The tiger is clearly a metaphor for an immoral person, which makes the poem a satire like "Graveyard Bal lad." But it is different from Cao Cao's poem because "Ferocious Tiger" carries a much stronger criticism in its violent imagery. Unlike "Graveyard Ballad," which only describes the aftermath of violence, this poem describes the tiger's cruelty and its brutal end, allowing the reader to imagine the actions more vividly. The poem is therefore more violent and dynamic with the action of kil l ing taking place in every few lines. The imagery of the poem is particularly gruesome as the tiger devours its own cubs and mates and gets dismembered by other beasts at the end. Such violent scenes may be effective as a form of strong criticism, but they would appear excessive in the eyes of the traditional critics, since an animal being torn to pieces is hardly a scene that fits the expected delicacy of poetry. This lack of moderation in depicting violence can be observed in other poems by Han as well. "Shooting the Hoot-hoot" Jftf l l f f l 1 5 1 is also a strong satire similar to "Ferocious Tiger." Instead of a tiger, this poem uses a demon owl as a metaphor for the 1 5 0 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinianjishi, p. 1215-1216 151 Quantangshi, juan 340. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 34 Yang 51 evil that disrupts the world, and also similar to the previous poem, the evil owl meets a gruesome death at the end: (line nineteen to line twenty-two) Alas, I went to shoot [the evil owl] and how can this be stopped? I waited until your eyes were wide open and looking up. The owl was startled and dropped from the beam, Like a snake rushing to its hole [in the wall]. With a single arrow I cut off [the owl's] neck and all its chicks rotted [with it]. Although the menacing owl receives its just punishment at the end, the graphic account of its death is shocking within the context of traditional poetry. The scene depicted by the lines is quite gruesome, with the decapitated owl head staring into the void and the baby owls killed in their nest. This violent scene is also more skillfully crafted than that in the "Ferocious Tiger." This shows that Han Y i i treats violence as something that deserves elaboration, an attitude very different from earlier poets who refrained from depicting violence. Nevertheless, the level of violence is even higher in some other poems as Han Y i i makes more effort to develop in this direction. For example, the "Mountain Fire of Luhun" quoted earlier contains some disturbingly gory images as it describes the banquet of the fire gods: 1 5 2 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 251 Yang 52 Cheerfully they emptied their wine cups, urged each other to drink, and talked with laughter. The Their teeth chewed and bit and their tongues and jaws kept moving. L ike lightening and flashing bolts, their red eyes opened widely. In this passage, the gods are feasting on the animals killed by the mountain fire earlier in the poem. Although the setting is just a figurative banquet, the imagery is extremely bloody and violent. The scene seems like some kind of hell, with flesh piled up into mountains, blood flowing into seas, and savage gods chewing meat. As mentioned before, the style of this poem resembles the fu of early Han, but those ancient fu rarely contain images that are this grotesque and gory, and it is difficult to find an earlier work that can match the chaos and violence in this poem. 1 5 5 With such elaborations, it is clear that Han deliberately destroys the aesthetic balance established in earlier poetry. The 1 5 3 The number four refers to the Four Seas that surround China from each major direction. 1 5 4 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 685 1 5 5 One exception might be Sima Xiangru's description of an imperial hunt in his "Prose-poem of the Supreme Forest" _ h ^ K . However, the hunting is just one section of the fu. The bulk of the fu describes the magnificent scenery of the hunting park, which does not contain any violence at al l . thunder god split the mountains and the sea water was turned upside down. Yang 53 violent imagery is therefore a part of an eccentric design that shocks his reader at the expense of genuine archaism. Furthermore, Han Y i i also includes violent images to describe glorious events. This is highly unusual, because traditionally, a poem that deals with a just conquest is restrained in its depiction of violence. Descriptions of the actual fighting are usually indirect and vague if not completely omitted. The focus of such poems is always on the moral superiority of the victor instead of the fighting, and as the following example will demonstrate, such tightly controlled descriptions of violence have existed since the time of the Book of Songs. "Great Brightness" (line forty-three to line fifty-six) mmzm nmu# The army of Yinshang, Their banners [stood] like a forest. [King Wu] addressed [the troops] at Muye: 1 5 6 "I am going to launch the attack now. The superior god [of heaven] is above you; Do not alter your will [to fight]!"1 5 7 [The land of] Muye was vast; 1 5 6 An ancient place name, roughly located in the southern region of today's Qi County 'SM in Henan Province. 1 5 7 Lit: "do not make two out of your mind." Yang 54 The chariots made of pteroceltis were bright and magnificent. The four red horse's with white bellies were strong, Oh, the [grand] preceptor Lord Shang 1 5 8 mmmrn mims. Was like an eagle soaring [in the sky], As he assisted that K ing Wu. mfokm mmm159 He released [the troops] to attack the great Shang; Within a morning there was the clarity and brightness [of victory]. "Great Brightness" is a poem from the "Greater Odes" section of the Book of Songs. The first half of the poem praises the founders of the Zhou Dynasty while the second glorifies their conquest of the tyrannical Shang. Nevertheless, in spite of this war-related theme, there is no account of the actual combat. The poem only describes the magnificence of the Zhou army and the brilliance of its commanders, and after these descriptions, the battle is quickly won "within a morning" without any mentioning of kill ing and bloodshed. This strong tendency to avoid violent images is more or less the same for other poems that deal with warfare in the anthology and is carried on to later poetry as part of the poetic tradition. Its is thus ironic that among the verses of Han Yu , the most staggering amount of violence is found in a tetra-syllabic poem that mimics the This refers to Lu Shang S f ^ (approx 1143-1021 BCE. ) , an important minister who assisted K ing Wu 5£iE (7-1044 B C E . ) in his conquest of Shang, more commonly known as the Grand Duke o f Jiang H A fi or Jiang Z iya jthp^f. 1 5 9 Teng Zhixian, Xinyi shijing duben, p. 112-11A Yang 55 archaism of the Book of Songs, the "Poem on the Sagely Virtue of Yuanhe" 1 6 0 jcfP^^ fjlf.161 With a total of more than two hundred and fifty lines, the poem is a highly elaborated encomium to the accomplishments of the emperor Xianzong (reigned 806-821). In terms of its metre, language, and theme, this poem is a close imitation of the "Odes" and "Hymns" in the Book of Songs. However, while most of the poem consists of long lists of solemn and glorious descriptions, there is one section that would have struck a contemporary reader as being shockingly violent: (line ninety-five to line one hundred and twenty) P i 1 6 3 was pursued to the limit and trapped [from all sides]; There was no more place for him to be. He looked down at the great river, And could not see any sandbar or islet. m&tm %m§ta Then he [jumped into the river] upside down, L ike a pestle being thrown into a mortar. nzwp mwm-[The imperial soldiers] dragged him out of the river, And put a cangue around his neck and a wooden shackle on his hands. 1 6 0 Yuanhe is a reign period of emperor Xianzong (778-821), lasting from 806 to 821. During the beginning of the Yuanhe period, the Tang court enjoyed a brief recovery o f military strength and suppressed several rebellious military commissioners. This temporary restoration of imperial authority is known as the Yuanhe Restoration ftfU^M. 161 Quantangshi, juan 336. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 66 1 6 2 Jiutangshu, juan 14, benji 14. Zhu Jianmin, Bainaben ershisishi jiutangshu, p. 134-153 1 6 3 This is L iu Pi Mil (?~806). He was a military commissioner who revolted against the Tang court in 806 C E . This revolt was suppressed by the imperial forces of emperor Xianzong within a year. Jiutangshu, juan 140, liezhuan 90. Zhu Jianmin, Bainaben ershisishi jiutangshu, p. 1093-1094 Yang 56 The wives [of Pi] were bound in ropes; They wailed and cried as they bowed and begged [for mercy]. M i r &£imt They were taken to be presented at the palace, In order to inform [the spirits] in the imperial shrine. They were taken and shown around the city walls and markets; Everyone was made to watch them. mstmm tkmm They were released from the long chains of ropes, And were caught between the blades and axes: The young and weak sons [of Pi] Stood naked while bending [their torsos]. [The executioners] pulled their head and dragged their legs; They first cut [them in half from] their waists and spines. Then [the execution] reached [Pi's] followers; Their limbs and bodies [were piled up as] they piled on top each other. At the end they took Pi, Whose fearful sweat flowed down like a torrent. The swinging knives were numerous and disorderly As they competed in slicing him into shreds of flesh. The above section describes the capture and execution of the rebel military commissioner Liu Pi . On the surface, these graphic accounts seem to praise Xianzong's ability to punish evil, but such brutal details of the death of Liu Pi and his family probably only 1 6 4 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 628 Yang 57 trigger repulsion and disbelief in the reader. Although group execution was considered just punishment for the revolting generals, it was never appropriate to elaborate on such a bloody scene in poetry. Although the rest of the poem closely emulates the solemn and archaic style of the "Odes" and "Hymns," these depictions of overt and excessive violence prevent the poem from becoming a truly fugu piece. Women and children being dragged to their death, people being chopped in half at their waists, and the piling up of dismembered corpses, are images of sadistic violence and are hardly acceptable for any kind of respectable literature. They form a strong contrast to the glorious and dignified praise that the rest of the poem consists of, and if Han Yii is concerned about fugu, he would have avoided images of such cruelty and made this poem more similar to the "Great Brightness" or other war poems in the Book of Songs. The reason for Han to include these brutal details has been unclear to critics and scholars. Some have thought that he was using such language to scare the remaining rebel forces that still occupied parts of the empire. Nevertheless, this kind of persuasion through fear can hardly be consistent with the principles of the mid Tang fugu movement, which stressed the moral and educational function of literature. Also, there are other critics that simply think Han had bad taste in poetry. Among those who disapproved of Han, the Song literatus Su Zhe Hff( (1039-1112) presented a particularly strong attack in his essay "Five Defects Yang 58 of Poetry" ^MTiM-- In Su Che's view, anyone who claims to be a promoter offugu is not supposed to write about such senseless violence: This is something that even L i S i 1 6 6 could not bear to say when he praised Qin, yet Han Yu self proclaimed that he was not ashamed [of deviating] from the "Odes" and "Hymns." Just how despicable this is! Although Han's reason for including these lines is uncertain, their effect of startling the reader is obvious. Like the dazzling array of bizarre characters, the brutal imagery is something that violates both contemporary and earlier conventions and is used as a tool for creating shock. It is a tactic that is hardly consistent with the ideas of fugu, which sees poetry as a vehicle for moral instruction or expressing personal feelings. If a mild level of violence is sufficient to criticize immorality and convey the poet's indignation, there should be no need to describe the unsightly violence with further details, let alone elaborating it into one's stylistic signature. Moreover, besides violence, there are other forms of peculiar images in Han's poems. The themes of these poems may be conventional, but they are often conveyed through strange scenes or situations atypical of earlier verse. For example, the following is the 1 6 5 Su Zhe MWi, Luancheng sanji fj£i$H||, Sikuquanshu huiyao HSifeilrlfi? 383, Taipei: Shijie shuju WRWM, 1988, p. 263 1 6 6 Li Si (?~210 BCE.) was the prime minister who assisted the notorious First Emperor of Qin (259-210 BCE.) in his persecution of Confucians. The short-lived dynasty of Qin is frequently used as a symbol for tyranny. Yang 59 poem "First Time Eating Southern Food, Given to Yuan Number Eighteen the Chief Musician" M ^ 1 £ 7 C + A M $ : ' 6 ? The horseshoe crab 1 6 8 indeed looks like the Huiwen [cap];1 6 9 With boney eyes 1 7 0 they walk while carrying one another. The oysters stick to each other to form mountains; In hundreds and tens they grow on their own. The tail of the reed fish 1 7 1 is like a snake; Its eyes and mouth do not work with each other.172 [What the southerners call] ha is actually a toad; They are the same in reality but are carelessly given different names. The octopus and the horse-armor mussel,1 7 3 Vie [with one another] by revealing their strangeness. As for the other several tens of kinds, None can refrain from sighing with surprise [when looking at them]. 167 168 Quantangshi, juan 341. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 690 This is limulus, also known as the king crab. The Chinese believed that they carried each other on their backs when moving underwater. 1 6 9 A large cap traditionally worn by military officials and is often exquisitely decorated. It is called the Huiwen cap because supposedly it was designed by King Huiwen of Zhao j |§n8>C3i during the Warring States period. 1 7 0 This probably means that the creature's eyes look like parts of its bone, which is a reference to the creature's hard exterior shell. 171 The reed fish probably refers to a species of ray, which has a large and flat body and a long tail. 172 This refers to the fact that the creature's eyes are located on the top of its flat body, while its mouth is on the bottom. 1 7 3 More commonly known today as the yao mussel i&ft . Yang 60 I have come to fend off the evil ghosts and spirits, So naturally it is appropriate for me to taste southern cooking. I season [the food] with salt and vinegar,174 And stew it with pepper175 and orange. imtmm m&mim The rancid stench begins to smell worse, While chewing and swallowing my face sweats and turns red. Only the snake is something that I knew from before; 1 am indeed scared of the viciousness of its mouth and eyes. I open the cage and let it go; Feeling pent up and wronged, it is still discontent. m&mm ^mmm Selling you was not my fault; Since I did not kill you, have I no compassion? 1 do not hope for the reward of a spirit pearl; 1 7 6 I will feel lucky if you do not hate me. I might as well write a poem to record this, And to inform those who travel with me. This poem was probably written around 819 C E . , when Han Y i i was exiled to the remote southern prefecture of Chao } f§j t [ . 1 7 8 The work opens with an impressive array of 1 7 4 Lit: saltiness and sourness. 1 7 5 This is the Sichuan pepper or huajiao i t : ® , not the modern day pepper or hujiao fifj®, which was not introduced to China until the Ming Dynasty. ' 7 6 This refers to the story of "Marquis Sui's Pearl" W&lZM. in the Huainanzi yfiiff^p". In this story the Marquis of Sui saved an injured snake, and the snake then picked up a pearl from the river to repay his kindness. Xiong Lihui fulfill, Xinyi huainanzi f f f f ' / iM^, Taipei: Sanmin shuju 1997, p. 278 1 7 7 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 1132-1133 Yang 61 southern seafood. Although they may be common in China nowadays, these sea creatures were unimaginable candidates for food to a ninth century northerner, and yet, from the attention to the details, it is obvious that Han was highly intrigued by the very weirdness of these animals. Surrounded by these bizarre dishes, it is also ironic that the only familiar item on the menu, and the only animal Han was sympathetic to, was a sinister looking snake. The overall theme of the poem is not apparent; Han Y i i could be using the snake as a metaphor for an ungrateful person whom he once helped, or the poem could be a self-ridicule on the frustration of being exiled to the far south. Although both interpretations are within the realm of conventional poetry, it is undeniable that the bizarre imagery of this poem is unexpected within the dignified context of fugu. Oddly shaped sea creatures being cooked into stinking dishes, an established scholar eating them while sweating and flushing, and a vicious serpent that sparks off sympathy and homesickness instead of disgust, are interesting and unique images, but they do not provoke righteousness and morality, nor do they remind the reader of the ideal ancient world in any way. Another poem that is particularly notable for its imagery is Han's "Suffering from 1 7 8 The east most prefecture of Lingnan Circuit fllTJJfjjjt. The capital of this prefecture was Haiyang $ g HJ, present day Chouzhou City Sf'jll rf7 in Guangdong Province. Yang 62 the Cold" The poem uses the severe coldness as the symbol for the lack of the emperor's grace. The poem describes how various gods and creatures, including the speaker himself, are suffering from the cold and desperately wishing for warmth to come, which makes its allegorical message more explicit than "First Time Eating Southern Food." Nevertheless, the images presented in this poem are just as eccentric and startling as the last, especially when the speaker describes his own injury from the cold in the following lines: (line nineteen to line forty-eight) mmm&tm m>m&& And [since] it is at a time like this, How can we even be touched upon by the gracious light? Scales and shells grow on my skin, And my clothes and quilt are like knives and sickles. The air is cold and my nose is unable to smell anything. My blood is frozen and my fingers are unable to grasp. mmm Am ummrn Coarse wine enters my throat [as if it is] boiling, And the corners of my mouth [are frozen solid] as if I am gagged. I am about to pick up the spoon and chopsticks to eat, But when [the utensils] touch my fingers it is like arranging divination stalks.181 ' n Quantangshi, juan 339. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 301 1 8 0 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 154 1 8 1 This interpretation assumes that the divination stalks refer to the fingers. Others such as Stephen Owen seem to think that the divination stalks refer to the utensils, which means that the fingers are so frozen that handling eating utensils is as slow and awkward as arranging divination stalks. Stephen Owen, The Yang 63 In spite of the poem's orthodox allegorical theme, the imagery of these descriptions is extremely eccentric. The poet uses "scales and shells" to describe the cracking of one's skin due to severe cold while the clothes and quilts that are supposed to protect one from coldness become "knives and sickles" and cause only pain to the cracked skin. As the poem moves on, the rest of the speaker's body falls victim to the cold as well. His nose can no longer smell; his blood is frozen; his mouth becomes rigid and stiff as if gagged, and his fingers also deform so badly that they resemble the thin brittle slips used for divination. These hyperbolic descriptions portray an unsightly but carefully crafted image: one that would make the reader fascinated by both its originality and its departure from normal aesthetics. Even though the suffering from the cold implies criticism of the ruler's impotence, such moral significance are likely to be overshadowed by the many descriptive details that are grotesque and clever at the same time. Moreover, there are other scenes from Han's poems that are equally weird without being so exaggerated. For example, in the poem "Alas! the Ballad of Mr. Dong" tl§|if£ l [ £ f T , 1 8 2 Han Y u writes: (line twenty-three to line thirty-three) Alas! Mr. Dong is both filial and loving. Poetry of Meng Chiao and Han Yii, p. 214 182 Quantangshi, juan 337. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 599 Yang 64 People do not recognize this, only the Lord of Heaven knows. [Heaven] creates auspiciousness and sends down good fortune without end. In his home there is a dog nursing [its puppies]. [When] it goes out to look for food, The chicken comes to nurse its puppies. It pecks and pecks in the yard and picks up insects and ants To feed the [the puppies], but they do not eat and the crowing [of the chicken] is sad. It hesitates and lingers, and for a long time it does not leave. With its wings it covers [the puppies] and waits for the dog to return. mmw±mmmmm Alas, Mr. Dong! Just who will be able to match [your righteousness]? Supposedly Han Yii wrote this poem to comfort a friend of his named Dong Zhaonan j | -B]^ f> who had failed the jinshi jUiir examination. The main point of the poem is that although Dong's morality was not appreciated by the state, it was recognized by heaven, and in gratitude for Dong's virtue, heaven caused a miracle to occur. However, instead of using more graceful animals such as a horse or a bird, heaven decided to convey the miracle through a bizarre interaction between a chicken and a dog. Although chickens and dogs were associated with reclusion in certain literature,184 this image of a chicken Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 80 1 8 4 In the eightieth chapter of the Daodejing xiflllM, there is the following passage: MHfgH MJKZM fflH RlS^^ETfBQ:^ "Let the neighboring states gaze at each other [over distance], and let the sounds of chickens and dogs be heard from each other, so that the people will grow old and die without having had any dealings with one another." The chapter envisions a harmonious world where states are kept in relative isolation from each other to prevent warfare. People are also described as living in a semi-reclusive fashion as in small farming communities. The chickens and dogs here symbolize the peace and tranquility of the peasants. Due to their appearance in this passage, the two animals have been used as a symbol of reclusion. Yang 65 that nurses puppies is nonetheless bizarre if not comical. It is an original invention by Han Y i i since never before have the two animals been described as nursing each other. There are many other animals that have been conventionally used as symbols of moral integrity, but instead of following the traditional pattern Han has chosen to create his own peculiar symbolism. Finally, Han Y i i is also one of the few who does not avoid describing filth in his verse: "During Sickness, sent to Zhang Number Eighteen" (line one to line two) My body is exhausted187 as I am having a severe diarrhea; To seek shelter from the cold I have Iain beside the north window. "Condemning the Malaria Ghost" (line seven to line eight) It seeks food among the vomit and excrement, And does not know that stench and filth are bad. Yu Peilin, Xinyi laozi duben, p. 158 185 Quantangshi, juan 340. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 3 1 8 6 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 63 1 8 7 Lit: my inside is empty. 188 Quantangshi, juan 342. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 44 1 8 9 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 264 Yang 66 While an earlier poet would never have included such foul images in his verse, Han Yii went against earlier poetic conventions. This mention of unsightly human functions, along with the shocking and eccentric imagery of his other poems, constitutes an experiment in the bizarre which challenges the aesthetic standards of earlier Chinese poetry. In other words, Han's poems sometimes "regard ugliness as beauty" J^Btllljt, which is a tendency noticed by many critics and often interpreted as a reaction to the refinement and balance found in the poetry of the High Tang. However, this search for new aesthetics not only departs from the conventions of the High Tang but also all the earlier traditions. It reflects a desire to break away from the past and establish something new, which is not at all consistent with the idea offugu. Yang 67 Chapter Four: Humour Another stylistic feature of Han that is atypical offugu is the use of humour. Given its serious concern for Confucian ethics and literary orthodoxy, the fugu movement is inherently incompatible with wittiness and jokes, and yet Han Yii's verses often contain comical descriptions and remarks. For example, in the second poem of "Two Poems Written At the End of Huangfu Shi's Poem on the Garden Pond of Gong'an" 1 9 0 jjftilL'rft' W^mmm9nm=-M,m Han wrote: I have a pond of water; Reeds and cattails are growing inside it. The insects and fish [look as if they are being] boiled as they chew on each other; Day and night they are never idle. mmmzmmpfm At first 1 used to go and look at it; Gradually I stopped looking after a while. mzmm w^m^ Looking at it disturbs my mind; It would be better i f I did not look. mmm mx &mmnm By using [one's literary talent], one will be able to save many people; By abandoning it [and passing it down to disciples], 1 9 0 Gong'an was a city in Jing Prefecture frO'Jtl of Shannan East Circuit | i | [f[ |!i i , south of present day Shashi City r^Tftrfj in Hubei Province. 191 Quantangshi, juan 341. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 43 Yang . 6 8 One could achieve the feats of Confucius and Yan [Hui]. 1 9 2 Just how long is a hundred years?1 9 4 A gentleman cannot stay idle. This poem is a response to a poem called "Garden Pond of Gong'an" ^ ^ H y f e written by Han's student Huangfu Shi. Huangfu's original poem is no longer extant but apparently it used the petty fish and insects in a pond to satirize its author's enemies, and suffered from having too many trifling details. 1 9 5 Huangfu's immature composition thus prompted Han Y i i to write this poem to point out his flaws, and the pond being described here refers in fact to the poem written by Huangfu Shi. Han Yi i ' s is supposed to be a serious poem where a teacher instructs his student on the proper literary approach, and yet the poem looks more like a light-hearted joke at Huangfu's expense. First, Han YU pokes fun at the wordiness of Huangfu's poem with a witty exaggeration, saying that the insects and fish struggle with each other day and night without resting. Then, as a further mockery, Han comments on the poem in very crude language and comically repeats the word " look" H four times from line five to line eight, making this poem a stylistically odd candidate for fugu. It may be true that the language of a fugu poem 1 9 2 Confucius' top disciple. 1 9 3 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 1084 1 9 4 Implies the maximum lifetime of a human being. 1 9 5 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 1084 Yang 69 should be down-to-earth and free from meaningless refinement, but it is never supposed to be so crude that it excites laughter. We assume Han's attitude towards literature is primarily serious, but here the seriousness is undermined by the humorous device. If Han Yii were a strictly fugu poet, the proper approach to literature would be his greatest concern and would certainly not be a joking matter. The purer fugu poets would also be startled by the fact that in Han Yii's poems even the most iconic figures of Confucian sagehood could be mentioned humorously. For example, in the poem "Answering Liu Zongyuan's196 Eating Toads" ^ K,197 Han wrote the following: (line one to line sixteen) Although a toad lives in water, [Among the creatures of] water it has an especially weird shape and look. Ones that can cry loudly are called frogs, But in reality there is no way in which they differ. mmwmk #mmw.M Although its two thighs are long, What can it do about the wrinkling and blistering of its spine? 1 9 6 Liu Zongyuan $JPTH7G (773-819) is a well-known prose writer and an acquaintance of Han Y i i . In the original title he is referred to by his studio name Liuzhou $/P'Jt[. Jiutangshu, juan 160, liezhuan 110. Zhu Jianmin, Bainaben ershisishi jiutangshu, p. 1209 197 Quantangshi, juan 341. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 711 Yang 70 Although it can jump high, Its mind does not leave the muddy swamp. mmmm mmmmm The sounds of its calling echo with others; It cannot be reasoned with and only make a ruckus. It is something that the Duke of Zhou could not bear; He spread out ash' 9 8 and taught it a lesson. I have abandoned the shore of the sorrowful sea, I keep wishing to sleep without waking. wm$m% imimm*99 [But] I cannot bear the large number of its friends; They boil my ears and cause startling explosions. Like "First Time Eating Southern Food," this poem was written when Han was exiled to Chaozhou and deals with the strange experiences he had in the south. But rather than being purely bizarre, the descriptions in this poem are more comical. The toads are depicted as ugly and dirty, but also playful creatures that "cannot be reasoned with and only make a ruckus," a colloquial expression that carries a joking tone. The metaphor that compares the noise of toads to a thundering explosion is another amusing hyperbole; but the most interesting part of the poem has to be the sage Duke of Zhou's suffering under the toads' noisy croaking, which obliges him to lay down his laws and teachings to this disgusting creature. A method of driving away frogs and toads. Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 1138 Yang 71 Confucian sages are also referred to humorously in Han's "Poem of Two Birds" Sf J ^ T f . 2 0 0 The poem is about two magical birds that have sent the world into chaos with their loud singing, and describing their destructive power, Han Y i i wrote the following: (line twenty-nine to line thirty-eight) If you do not stop the two birds from singing, The myriad beings will all be sorrowful. If you do not stop the two birds from singing, From now on there will be no more spring or autumn. If you do not stop the two birds from singing, It will be difficult for the sun and moon to turn the shafts [of their chariots].201 If you do not stop the two birds from singing, The great law [of the universe] will lose its nine constituents. The Duke of Zhou will no longer be a duke; Confucius will no long be a fucius. The last couplet of the quoted section makes little logical sense and should be best taken as a witty and humorous statement. In the line "kong qiu bu wei qiu," Han Y i i has formed a pun with Confucius' given name Qiu Jx , which also meant "h i l l . " The line can thus be translated as "Confucius wil l no longer be a fucius" or "Confucius wil l no 2 U U This probably refers to the myth that the sun and moon are dragged out to the sky by chariots of gods. "Difficult to turn the shafts" of the sun and moon thus suggests possible deviation of these heavenly bodies from their normal orbit. 2 0 1 This line is probably based on the myth that the sun and moon are dragged to the sky by the chariots of gods. 2 0 2 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 836 Yang 72 longer be a hi l l . " While it is comprehensible for the Duke of Zhou to cease being a duke, it does not make any sense for Confucius to stop being a hill or a " fucius." 2 0 3 Although this humour does not necessarily form an insult to the sage, it is highly unfitting to the serious context of fugu; and for those who are committed to the restoration of Confucian values, joking about the ultimate master is hardly an acceptable poetic device. Humour does not appear merely sporadically in Han's verses; rather, it is pervasive. The following poem is written entirely in a comical manner: "Number One of the Two Poems on Mocking the Snoring Sleep" mmmmm sit-ras When Master Dan 2 0 5 sleeps during the day, Just how loud 2 0 6 is his sound and breath? mmmm statins A violent gale blows on his rich body fat, The pits and valleys [of his body] pile up high and uneven. rm^mm mm±&m Sometimes his vigorous shouting is suddenly swallowed and stopped, But every time it resounds forth it becomes several times louder. Some have suggested that the second qiu in the sentence means "great" or "eminent" and does not refer to Confucius' name. The line should thus be translated as "Confucius will no longer be great." Although this translation makes the couplet seem less whimsical, it does not undo the pun in the original Chinese. Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 838 204 Quantangshi, juan 345. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 591 2 0 5 This poem is written to a monk called Danran JS$£, secular name Zhuge Jue iiSISJi. Not much is known about him except that he once met Han Yi i and Meng Jiao in Luoyang in 807. 2 0 6 Lit: "the barking of a dog." Yang 73 It is like the corpses in the purgatory of Avici, Who [have to] wail for all eternity and bear all their crimes. The horses and bulls 2 0 8 are startled and cannot eat; Hundreds of ghosts gather together and wait [for the snoring to stop]. *tt-t-?g wm±mm The wooden pillow cracks in the shape of a cross; The surface of a mirror forms rashes and tiny swellings. mimmm ^xmmm When an iron Buddha hears [the snore] he knits his brows; Stone men shiver and shake their legs [as they suffer from the snore]. Who said that heaven and earth are merciful? I would like to reproach the True Lord of all creations. [When the snore is] quiet it follows the lice that forage in one's ears. [When the snore is] loud it forms waves that roll in the ocean. The sun could not bear to shine; The flying chariots209 all become lazy. ^mmm nm^mm [It sounds] just like Peng [Yue] 2 1 0 and Qing [Bu], 2" 2 0 7 A Sanskrit word meaning "without intermission." It refers to the lowest and worst level of hell, where suffering continues without an end. 2 0 8 Refers to the Buddhist belief that hell is run by demons who have the body of a human and the head of an animal, in particular the heads of bulls and horses. 2 0 9 Refers to the same myth in footnote 10. 2 1 0 Peng Yue f£M (?~196 BCE.) was a meritorious general serving under Liu Bang fljffl (256-195 BCE.), the founder of Han Dynasty. After the establishment of the dynasty, Peng Yue was suspected of plotting a revolt and was executed by Empress Lu S i n (241-180 BCE.). The punishment he received was called haixing which involved chopping the corpse into minced meat after the execution. Shiji, juan 90, liezhuan 30. Zhang Liansheng SSJS^ Jr. ed, Bainaben ershisishi shiji H l f t ^ — + 0 ^ ^ IE, Taipei: Commercial Press, 1948, p. 912 2 1 1 Qing Bu IgtffJ (?~195 BCE.) was a general originally serving under Xiang Yu Ijp)] (232-202 BCE.) but who later defected to Liu Bang. After seeing meritorious generals such as Han Xin U f a (?~196 BCE.) and Peng Yue successively executed, Qing Bu feared that he might suffer the same fate and revolted against Liu Bang. His forces were defeated by the imperial troops, and he was later captured and Yang 74 Who wailed for being wronged as they were chopped into mincemeat. It is also like a tiger fallen into a trap, Who cries for its wound and roars for its starvation. Although [the Yellow Emperor] ordered Linglun 2 1 2 to blow [pipes], The bitter tune [of the snore] is hard to change. Although [he Lord of Heaven] ordered Wuxian 2 1 3 to invoke [the dead], [Damaged by the snore], their souls can hardly stay intact. Which mountain may contain the spiritual medicine? To cure this [snore] I would like to go pick it. This whole poem consists of hilariously exaggerated descriptions of a snoring monk. It may be possible to interpret this poem as an attack on Buddhism, and take the terribly loud snore as a metaphor for the disorder caused by the foreign religion. However, given the comical image of a fat snoring monk, it is difficult to treat this poem as a serious satire. From start to finish the poem is filled with humorous elements. In the first line, Han already pokes fun at the monk by saying that he sleeps during the day. In executed. Shiji, juan 91, liezhuan 31. Zhang Liansheng, Bainaben ershisishi shiji, p. 915 2 1 2 Linglun jviffil is a legendary musician said to have composed and organized music for the Yellow Emperor. 2 1 3 Wuxian ZEJi£ is a legendary shaman who was a master of divination. He is mentioned in several different sources, and here Han Y i i is probably referring to his appearance in the poem "Encountering Sorrow" jtlil in the Songs of Chu 3§M because he is explicitly connected with the summoning of spirits in these lines: ZEU^^r^l^^" WLWtjwS~Wic^I "Wuxian is about to summon [spirits] in the evening; I carry pepper and fine sacrificial rice to welcome him." Huang Shouqi et al. ed, Chuci $tS?, Taipei: Taiwan guji chubanshe aM^Wi&f&K'i., 1996, p. 36-37 2 1 4 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 666 Yang 75 the second line he further ridicules the monk by describing his snore with a character that originally refers to the barking of a dog. Han YU then makes fun of the monk's chubbiness, comparing his layers of flabby skin to the pits and valleys of a mountain. As the poem goes on, the monk's snore is exaggerated further and further. The power of the horrendous snore reaches far beyond the living and is able to startle the demons in hell, deform and break objects, frighten inanimate statues, and throw the whole universe off balance. It is also interesting that with the use of Buddhist terminology such as "Avici" and "bearing with the crimes" the tone of the hyperbole becomes particularly sarcastic and amusing. From line twenty-one to twenty-eight, historical figures such as Peng Yue and Qing Bu and legendary figures such as Linglun and Wuxian are introduced to further exaggerate the snore. These figures are all treated seriously in esteemed historical or literary sources such as the Record of History and the Songs of Chu j£M. Their appearance here thus forms a sharp contrast to the comical context of the poem and adds another dimension to the humour. Furthermore, the poem ends in a comical hyperbole. The "spiritual medicine" in line twenty-nine is none other than the magical herbs used by Daoist alchemists to create elixirs. Han YU wishes to use this medicine of tremendous value only to cure the monk's annoying snoring, a ridiculous waste of the magical elixir that promises immortality. In other words, even if the poem Yang 76 has a serious theme, its gravity is undermined by the recurring humorous devices. After all, suffering from someone's snoring is a comical situation unfit for conveying any serious idea, and poems such as "Mocking the Snoring Sleep" would probably seem frivolous to a fugu poet who treats literature as a critical tool for the urgent moral renewal of the world. Other poems of Han YU that are meant to be read somewhat more seriously frequently contain a similar kind of hyperbolic humour, even though this may be at odds with the poem's serious theme. For example: "Suffering from the Cold", (line thirteen to line eighteen) Although the sun and the moon are said to be noble, They cannot sustain the lives of the [Sun] Crow and the [Moon] Toad. 2 1 5 As Xihe 2 1 6 sends off the sun, He is timid and scared and repeatedly peeks [looking for the winter god]. The Blazing Emperor2 1 8 holds Zhurong 2 1 9 in his arms; They huff and puff but cannot light a fire on each other. 2 1 5 Refers to the myth that a crow lives on the sun and a toad on the moon. The implication is that the world has turned so cold that even these mythical creatures can no longer survive. 2 1 6 The sun god, believed to drag the sun to the sky with his chariot every morning. 2 1 7 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 154 2 1 8 A legendary sage king from early antiquity, believed to have become the god of fire and summer after he died. 2 1 9 The name of a fire god. Yang 77 Unlike "Mocking the Snoring Sleep," "Suffering from the Co ld " is clearly a poem that carries a serious message. The whole poem is based on a metaphor that compares the emperor's lack of grace to a devastating cold spell. The myriad beings that suffer from the cold thus represent the commoners that suffer from the ruler's unsatisfactory governance. Nevertheless, when Han describes the extreme severity of the cold, he has included a few witty and comical lines that contrast sharply with the seriousness of the theme. In lines thirteen and fourteen, the power of the cold is said to exceed even that of the sun and the moon, thus kill ing the mythical creatures that live on them. While it may not be hard imagine the Moon Toad freezing to death in the chilly night sky, it is wittily hyperbolic to say that even the Sun Crow living on the burning sun cannot survive the cold. Moreover, from line fifteen to eighteen, the sun and fire gods also seem laughable as they are distressed by the cold. Xihe, the mighty god that carries the sun in his chariot now becomes fearful and is nervously peeking for the dreadful winter god. The Blazing Emperor and the fire god Zhurong, who supposedly control the element of fire, now have to desperately hug each other for warmth as they struggle to rouse a flame. Instead of desolation and gloom, Han Y i i has decided to use wittiness and humour to enrich his lines, an unlikely choice for describing a murderous cold that is part of a serious moral symbolism. Yang 78 This conflicting blend of comic and serious elements forms a special kind of black humour in Han Yi i 's poetry, where a depressing or even hopeless situation is ironically depicted with humour. Unlike the fugu poets' clear and direct expression of feelings, Han's black humour may perplex readers with its ambivalence. For example, the following is a poem where Han Y i i writes about the aging and deterioration of his own body in a strangely joking manner: {©aiSiiflB . "Presented to Liu Shifu" I envy you sir for your molars and incisors that are firm and clean; Like knives they cut the large meat and hard pastries. Nowadays my [mouth] has become wide open; [the teeth] that have fallen are many, And the dozen that remain are all shaky and unsteady. The spoon picks up mushy cooked rice and steadily delivers it [to my mouth]; I close my mouth and chew softly like a cow chewing cud. My wives and children are scared by me and have become depressed; On the plates they no longer put chestnuts and pears. Just this year 1 am only forty-five years old; In the future I can anticipate that [my mouth] will gradually become more desolate.222 2 2 0 Lit: "to store food." 2 2 1 The chestnuts and the pears are an allusion to a poem by Tao Yuanming PfS$iJB£j (365-427) called "Scolding My Son" jHf-p: j f i -p l iAf iTi iSM^^H^iW- "My son Tong is about to be nine years old, and he only knows to look for pears and chestnuts." ln this poem Tao writes that his youngest son named Tong j j | cared only about looking for pears and chestnuts when he was nine years old. By alluding to this poem, Han Yi i is saying that he could no longer eat the same food as the young people. Wen Honglong Xinyi Tao Yuanmingji f f l f T a i p e i : Sanmin shuju HKHJlj, 2002, p. 199 Yang 79 [Those with] rosy complexion and unblemished necks2 2 3 Are startled and would not come near; As for all the rest of them, who can even count [the ones that shun me for my appearance]? I remember that when the Grand Duke [of Jiang] began his official career, His mouth only had two teeth and there were nothing else left.2 2 4 As for Yu Fan, 2 2 5 [who had still] thirteen, how could he have fewer [teeth than the Duke]? Thus he felt regretful and expressed his feelings in a letter. If the life of a gentleman could be preserved, it would not cause any harm, 2 2 6 [But] who can maintain2 2 7 the exterior of one's form and body? 2 2 8 The phrase manglu is the same as lumang i l j j ^ . Originally it means weeds growing on barren land. Lu is a kind of salty soil that cannot be used to cultivate crops, and mang means weed or wild grass. The phrase is used here to describe the Han Yii's own mouth, which will lose even more teeth in the future and look empty and desolate like a piece of wild barren land. 2 2 3 Could be a reference to either young people or beautiful women. 2 2 4 The Grand Duke was a very old man when he started serving King Wen of Zhou. However, the fact that he had only two teeth is probably Han Yii 's own imagination. In the book Xunzi lu"?1, he is said to be so old that he had lost his teeth, but there is nothing that suggests he still had two teeth left: ^*&Jf^lAMffl£~£Arr¥t+W-i{3 BW&M^: "[King Wen] selected the Grand Duke from the people in the region and employed him. ~ He was seventy-two years old. He had no teeth and all his teeth had fallen." WangZhonglin 3E.l£#, Xinyi xunzi duben l^ff^D-pIlt^, Taipei: Sanmin shuju HKirJi}, 1978, p. 201 2 2 5 Yu Fan JMM (164-233) was an important minister in the state of Wu during the Three Kingdoms period. When Sun Quan J&tK (182-252) claimed the imperial title in 229, Yu Fan wrote a memorial to both congratulate the new emperor and lament his old age. However, in the memorial Yu only said that his "hair has turned white and his teeth have fallen" itStiililb and there was never any reference to the exact number of his teeth. Like the two teeth of the Grand Duke, the thirteen teeth of Yu Fan is just a number made up by Han Y i i . Sanguozhi, juan 57, Wushu 12. Zhang Liansheng JSjUzfe ed., Bainaben ershisishi sanguozhi UPrft^ — -|-|Z3^H|1^;, Taipei: Commercial Press, 1937, p. 655 2 2 6 Lit: "there is not a single harm out of a hundred." 2 2 7 Lit: "to examine and inspect for the purpose of maintenance." 2 2 8 This is an allusion to the Zhuangzi. In the chapter "Sign of Virtue Complete" Wrfffff, a man with a crippled leg named Shentu Jia f^;£lSf is studying under a master with another able-bodied man named Zheng Zichan HIFpil?. Zheng despises Shentu for his handicap, and as a reply to his disrespect, Shentu Yang 80 ^.mmm^im m^mmsm229 If fishing in the east with a giant string 2 3 0 is something that can be expected, I would like to get full on minced whale meat with you. The poem begins with an odd and comical compliment to a friend's teeth. Han Y i i first envies his friend for his firm and "clean" dental condition. While the firmness of the teeth is a sign of physical health and youth, the cleanness is more of a joking remark. In the next line, Han hilariously exaggerates his friend's dental health, comparing his teeth to knives that cut through the hard-to-chew food with ease. Together with the crude and direct wording, these two lines open the poem in a surprisingly joking manner. Then Han Y i i moves on to talk about the poor condition of his own teeth; the humorous tone continues at first, but it gradually becomes more depressing as the poem goes on. Han first states that, unlike his friend, many of his teeth have fallen. This is supposed to be a lectures Zheng saying: ^mX^m+A^ M*Wft©7C#tiJ <$z?mmmtel&®2.Pi WM®, S^T1M£/£./4- ^F^®-? "I have wandered with the master for nineteen years, and he never once noticed that I am a man with a crippled leg. Now you and I are wandering in the [spiritual] interior of our forms and bodies, and yet you look for me in the [physical] exterior of our forms and bodies. Is this not erroneous?" Without knowing the original passage one may be tempted to interpret xinghai wai as "matters existing beyond one's body," but in fact it should be interpreted as the "physical exterior of one's body. Chen Guying ^$M.M, Zhuangzijinzhu jinyi St-p^fi^"!?, Taipei: Commercial Press, 1975, p. 166 2 2 9 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 843 2 3 0 This is another allusion to the Zhuangzi. In the chapter "External Things" #f$<J, the Prince of the State of Ren {ifi-Tp tries to catch a giant fish in the East Ocean by using a large hook and a giant black rope as his fishing pole and fifty cows as his bait. When he finally catches the fish, it is so large that it is enough to feed thousands of people. The story later explains that the catching of the giant fish is a metaphor for one's ambition. Those who fish from the ocean will be rewarded with a good catch while those who fish from the ditches and streams will only rewarded with petty results. The story also compares the fishing to statecraft, saying that someone who has not heard of the fishing style of the Prince of Ren will naturally be unable to governor a state. Chen Guying, Zhuangzijinzhu jinyi, p. 769 Yang 81 depressing sight, as the falling of teeth is an abrupt and drastic sign of aging unlike the whitening of hair or the wrinkling of skin. Nevertheless, Han has seen fit to comically exaggerate this disturbing image with the expression xiahuo BJfftfJ, which is normally used to describe the spaciousness of a vast and wide open terrain. The poet then describes the way he eats the mushy cooked rice, and comically compares his slow and difficult chewing to a cow's chewing cud. In addition, the fact that the rice is "steadily" delivered to his mouth also indicates calmness and a lack of distress. So far it seems that Han Y i i is not troubled by the loss of teeth and feels comfortable enough about it to make jokes. However, as the poem goes on the tone becomes more serious. In line seven, Han's family is now scared and depressed by the deterioration of his dental health, and in the next line, the allusion to Tao Yuanming's poem is only there to signify the loss of youth and contains no humorous element. Then in lines nine and ten, Han's distress for the rapid deterioration of his body is expressed more explicitly, as the poet becomes conscious of his present age and starts envisioning an even more severe decline in the future. In the next couplet, the distress increases as Han's aging appearance causes exclusion from the people around him. However, from line thirteen the tone of the poem again switches to being more optimistic and humorous. The wise and eminent Grand Duke of Jiang is described as an Yang 82 old man with only two teeth left, and even more comical is the third century strategist Yu Fan's JMM (164-233) ridiculous competition with the Grand Duke in having the fewest teeth. It seems that Yu Fan wishes to lose more teeth to resemble the meritorious Grand Duke, and when he realizes he has nearly a dozen more teeth than the Duke, he expresses an unusual "regret" for being too fit and having teeth that are too healthy. Between these two couplets Han Yi i 's attitude towards aging contrasts with the earlier distress and becomes wittily optimistic. Through the comical interaction between the two historical figures, Han is saying that the wisdom and experience gained from one's age is more valuable than a youthful body, and that the physical signs of aging are things to be proud of or even desired. Nonetheless, in lines seventeen and eighteen, Han contrarily implies an anxiety about aging and death. First, in line seventeen, Han Y i i suggests that a person's desire to hold on to his life is a natural and harmless thing; but in the next line, he regretfully points out that despite the harmlessness of the wish, it is impossible to sustain the physical body permanently. It is also interesting that the allusion to the Zhuangzi in line eighteen actually carries an opposite message from the original text. In the original passage, the physical "exterior of the body" Jf^f^^f is said to be inferior to the spiritual "interior of the body" 0 f £ | ^ | . In this poem, however, it is the exterior that has been Yang 83 given primary importance. The poet has referred to the exterior as something desirable, and implicitly lamented the fact that it is able to be "maintained" By contradicting the transcendent Daoist philosopher, Han has reintroduced the worries regarding aging and death, and reversed the comical atmosphere derived from the previous jokes. The poem thus repeatedly shifts between being lighthearted and depressing and conveys an ambivalent emotion that both amuses and disturbs the readers. Finally, the second allusion to the Zhuangzi at the end of the poem is also worth contemplating. On the surface it seems optimistic, as in the original passage the catching of the giant fish is not merely a whimsy of the imagination but a metaphor for ambition. With this implication in mind it seems that Han Yu is turning the ending back to the hopeful side, saying that i f someone wishes to accomplish something great with him, he wi l l provide his service in spite of his aging body and thus "get full on whale meat." In addition, since Han has specified that the whale meat be shredded, it seems that he is prepared to adapt to imperfect circumstances (like bad teeth) and is optimistic about the future. However, since Han has just alluded somewhat negatively to the Zhuangzi in the previous line, one may be tempted to assume that the fishing of the giant whale also carries a message opposite from the original. Perhaps Han is again twisting Zhuangzi's Yang 84 words and mocking his story as an impossible fantasy, which would then end the poem on a dimmer and more pessimistic note. After all, if Han is indeed hopeful about the future, it would make more sense for him to phrase the last couplet affirmatively, without using the conditional word " i f {H. In other words, with the odd but well-balanced blend of humour and gravity, optimism and pessimism, this poem is neither completely serious nor comical. The real message of the poem is also ambiguous because of this, and it is hard to tell whether the piece is an expression of grief over aging or a self-encouragement. Another poem by Han Y u is composed in a similar fashion, showing that the poet indeed has a unique sense of humour on the deterioration of his dental health: "Falling Teeth" Last year an incisor [of mine] fell; This year a molar fell. Suddenly six or seven fell, And this falling streak has yet to stop. The remaining ones are all moving and shaking; It is only when they have all fallen that [the falling] should stop. I remember when the first tooth fell, I only thought that the gap was embarrassing. ' Quantangshi, juan 339. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 427 Yang 85 If one falls each year, They would be enough to last for two decades.233 If they should fall all at once, It is also the same as if they had [fallen] gradually. People say that with the falling of teeth, The length of your life naturally becomes hard to count on. I say that [all] lives have their limits; Long or short, we all die in the end. xmmzm %&mmm People say that with the gapping of teeth, Those on your left and right will stare at you in shock. I say that Zhuang Zhou 2 3 4 has once said: "The tree and the goose each has its own joy." 2 3 5 My speech may be defective, but it is better to be silent; I can no longer chew, but soft foods are still delicious to me. mwmim mm^m^2'6 For this I sing and then made this poem; I shall take it to startle my wife and children. Similar to "Presented to Liu Shifu," this poem uses a bizarre sense of humour to deal with a disturbing sign of aging: the falling of teeth. From the beginning, this poem fails to resemble a serious piece due to the constant repetition of the word luo Hr, "to fal l ." Out of the thirty-six lines in the poem, luo is repeated fifteen times, a frequency that 2 3 3 In fact it is twenty-four years, as ji | g is actually a period of twelve years. 2 3 4 This is the actual name of Zhuangzi. 2 3 5 This is another allusion to the Zhuangzi, explained later in the main text. Chen Guying, Zhuangzi jinzhu jinyi, p. 545 2 3 6 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 171-172 Yang 86 People say that with the gapping of teeth, Those on your left and right will stare at you in shock. I say that Zhuang Zhou 2 3 4 has once said: "The tree and the goose each has its own joy." 2 3 5 My speech may be defective, but it is better to be silent; I can no longer chew, but soft foods are still delicious to me. For this I sing and then made this poem; I shall take it to startle my wife and children. Similar to "Presented to Liu Shifu," this poem uses a bizarre sense of humour to deal with a disturbing sign of aging: the falling of teeth. From the beginning, this poem fails to resemble a serious piece due to the constant repetition of the word luo "to fal l ." Out of the thirty-six lines in the poem, luo is repeated fifteen times, a frequency that inevitably makes the poem sound crude and comical. Moreover, although "Fall ing Teeth" is more detailed than "Presented to Liu Shifu," it is also more casual in its presentation. Han Y i i has described the successive falling of his teeth as i f it were a joke, and with the recurring character luo, which was pronounced like lak with the sharp and abrupt entering tone AS? in medieval Chinese, 2 3 7 one can almost sense a comical 2 3 4 This is the actual name of Zhuangzi. 2 3 5 This is another allusion to the Zhuangzi, explained later in the main text. Chen Guying, Zhuangzijinzhu jinyi, p. 545 2 3 6 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 171-172 2 3 7 Edwin G Pulleyblank, Lexicon of Reconstructed Pronunciation in Early Middle Chinese, Late Middle Chinese, and Early Mandarin, Vancouver: UBC Press, 1991, p. 204 Yang 87 rhythm as the teeth fall one after another. In addition, Han mocks his initial reactions to this alarming sign of aging, as he exaggerates his fear in telling of turning his head upside down and being afraid to rinse his mouth. However, despite the seeming lack of concern, this poem actually carries darker implications than "Presented to L iu Shifu." While in the previous poem the poet's degree of hopefulness is ambiguous, in this poem the inevitability of death is made much more explicit. From line twenty-five to twenty-eight, the poet has envisioned his impending death and pointed out that there is no significant difference between dying young and dying old, conveying a depressing and pessimistic thought in spite of the indifferent tone of the lines. Furthermore, the poem's allusion to the Zhuangzi in line thirty-two also requires some explanation. The tree and goose refer to a story in the chapter "Mountain Tree" [ll^fs in which a large tree escapes from being felled because its gnarled trunk is useless to the woodsmen, while a goose is slaughtered for a feast because it is unable to honk and warn its master about the approach of strangers. Although they are both useless to men, the tree and the goose end up with very different fates, and through this contradiction, Zhuangzi tries to introduce the possibility of transcending both usefulness and uselessness. In the context of this poem, it would seem that the useless tree and goose refer to Yang 88 those who have lost their teeth like Han Y i i ; but while the joy of the tree is easy to understand, it is difficult to see what the joy of the goose could possibly be. Just a few lines earlier, Han says that a long life and a short one are the same in their eventual end, so perhaps here he is taking a step further by saying that even life and death are essentially the same, thus allowing the slaughtered goose to be as joyful as the surviving tree. Also, from line thirty-three, we see that Han Yi i 's loss of teeth has impaired his speech, implying that he probably considers his condition to be closer to the goose that cannot honk. On the other hand, one may think that this is reading too much into Han's use of the allusion and decide to interpret the poem positively instead. Since in lines thirty-three and thirty-four, Han Y i i does point out the "benefits" of being silent and unable to chew, it is possible to take this poem as a self-encouragement. The poet may also be simply poking fun at the Daoist philosopher, pointing out the obvious contradiction in Zhuangzi's teaching, and with the poem ending in the practical joke of "startling the wife and children," it is also reasonable to regard the whole poem as a witty joke on an unlikely subject matter. In any case, it is certain that with its peculiar sense of humour and potentially dark implications, "Fall ing Teeth" is anything but the stereotyped verse that laments one's old age and death. Like "Presented to Liu Shifu," this poem leaves its readers with a lingering ambivalence by joking about something that Yang 89 is not supposed to be funny. Although such black humour allows Han Y i i to form a very unique style, it is at odd with the principles of fugu. Ideally, a well composed fugu verse is supposed to be a serious and sincere expression that connects the poet directly with the reader, and yet in the two poems above, we have seen not only a compromised seriousness but also a deliberate attempt to create ambiguity. Moreover, even i f we ignore the disturbing aspect of Han's humour, the comically exaggerated images, laughably crude language, and jokes at the expense of revered Confucian sages are still features hardly appropriate to the movement that aims to revitalize Confucianism. Due to the consistent use of such comical techniques, Han Yi i ' s verse should not be considered an example of fugu, and it may perhaps even have been intended to be a deliberate challenge to the movement. Yang 90 Chapter Five: Use of Empty Words and Unconventional Caesura Another prevalent feature of Han Yi i 's verse is his common use of function words. Traditionally, nouns, verbs, and adjectives are called the real words or shizi J f ^ because they are words that convey concrete meanings. Words that perform the grammatical functions in a sentence are called the empty words or xuzi JSL^T because they carry no specific meanings by themselves. 2 3 8 Typical examples of these include the objective pronoun zhi ~£L> the subjective relative pronoun zhe objective relative pronoun suo pff, the instrumental co-verb yi the third-person possessive pronoun qi S , and so on. These empty words are typical of formal prose writing and tended to be omitted in poetry as the poetic language became more compact and delicate. When the penta-syllabic poems and the yuefu poems were first developed in the Han Dynasty, certain empty words did appear quite frequently, but by Tang times their use became much rarer and most poets would try to avoid them to save space for more concrete 2 3 8 Some empty words can carry concrete meanings as well. For example, zhi Z and yi \>X can function as full verbs meaning "to go" and "to use" respectively. Suo fft c a n a'so be a full noun meaning "place." However, they will lose their grammatical function and appear in different positions of the sentence if they are being used as verbs or nouns. Edwin G. Pulleyblank, Outline of Classical Chinese Grammar, p. 47 and 68 Yang 91 images and descriptions. As an example of the early ancient poems, the following is the ninth poem of the Han penta-syllabic series "Nineteen Ancient Poems" "rS"I#-p7L"§":239 m^ifm mmmmm There is a splendid tree in the yard; Between its green leaves flowers bloom and flourish. I grab the branch and break off its flower; I am going to give it to the one whom I miss. 2 4 0 Fragrance fills up my chest and sleeves, But the road is far and no one can deliver it. jtt^s* ummmm241 How is this thing worth valuing? I only feel sentimental that we have parted for a long time. In this poem, empty words such as qi, yi, suo, and zhi are used. The insertion of these characters makes the poem's structure less compact than the later ones. It is different from the tight organization of Tang's regulated verse, and contemporary poets of Han Y i i would try to avoid using such empty words in a short poem like this. For example, the possessive pronoun qi and the instrumental co-verb yi are likely to be omitted to make rooms for more descriptions, since without them the line is still understandable from the The series is considered to have been compiled during the end of Eastern Han. Commentators have agreed that the poems are written by multiple authors, but the exact date and authorship of each poem are impossible to determine. It was first recorded in Zhaoming wenxuan BpB£J3t;il§ (Literary selection of Crown Prince Zhaoming) compiled by Xiao Tong M$t (501-531) during the Liang Dynasty. 2 4 0 Lit: With it, I am going to give to the one whom I miss. 2 4 1 FengBaoshan ifjf^cf, Xinyi gushiyuan ^xWSWW-, Taipei: Sanmin shuju H S U Ml, 2006, p. 283 Yang 92 word order and context. In line three, "Grab branch and break off flowers" Pf^/fll is as understandable as "Grab branch and break off its flowers" pf^ Jff and under the tighter structure of Tang poetry, the character qi is likely to be substituted by another full noun or adjective to enrich the imagery. Likewise, in the next line i f one only writes "Going to give to the one whom I miss" WM?f\^ without the instrumental co-verb yi, it is still understandable from the context that the speaker is going to do the action of giving with the flowers. As for the phrase suosi, it is a short relative clause meaning "the one whom I miss" or "the one whom I think of." Although suo cannot be omitted, such wording may be too rigid and prosaic according to the later poetic standard. It is likely to be replaced by phrases such as guren $(A o r youren ~&JK meaning "friend." This would make the line seem more concrete because both of these phrases contain a full adjective and a full noun, whereas suosi contains an empty word and a full verb. In line six, the objective pronoun zhi is not entirely necessary either, as the direct object is often omitted in poetry i f it is understood from the context. It could be omitted like the qi and yi in earlier lines, or it may be replaced by another noun with a specific meaning. The empty words thus cause redundancy and crudeness in this poem, but at Yang 93 the same time they also give a natural ruggedness that cannot be achieved in the later, more polished poetry. The poem may be unrefined, but it is more spontaneous and carries a simple beauty of its own. This beauty of simplicity and ruggedness is something that Han Y i i cultivated. As a result, he often uses the empty words in his poems to emulate the redundancy and crudeness of early poetry. The following are a few examples: "Number Eight o f the Eleven Poems on Autumn Reminiscence" (line fifteen to line sixteen) nmmmm mmmm242 There are moving sentiments in his words; They cause me to feel sorrowful again. KOiT-m243 "Two Poems on Beneath Mount Q i " (line five to line six) [A bird with] the five-colored feathers of Danxue, 2 4 5 Its name is phoenix. mm2*6 "Sick O w l " 242 243 244 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 554 Quantangshi, juan 336. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 224 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 18 2 4 5 Name of a mythical mountain associated with phoenix. 246 Quantangshi, juan 341. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 3 Yang 94 (line twenty-one to line twenty-two) *5mm$; mm?m241 I saved your life that was going to end; I bathed you with a pond of clear water. "In Response to Chief Musician Hou, 2 4 9 A Song on Bamboo Shoots" (line nineteen to line twenty) m»itmn mmtmm250 How can one hold the bamboo splints and calculate [the fortune]? Who can explain this with principles? ittarfiii*251 "On the Way to Jiangling" (line ninety-one to line ninety-two) ±^±<zm mmmim252 For my whole life I have striven for benevolence and righteousness; What I have learned is all from Confucius and [the Duke of] Zhou. mz2* "Song of the Night" (line five to line six) Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 1024 248 Quantangshi, juan 344. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 230 2 4 9 This is Hou X i {HH, was one of Han Yii's students. Not much is known about him except that he passed the jinshi jfiidr examination in 803 after having studied under Han Y i i . 2 5 0 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 982 2 5 1 The complete title is "On the Way to Jiangling, Sent and Presented to the Three Scholars of the Imperial Academy: Wang Number Twenty the Rectifier of Omissions, Li Number Eleven the Reminder, and L i Number Twenty-six the Dice Director" I fcf f lg&^if i—+fitSII3H—t&&$—-\-?s^t r®tfi=.*£ ± . Quantangshi, juan 336. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 420 2 5 2 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 289 253 Quantangshi, juan 336. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 139 Yang 95 Happiness Alas! What is it that I worry about? What I worry about is not [within the limit of] my power. J thB£njff I f? H ** 2 5 5 "This Day Is Indeed a Pity, Presented to Zhang J i " 2 5 6 (line eleven to line twelve) I think of him but cannot meet [him]; There are a hundred thoughts in my heart. "Meng Jiao Lost His Son" (line eleven to line twelve) mmzM mmxr^259 The god of earth felt sad for him; He was fidgeting and uneasy for a long time. The use of empty words thus seems to be the most truly fugu feature of Han's verse; however, after a systematic comparison, one may detect some subtle differences between the use of empty words in Han's verse and that of the authentic ancient poems. 2 5 4 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 151 255 Quantangshi, juan 337. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 730 2 5 6 Zhang Ji (766-830) was a friend of Han Yu. Jiutangshu, juan 160, liezhuan 110. Zhu Jianmin, Bainaben ershisishi jiutangshu, p. 1206 2 5 7 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 84 258 Quantangshi, juan 339. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 226 2 5 9 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 675 Yang 96 One example is the character zhe, which forms a relative clause where the relative pronoun is the subject of the relative clause. 2 6 0 When it appears in the yuefu or ancient poems of the Han and Wei, it usually cannot be omitted. Most of the time it appears in phrases such as "the one who sees" "the one who is beautiful" H^ f and "the one who helps me" $J$Zii, and is required for the relative construction. The following are a few examples of such cases: "Number Five of the Nineteen Ancient Poems" (line thirteen to line fourteen) I do not pity the bitterness of the one who sings; I only feel sad that [those who] understand her music are few. "Number Twelve of the Nineteen Ancient Poems" (line eleven to line twelve) In [the region of] Yan and Zhao, there are many fair ladies; Those who are beautiful, their faces are like jade. "Mulberry on the Path" (line seventeen to line eighteen) 260 Edwin G. Pulleyblank, Outline of Classical Chinese Grammar, p. 66-67 2 6 1 Feng Baoshan, Xinyi gushiyuan, p. 278 2 6 2 Feng Baoshan, Xinyi gushiyuan, p. 287 2 6 3 A yuefu poem from the Han Dynasty, it is likely the modification of a folk song. Exact date and Yang 97 Those who are plowing forget about their plows; Those who are hoeing forget about their hoes. mm "Ballad of the Orphan" (line forty-two to line forty-three) Those who help me were few; Those who ate melons were many. mmm "Poem of Sorrow and Indignation" (line seventy-nine to line eighty) Those who are watching are all sighing; The pedestrians are also sobbing. "Poem on a Beautiful Woman" (line fifteen to line sixteen) The pedestrians stop walking because of [her]; Those who are resting forget about their meals due to [her]. "Poem on Seven Sorrows" authorship are unknown. The poem was first recorded in Gujinzhu ^f^Q: (Commentary on the antiquity and the present) during the Jin Dynasty. Feng Baoshan, Xinyi gushiyuan, p. 228 2 6 4 A yuefu poem from the Han Dynasty, it is likely the modification of a folk song. Exact date and authorship are unknown. Feng Baoshan, Xinyi gushiyuan, p. 242 2 6 5 This is a penta-syllabic poem by the female poet Cai Yan (177—?) during the end of Eastern Han. Feng Baoshan, Xinyi gushiyuan, p. 200 2 6 6 This is a penta-syllabic poem by Cao Cao's son Cao Zhi f f f i t (192~232) during the Wei Dynasty. Feng Baoshan, Xinyi gushiyuan, p. 372 Yang 98 (line five to line six) May I ask who is the one who sighs? They say she is the wife of a vagabond. In all of the above examples zhe cannot be omitted or else the relative clause wil l change into a verb, an adjective, or a full sentence. They are different from phrases such as jinzhe literally meaning "the time that is now." In this case the phrase is semantically the same without zhe, since jin ^ is already a noun meaning "now." The relative construction is optional and serves more of an emphatic function for introducing a topic. 2 6 8 The phrases jinzhe may thus be loosely translated as "as for now" or "just now." This kind of optional zhe seldom appears in the ancient poems of the Han and Wei, but in Han Y i i ' s verse it is much more prevalent and there are numerous examples where the character is unnecessarily inserted: "On the Way to Jiangling" (line one hundred and threeo to line one hundred and four) As for yesterday, a messenger from the capital arrived, Also a penta-syllabic poem by Cao Zhi. Feng Baoshan, Xinyi gushiyuan, p. 408 2 6 8 Edwin G. Pulleyblank, Outline of Classical Chinese Grammar, p. 74 2 6 9 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 289 Yang [saying that the] succeeding emperor has inherited the crown. FT270 "Returning to the City Walls of Peng" (line twenty-five to line twenty-six) As for yesterday I arrived at the capital, A n d repeatedly I rushed while accompanying the tall carriages. mmm212 "Sending Of f Mastering L i n g " (line fifty-one to line fifty-two) As for yesterday he arrived at L i n y i , 2 7 4 A n d caused the ruler to host several banquets. mmm^nm215 "Number Four of the Four Poems Inspired by Spring" (line seven to line eight) As for now, I am reading books and histories for no reason, A n d the wisdom is only good for wasting my energy. Quantangshi, juan 337. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 412 2 7 1 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 120 2 7 2 Quantangshi, juan 337. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 369 2 7 3 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 203 2 7 4 Name of an ancient state south of China, located in the mid-south of today's Vietnam, better known Champa. 2 7 5 Quantangshi, juan 338. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yu juan, p. 525 2 7 6 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 373 2 7 7 Quantangshi, juan 337. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 399 Yang 100 "Joy about Hou Xi 's Arrival, Presented to Zhang Ji and Zhang Che" 2 7 8 (line twenty-one to line twenty-two) <$mmsm pmm-x219 As for now, I indeed feel lucky That there is not a single loss in what I have. "Traveling to Green Dragon Monastery, Presented to Cui the Eldest2 8 1 and the Rectifier of Omissions" (line twenty-five to line twenty-six) mmrn^gtm ^mmmmm2"2 I [used to] think of you and wish to hold your hands, but how could this be possible? As for now, [I am finally able to] follow you, how would I dare to refuse you with an excuse? "Sending Off Master Hui" (line one to line two) mw&mm M^mx2M As for Master Hui the monk, 2 8 5 He is indeed an unrestrained person. 2 7 8 Zhang Che was another student of Han Yi i . Not much is known about him either except that he also passed the jinshi examination after having studied under Han Y i i . 2 7 9 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 620 280 Quantangshi, juan 339. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 370 2 8 1 This is Cui Qun ^ M l l ; his biography can be found in the Old Book of Tang. Jiutangshu, juan 159, liezhuan 109. Zhu Jianmin, Bainaben ershisishi jiutangshu, p. 1201 2 8 2 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 563 283 Quantangshi, juan 337. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yiijuan, p. 369 2 8 4 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 193 285 Futu ffiM was originally the transliteration of the Sanskrit word Buddha, but later it could also refer to Buddhist pagodas and monks. 286 Quantangshi, juan 337. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 476 Yang 101 "The Inferior Horse and the Fine Horse" (line one to line two) The inferior horse is indeed petty; As for the market place, just how many of [those horses] are there? "Poem of Lunar Eclipse, an Imitation of Lu Tong's Work" (line seventeen to line eighteen) &JthBH# mA^BIBf288 I think of these things that are the sun and the moon; They are the eyes of heaven. rnw&m2*9 "Sending Off Monk Chengguan" (line nineteen to line twenty) mmm*mT immmmmm290 In the past when I followed the army in Daliang, 2 9 1 In and out of the whole house there were those who were worthy and heroic. In all of the above examples, zhe is placed after a noun for the sake of emphasis rather than relative construction. In particular there is a tendency to use zhe to mark time such as jinzhe, "the time that is now" or "as for now" and zuozhe, "the time that is yesterday" or "as for yesterday." Zhe is also emphatic and optional in phrases such as futuzhe # Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 115 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 746 Quantangshi, juan 342. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yu juan, p. 325 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 128 Present day Kaifeng Hfi^ in He'nan Province MrS-Yang 102 JH f^, shizhe 7tf^§", hyuezhe B ^ and haojiezhe MUc^f, because without the empty word, these phrases already carry the meanings of "Buddhist monk," "market," "sun and moon," and "the wise and heroic ones" respectively. This kind of wording is highly typical of prose and unconventional for poetry. Although the early poems of the Han and Wei did have a tendency to include empty words, their use of zhe was never as redundant and prosaic as Han Y i i ' s . This indicates that even in the use of empty words, Han is trying to create a new style of his own and not merely recreating the style of the ancients. Another empty word that is used more prosaically in Han Y i i ' s poems is the character zhi. Zhi is an empty word with several grammatical functions, but in the ancient poems of the Han and Wei, it is almost always used as the objective pronoun meaning "it," "h im," "her," or "them." The following are a few examples: "Number Six of the Nineteen Ancient Poems" (line three to line four) I pick it, and whom should I give [it] to? The one whom I think of is in a far away place. mm 2 9 2 Feng Baoshan, Xinyi gushiyuan, p. 280 Yang 103 "There Is Something on My Mind" (line four to line nine) mmmm m^.mmz A hairpin [decorated] with twin pearls and tortoise shells. I entwined it with a piece of jade. K®wffe<i> &mmmz I heard that you had a new love, [So] I bent, broke, smashed, and burned it. mmz ^BMW I smashed and burned it; Facing the wind I let fly its ash. mmm "Poem of Sorrow and Indignation" (line line forty-nine to line fifty) m^mm mznmm294 There is a traveler coming from outside; [When] I hear about this I am always glad. r *M?T "Graveyard Ballad" (line fifteen to line sixteen) ±&sm- &zmAH295 As for the surviving commoners, only one remains [alive] in every hundred; When one thinks of this it breaks one's heart. "Ballad of Suffering from the Cold" (line three to line four) 2 9 3 A Han yuefu poem that is included as one of the "Eighteen Cymbal Songs of the Han" fH^SR-hAft . Exact date and authorship are unknown. Feng Baoshan, Xinyi gushiyuan, p. 220 2 9 4 Feng Baoshan, Xinyi gushiyuan, p. 200 2 9 5 A penta-syllabic poem by Cao Cao HfJH (155~220). Feng Baoshan, Xinyi gushiyuan, p. 340 Yang 104 "Poem on Seven Sorrows" As seen above, when zhi is not being used as a full verb meaning "to go," it is mostly used as an objective pronoun in the early yuefu and penta-syllabic poems. Although the empty word can function in other ways, the other functions are more typical of prose and rarely appear in verse. In Han Y i i ' s poems however, zhi is not limited to being an objective pronoun and is often used for its other, more prosaic functions. For example, in the following lines, zhi is used as a subordination marker similar to the English preposition " o f or apostrophe s: Also a penta-syllabic poem by Cao Cao. Feng Baoshan, Xinyi gushiyuan, p. 341 2 9 7 Literally the "Sheep Intestine Slope," supposed to be the name of a place located to the southeast of today's Huguan County HSJO in Shanxi Province Feng Baoshan, Xinyi gushiyuan, p. 342 This "Poem of Seven Sorrows" is written by Wang Can EE^l (177~217), one of the Seven Gentlemen of Jian'an JH^ct-f1. It is a different poem from the one written by Cao Zhi quoted previously. Feng Baoshan, Xinyi gushiyuan, p. 416 jttB£np|fliSl; Yang 105 "This Day Is Indeed a Pity, Presented to Zhang J i" (line one hundred and thirty-three to line thirty-four) The river water of Huai is slow; . The Chu mountains are straight and clustered together. "Parting From Rectifier Dou 3 0 1 at Yueyang Chamber"3 0 2 (line forty-one to line forty-two) mn*>z^ wmmmm™ At this time it is the first month of winter; The cracks and holes [of the building] shrink as the cold increases. E ± 3 0 4 "Recommending a Gentleman" (line sixty-seven to line sixty-eight) Vast and far away are the thoughts of mine; Disorderly is the banner in the wind. "Alas the Ballad of Mr. Dong" 3 0 7 299 300 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 85 Quantangshi, juan 337. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 620 3 0 1 This is Dou Xiang Rj$ , a friend of Han Y i i . His biography can be found in the Old Book of Tang under his brother Dou Qun RH?-. Jiutangshu, juan 155, liezhuan 105. Zhu Jianmin, Bainaben ershisishi jiutangshu, p. 1181 3 0 2 A famous scenery spot by Lake Dongting :MI& in today's Hunan Province M^fl-303 304 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 317 Quantangshi, juan 337. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 382 3 0 5 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 528 306 Quantangshi, juan 337. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 599 3 0 7 This is Dong Zhaonan irBSf, a friend of Han Y i i . He is mentioned in an essay by Han Y i i called "Preface of Sending off Dong Zhaonan" jSK'nl^)?; other than this not much is known about him. Yang 106 (line thirty-four to line thirty-six) [As for] people of this age, the husbands and wives abuse each other and the brothers make enemies out of each other. They consume the ruler's stipend, And cause their parents to worry. HS£®;309 "Song of the Stone Drum" (line sixty-five to line sixty-six) The song of the stone drum ends at this point; Alas, my will is surely disappointed. "Han F u 3 1 2 Studying at the South of the City Wall" (line seven to line eight) [If] you wish to know the power of knowledge, [Then you should know that] the wise and the foolish start from the same point. In the above examples, zhi is used to indicate subordination between nouns by the formula N2 zhi N I , in which N I is the head of the phrase and N2 is the modifier. 3 1 4 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 80 309 Quantangshi, juan 340. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 80 3 1 0 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 795 311 Quantangshi, juan 341. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 708 3 1 2 This is Han Yii's son. 3 1 3 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 1011 3 1 4 Edwin G. Pulleyblank, Outline of Classical Chinese Grammar, p. 61 Yang 107 When used in this way, zhi can often be omitted. For example, wosi $c^|. is "my thought" and wozhisi f)c^.S is "the thoughts of mine;" the two are completely the same in meaning and equally understandable. Likewise, phrases such as dongzhimeng ^*LmL can also be rewritten as mengdong to convey the same meaning of "the first month of winter." The subordination marker zhi is therefore more clumsy and redundant than the objective pronoun zhi and is more typical of the less compact structure of prose, and even in the primitive poetry of the Han and Wei, it is difficult to find zhi being used as a subordination marker. In addition, besides using zhi to indicate subordination, Han Y i i also has a tendency to use zhi as a nominalizer, which is an even more prosaic usage of the empty word. The following are some examples: "Time Passes Quickly" (line one to line two) Oh time passes quickly, I am yet to know the joy in l i fe 3 1 7 And I wish to be relieved and go away without any more connection [to this world]. 315 Quantangshi, juan 338. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yu juan, p. 260 3 1 6 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 107 3 1 7 Lit: life's making of joy. Yang 108 "Falling Teeth" (line twenty-five to line twenty-six) xmmzm m^mm People say that with the falling of teeth, One's life will naturally be hard to rely on. (line twenty-nine to line thirty) People say that [with] the gapping of teeth, [People] by one's left and right will be startled and start looking [at him] carefully. "Fu Studying at the South of the City Wall" (line one to line four) When a tree is taken to the rulers and compasses,320 It is up to the carpenters and carriage makers. When a person is able to be a [virtuous] person,322 It is because he has [the knowledge of] poetry and books inside him The above examples all contain verb phrases formally nominalized by inserting zhi between the subject and the verb. A short sentence such as "teeth fal l " is thereby changed into a noun phrase such as "falling of teeth" or "teeth's fall ing" ® ^ ^ . 3 2 3 Nevertheless, this kind of marked nominalization is not always required. In classical 318 Quantangshi, juan 339. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 427 3 1 9 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 172 3 2 0 Lit: A tree's drawing near to rulers and compasses, is in the carpenters and carriage makers. 3 2 1 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 1011 3 2 2 Lit: A person's being able to be a virtuous person, is because he has poetry and books in his stomach. 3 2 3 Edwin G. Pulleyblank, Outline of Classical Chinese Grammar, p. 64 Yang 109 Chinese, verbs or verb phrases may be treated as nouns simply by being placed in the noun posit ion. 3 2 4 This is especially true for poetry, where the grammatical rules do not need to be followed as rigorously as prose. Even without zhi, the verb phrase "life makes joy" : zEJ^^ can be understood as a noun phrase "l i fe's making of joy" since it is placed after the verb "to know" £Q. Similarly, phrases such as "teeth fal l " jHf|j| can also be automatically understood as "the falling of teeth" or "when teeth fa l l " as they are put after the verb "to say" H -Moreover, there is no need to nominalize some of the verb phrases in these lines. In the ancient poems of the Han and Wei, lines such as "a tree's drawing near to rulers and compasses" if-l^MM^. are much more likely to be written as a full sentence "a tree draws near to rulers and compasses" ifMM^.. Zhi and the nominalization would not be necessary and an extra noun or adjective is likely to be inserted to fit the meter. Therefore, to mimic the ancient style more closely, Han Y i i could have re-written the couplet into something like this: A timber tree draws near to the rulers and compasses; [Such an act] is in the hands of carpenters and carriage makers. Edwin G. Pulleyblank, Outline of Classical Chinese Grammar, p. 62-63 Yang 110 Even without the nominalization, the meaning of the couplet can be understood within the context of the second line. Likewise, the next couplet in the same poem can also be re-written in the following way: Many people are able to be [virtuous] people; [Such a result] is because they have [the knowledge of] poetry and books inside them. The re-written couplets without nominalization seem much more natural and are more typical of ancient penta-syllabic poems. If Han had truly wished to recreate the archaic style, he could have easily re-written the lines to do so, but instead he chooses to write the lines with formally marked nominalizations that resemble the rigidness of prose writing. It is yet another example where Han makes his poems overly prosaic to create his own style. Furthermore, Han Y i i ' s most prosaic use of the empty word zhi occurs when it appears in combination with suo to form a relative clause. For example, in the following lines he writes: "Government Clerk by the Torrent" (line sixty-five to line sixty-six) 325 Quantangshi, juan 341. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yu juan, p. 495 Yang 111 All the things that the clerk scolded [me for], Alas, I am indeed guilty of quite a lot of them. "Instructing My Son" (line nine to line ten) Under the southern eaves I provide banquets for the guests and relatives; That is how I treat [the guests] during the coming of age ceremonies and weddings, (line thirty-one to line thirty-two) m^zmm mmmmm32* [When] I ask what is it that the guests do; [The ones with] tall caps speak of Tang and Yu. 3 2 9 In this construction, zhi is placed optionally before suo to formally express the subject of the relative clause.330 This arrangement is optional as the subject is already apparent from the syntax. Both "lizhisuohe" ^^LfifiiM and "lisuohe" J^FJM can be clearly understood as "what the clerk scolds," and likewise, both "kezhisuowei" ^xL'pftM and "kesuowei" ^-fiffM can be understood identically as "what the guests do." Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 110 327 Quantangshi, juan 342. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 99 3 2 8 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 952 3 2 9 Tang and Yu are ancient sage dynasties prior to Xia. This means the guests of Han Yii are all well educated and morally superior. 3 3 0 In addition, relative clauses with the empty word zhe never contain zhi since zhe already indicates that the relative pronoun is the subject of the relative clause. Edwin G. Pulleyblank, Outline of Classical Chinese Grammar, p. 68 Yang 112 In other words, the empty word zhi only makes the subject of the relative clause more explicit in these lines and is completely optional. Like the empty word zhe when it is placed after a noun, zhi in this case serves an emphatic function rather than an actual grammatical function. This optional usage of zhi is extremely prosaic and is almost never seen in poetry. Examples from early ancient poems would show that suo was mostly used.without zhi to form a relative clause: " A n Ancient Poem Composed for Jiao Zhongqing's Wi fe " (lines two hundred and eighty-one and eighty-two) A s expected, things are not like how I wished for earlier. Moreover, they are not something that you sir could know in details. "Lute Bal lad" (line thirteen to line fourteen) The old friends cannot be forgotten; Ending [a friendship] in stinginess is what the righteous ones despise. This poem is more commonly known by its first line " A Peacock Flies Southeast" ?Lii= iHf^I^; it is a long narrative poem about the tragic love between a minor official named Jiao Zhongqing ^jff^P a n d his wife L iu Lanzhi H!]jjti3i. The story is believed to be a true event that took place during the Jian'an period (196~220). The poem is the modification of a long folk song whose author cannot be identified. It was first recorded in the New Chantings of the Jade Terrace 3Eli§flK compiled around 545 by X u L ing f£|^(507~583) . Feng Baoshan, Xinyi gushiyuan, p. 262 3 3 2 A penta-syllabic yuefu poem by Cao Zh i . The poem's title is the same as an earlier yuefu poem of the Han era, but its content and format has nothing to do with the original poem. Feng Baoshan, Xinyi gushiyuan, p. 365 Yang 113 Sea "Thoughts in a R o o m " (line five to line six) Valu ing the new and forgetting about the old, This is what a gentleman rebukes and ridicules. Although relative clauses containing suo are common in the early penta-syllabic and yuefu poems, it is difficult to find a line where suo is accompanied with zhi, as the subject of the relative clause is already implicitly expressed through syntax. Typically the insertion of zhi only appears in prose where there is no limitation on line length. Its appearance in poetry is thus redundant even by the crude standard of early ancient poems, and would only cause awkwardness rather than archaism. Lastly, besides using common empty words in unusual and prosaic ways, Han YU also uses empty words that are rarely seen in ancient poems. One example of this is the empty word gou j^, which forms a conditional or " i f clause.334 The empty word is seldom used in the poems of the Han and Wei periods, but in Han Yii's verse it appears quite frequently: 3 3 3 A penta-syllabic poem by X u Gan flfcift, one of the Seven Gentlemen of Jian'an. Feng Baoshan, Xinyi gushiyuan, p. 426 3 3 4 Gou could also function as a full verb meaning "to be careless of." Edwin G. Pulleyblank, Outline of Classical Chinese Grammar, p. 152 Yang 114 "The Long River and River Han, Answering to Meng Jiao" (line nine to line ten) If one can be loyal and trustworthy, Then one will be able to live [among] the barbarians.337 fck338 • "Sea Water" (line eleven to line twelve) mmm* wm^m339 If not for their large scales and feathers, There is no way they could surge and soar. mmimm340 "Sending off Ou Hong 3 4 1 Returning South" (line thirty-three to line thirty-four) j S ^ 6 S H 3 E f f i J E ^^WM^B342 The virgin is graceful and is what a king would take as a concubine; If he has great virtue then his reclusion would not be a problem 343 335 Quantangshi, juan 336. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 315 3 3 6 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 919 3 3 7 An allusion to a passage in the Analects. i M f i : ff&ff IJMW WM^ZM'il^k "Duke Weiling:" "[If one] speaks of loyalty and trustworthiness and behaves with sincerity and respect, then even the state of barbarians will be within reach." Xie Bingying, Xinyi sishu duben, p. 249 338 Quantangshi, juan 345. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 367 3 3 9 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 125 340 Quantangshi, juan 339. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 369 This Ou Hong seems to be a student of Han Yu. He is mentioned in a poem by Han Yii 's friend Zhang Ji called "Sending off Ou Hong" JUGES/A; other than this not much is known about him. 3 4 2 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 576 3 4 3 The word virgin or chuzi jH^f1 is used here as a metaphor for a recluse or chushi J§dr. In addition, being taken as a king's concubine is a metaphor for holding an official post. Yang 115 ^m344 "Suffering from the Cold" (line forty-five to line forty-six) If the simurghs and phoenixes could not live, Then you certainly do not need a divination [to know your fate]. "Sent to Cui, Number Twenty-six, Lizhi" (line fifty-three to line fifty-four) ^mmm^ mrn^rn^-346 If there is no suffering from hunger and cold, How do we differentiate the high and the lowly? One reason for gou's rarity in early verse is that it is functionally identical with two other more common empty words: ruo iHf and ru $ D . Both of them mean " i f and are placed in the same position as gou. In the ancient or yuefu poems of the Han and Wei, the " i f clauses are mostly formed by either ruo or ru. Had Han Y i i substituted gou with either ruo or ru, his poems would have resembled the ancient style more. This again shows that recreating the ancient style is not Han's top priority when he employs empty words in his verse. Finally, Han Y u also has a tendency to use the empty word ju |g, which is used in Quantangshi, juan 339. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 447 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 154 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 860 Yang 116 rhetorical questions that expect a negative answer, and carries the same function as qi s..341 Similar to gou^ ju is a more obscure variant of its commonly seen counterpart qi. In the early ancient or yuefu poems, qi is nearly always used instead of ju as the primary way of forming a rhetorical question, and yet in Han Yii's poems, ju is used in many lines: mms.mm34S "Number Four of the Five Poems Inspired by Spring" (line five to line six) We cannot hear nor see each other and happen to be separated by the night; H o w c o u l d the misfortune and death350 come looking for us? itr-iS—+7\3i^ "Sent to Cui, Number Twenty-six, Lizhi" (line one hundred and thirteen to line fourteen) mmzm im&mmw35* Look at the [vain] titles and calculate their benefits; H o w c o u l d they be enough to compensate [your loss]? w-mm^fm352 "Hearing an Oriole in the Snow during Early Spring" (line nine to line ten) 347 348 349 350 Edwin G. Pulleyblank, Outline of Classical Chinese Grammar, p. 144 Quantangshi, juan 339. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 525 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 731 Lit: obituary or the new of someone's death. 3 5 1 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 862 352 Quantangshi, juan 343. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 561 Yang 117 [Amidst] the wind and frost one only protects himself; How could the peach and plum [remain] intimate with each other? &ms.mnm354 "Number Four of the Five Poems on the Basin Shaped Pool" (line one to line two) M&m'}<m&m &^mmmn355 The mud basin is shallow and small; how could it form into a pool? In the middle of the night the frog quickly knows about this. f l l r f s - 3 5 6 "Number One of the Two Poems on a Leisurely Walk" (line five to line six) ®*m%m mmmmm351 Sitting alone, I have not yet felt satisfied; Pouring [wine] all by myself, how could I stay awake? If archaism were Han's stylistic focus, he would have substituted all the ju with qi, as the latter is much more commonly used in early verse. It is a simple modification that would make his style closer to the ancients. For someone as well trained in literature as Han Yi i , this must be obvious. The empty words must be deliberately selected to maintain some distance from the ancients and establish an original style of his own. Han YU also likes to use unconventional caesura in his verse, another seemingly Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 354 Quantangshi, juan 343. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 667 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 947 Quantangshi, juan 344. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 658 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 1031 Yang 118 archaic feature that does not truly contribute to a style of fugu. Conventionally in a penta-syllabic verse, the caesura is supposed to occur between the second and the third characters of the line. This is followed throughout the development of penta-syllabic poetry; only a handful of the earliest ancient poems contain violations of this rule. A few of these early exceptions contain caesura between the third and the fourth characters: mmm "Poem of Sorrow and Indignation" (line thirty-nine) That man with grey hair, / what crime did he commit? "Ballad of Suffering from the Cold" (line three) The slope of Yangchang / runs long and twisted. A few other cases contain caesura between the first and the second characters: mm "Poem of Sorrow and Indignation" (line twenty-nine) I shall / put a blade next to you. 3 6 1 "A Poem Presented to My Wife" 3 5 8 Feng Baoshan, Xinyi gushiyuan, p. 200 3 5 9 Feng Baoshan, Xinyi gushiyuan, p. 341 3 6 0 Feng Baoshan, Xinyi gushiyuan, p. 199 361 Lit: put you to a stopping blade. Yang 119 (line nineteen) It hurts / both you and me. The unconventional caesura is similar to the use of empty words as they are both qualities of the earlier and more primitive verse, but the occurrence of unconventional caesura is much rarer. Even in the earliest penta-syllabic poems created during Han times there were very few cases of this, and it disappeared very quickly as the penta-syllabic meter matured. By the end of the Wei Dynasty, the conventional caesura between the second and the third characters was already the most fundamental rule in composing poetry, and by Tarig times, it was nearly impossible to see any violation of the caesura rule. One rare exception of this is Du Fu, who placed the caesura between the third and the fourth characters in the following line: jtffi363 "Journey to the North" (line 2) It was the eighth intercalary month, / the first day of that month. Nevertheless, such cases are very rare in Du Fu's verse. It is possible that Du Fu was This is a poem written by the Eastern Han poet Qin Jia iHHf. His life dates are uncertain, but he is unknown to have served as an official during the reign of Emperor Huandi fH^?, which lasted from 147 to 167. Feng Baoshan, Xinyi gushiyuan, p. 185 363 Quantangshi, juan 217. Luan Guiming ^M^M et a l , Quantangshi suoyin Du Fu juan ifeHif M% I ttlf Qinhuangdao: Xiandai chubanshe MiXHiM±, 1994, p. 368 3 6 4 LiuZhonghe gljcfjftl, Dushiyanjiu flfffBS, Taipei: Yizhi shuju ^^UJlj, 1968, p. 102 Yang 120 the inspiration for Han Y i i to. alter his caesura, but the rare occurrence means that Du never fully incorporated this feature into his style. Han Yu on the other hand, includes a peculiar amount of unconventional caesura in his verse and allows it to become one of the most striking characteristics of his poetic style: W±365 "Recommending a Scholar" (line twenty-five) There is a man in poverty / named Meng Jiao. 'Today Is Indeed Regrettable, Presented to Zhang Ji" (line one hundred and thirty-three) The water of River Haui / is calm and steady. mmmm "Han Fu Reading in the South of the City Wall" (line two) It is up to / the carpenters and carriage makers, (line four) Quantangshi, juan 337. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p 433 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 528 Quantangshi, juan 337. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p 163 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 85 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 1011 Yang 121 It is because / he has [the knowledge of] poetry and books inside him. (line twenty) . | t | ^ 3 7 ° They then [turned out to be] / a dragon and a pig. mmisfflmm 'Miscellaneous Matters from Reading Dongfang Shuo" (line fifteen) H/^&^Tif 3 7 1 She says: / This son of mine is hateful. (line forty-four) "Meng Jiao Lost His Son, with a Preface" mmrnm™ The worthy ones / hear the words and change [their ways]. Arguably, this use of unconventional caesura can be considered a form of stylistic fugu, but it is a very extreme form of fugu since such caesura occurred very rarely in the ancient poems to begin with. Unlike the use of empty words, which can be appreciated as a rugged but natural characteristic, the caesura variation is more of an imperfection that was quickly rectified by the evolution of poetry. In other words, although it is an archaic feature, it is not strongly associated with the natural and simple beauty of antiquity. Especially during Tang times, when the conventional caesura was already the u Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 1011 1 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 904 2 Quantangshi, juan 339. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p 124 3 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 675 Yang 122 most basic rule of poetry, such an arrangement would seem more like a bizarre anomaly than an imitation of the ancient style. Unconventional caesura can be found in Han's hepta-syllabic verse as well. This is even fewer precedents of caesura variations. Since its first appearance, the caesura of the hepta-syllabic poetry has been set between the fourth and the fifth characters of the line, as can be observed in Cao Pi's U S (187-226) "Ballad of the Song of Yan" W(K f j , one of the earliest examples of hepta-syllabic poetry.374 Later, when the meter was further developed during the fifth century, some minor variations in caesura did occur. For example, in the following poem by Bao Zhao JtfSM (4207-466), the caesura sometimes occurs between the second and the third characters instead: peculiar because as a more recently developed meter, the hepta-syllabic poetry contains "Number One of the Eighteen Imitations of 'Harshness of Travel (line one) I present you / fine wine in a golden goblet. 'Number Two" (line seven to line eight) ;376 374 Feng Baoshan, Xinyi gushiyuan, p. 353—354 Feng Baoshan, Xinyi gushiyuan, p. 880 375 376 Feng Baoshan, Xinyi gushiyuan, p. 881 Yang 123 Outside it emits / the red silkiness of dragons and unicorns; Inside it contains / the purple mist of musk and fragrance. However, such unconventional caesurae are a lot rarer than those in the penta-syllabic poems. Also unlike its penta-syllabic counterpart, such variation did not appear until as late as the fifth century, which was only four hundred years away from Han Yii and could hardly be considered ancient in mid-Tang. In addition, this unconventional caesura is a rather isolated case and reflects Bao Zhao's personal style rather than the general development of the meter. Therefore, when Han Yu changed the caesura in his hepta-syllabic poems, it only shows the influence of a specific poet and does not invoke any flavor of antiquity.377 Moreover, to make his lines even more peculiar, Han's variation in caesura also differs from Bao's and occurs between the third and the fourth characters instead: "Sending Ou Hong Back to the South" (line twelve) I chop it with an axe / and pull it with a rope, (line eighteen) mmmmmm Alas! Our doctrine / is unable to make itself flourish, (line thirty-six) It is also worthwhile to notice that Bao Zhao's use of zhi to indicate subordination also resembles Han Yii's style. 3 7 8 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 576 Yang 124 You have left; / it was as fast as shooting a crossbow. "Mountain Fire of Luhun" (line fifty-five) I will flood their land / and imprison them in [Mount] Kunlun. (line fifty-nine) Although I am going to regret this / my tongue cannot be stopped. Han Yii has also written lines that consist entirely of nouns, which presents an even stranger arrangement of caesura. In the following line for example, there is either no caesura at all or the caesura can be placed anywhere within the line, a highly bizarre arrangement for classical Chinese poetry: "Mountain Fire of Luhun" (line fourteen) mmmmmmm™ Crows, owls, hawks, eagles, pheasants, swans, and wild chickens. While the unusual caesura may be barely taken as a form of fugu in Han's penta-syllabic poems, it does not make sense to argue the same for his hepta-syllabic poems, for the truly ancient hepta-syllabic poems never contained such atypical caesura. These oddly structured lines in Han's verse thus seem only strange and hardly archaic. They do not signify an attempt to return to an earlier style but an attempt to break the existing rules of Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 685 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 685 Yang 125 poetry. The fundamental effect of the unconventional caesura, and that of the empty words, is to demolish the existing conventions of poetry and make Han's poems seem closer to prose. Nevertheless, this prosaism in poetry does not necessarily create archaism. For example, the following is one of Han's most prosaic poems, and regardless of its prosaism, it does not resemble any ancient poems of the Han and Wei: "PoemofXieZiran" 3 8 2 In Nanchong District of Guo Prefecture, There was a poor girl named Xie Ziran. She was naive as a child and there was not much that she knew; She only heard that there are gods and immortals. She renounced her livelihood to learn their magic; She was then on Gold Spring Mountain. Wealth and prestige were cut off from her; Her parents' loving kindness was in vain. 381 Quantangshi, juan 336. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 39 3 8 2 Xie Ziran was a famous Daoist Priestess of the Tang Dynasty who, according to the legend, achieved immortality. Her biography is included in the Taiping guangji A ^ S t f B or the Extensive Record of the Reign of Great Tranquility: g f g ^ KfltfSiWA 3<:gJg^'>Hri?t ~ ( ^ 7 n - | - ¥ ) + ^ + - B A S f ^ Wfl l lA^S iP^tfH§$#^ "As for Xie Ziran, her ancestors were from Chong Prefecture. Her father Huan lived in Nanchong in Guo Prefecture. ~ On the eleventh day of the tenth month (of 795 A. D.), an immortal came to summon her when she entered a quiet room. She then rode on a unicorn and rose to heaven." Wang Deyi Hltfllx ed., Congshu jicheng sanbian taiping guanji | f #^J^cH |^A^JScfH, Taipei: Xinwenfeng chuban gongsi §r£l!£flJt&&-W], 1997, p. 334 She concentrated her mind to move the ghostly spirits; It was vague and mysterious and could not be fully described by words. One morning she sat in an empty room; Cloud and fog rose from its space. [She felt] as if listening to the tune of bamboo pipes, That came from the dark secluded heaven. E 3 B § ! » § mmmmm The white sun became dim and shady; Bleakly the wind and scenery were cold. mmmmm R&mw [Between] the eaves and pillars [light] shined and disappeared for a while; Lights of five colors were joined together. Those who were watching were only startled; They hesitated and who dared go forth? In a short while she rose up by herself, And was floating like mist in the wind. Vast, the eight far ends of earth were enormous, And yet there was no more trace of her shadow and sound. The village elder reported this event upward; The commandery governor was surprised and gasped. He rushed the carriages and led the officials; The vulgar commoners competed to be the first [to see her]. They entered the door and there was nothing they could see; Her cap and straw sandals were like peeled off cicada shells. People all said it was a phenomenon of the immortals; Fervently they believed it to be true and spread the word. Yang 127 I heard that the ancient king of Xia, Recorded the shapes of various matters to let [people] know about the divine and the evil. U 4 # E R T A mmmmm People could enter the mountains and forests, Without encountering evil spirits and demons. After a long time [such good practice] no longer thrived, And the later generations lied and deceived without moderation. Darkness and brightness were mixed in a disorderly way; Humans and ghosts also harmed each other. mmmn immnm Although the [First] Emperor of Qin was truly obsessed [with such magic], It was [Emperor] Wu of Han who glorified its foundation. Since these two rulers had arrived, This disaster was repeated again and again. Trees and rocks gave rise to strange transformations; Foxes roamed freely to cause evil disasters. If one is unable to live his life to the utmost, How can he further lengthen [his life]? As one encounters various matters in his life, Knowledge is the most valuable thing. Sadly she did not believe in herself; Instead she wished to transform following the [supernatural] matters. Those who have already gone can no longer feel regret; Their lone souls hold deep grudges. Those who will arrive can still be warned; Yang 128 My words are not just an empty saying.3 8 3 There is a constant principle in one's life; Men and women each have their moral order. [The way to have] clothes when you are cold and food when you are hungry, Is in weaving and farming. Going downward one may use it to protect his sons and grandsons; Going upward one may use it to support his ruler and parents. If one differs from this practice, Then it is all the same as abandoning one's life. Alas that poor girl, She will forever be among the supernatural creatures.384 rnmmm ws&mw™ I felt sad and thus made the poem; Those who are obscured [from the truth] should remember it well. This poem contains both the unconventional caesura in line sixty (^ /MfflfM.E Is / in weaving and farming.) and a large number of empty words such as suo, qi, and zhe. The first half of the poem is reminiscent of biographical prose, especially in the way it begins by stating the hometown of X ie Ziran. The second half also resembles a formal treatise in its heavily didactic instruction in the reality of the world and the proper way to live. As a result, some classical critics have dismissed this poem as "rhymed prose." 3 8 6 Lit: how are my words an empty writing? These are the negative supernatural matters such as ghost or demons. Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 28 ~ 29 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 35 Yang 129 This tendency for Han Y i i to "use prose to make poetry" is noticed and debated over by many critics, and some, such as Charles Hartman, are inclined to interpret this as a form of fugu. According to Hartman, Han "forged a unified literary style by blurring the artificial distinctions between the various genres that were a legacy of Six Dynasties and early Tang literary practice." Hartman also draws ideological significance from this unity of literary style and compares it to the unity of wen >C, the writing, and dao xS, the way of moral harmony. Subsequently, when he discusses the later literati's appreciation of Han's prosaism, he further comments that the "genre cross-fertilization" in Han Yi i 's works represents his "unique ability to forge a style catholic and unified enough to absorb all that was best from antiquity." 3 8 7 Hartman implies that the boundary between the literary genres was a relatively modern invention during Han Yi i 's time, and that by breaking this boundary, Han was trying to recapture the essence of the ancients. Particularly, he attributes the genre distinction to the Wenxuan 3CM, the sixth century literary anthology complied by Xiao Tong f f fM (501-531), the Zhaoming Crown Prince of Liang. However, a simple fact remains that even before the time of the Wenxuan, people did not write verses as prosaic as Han Yi i 's . Among the ancient poems of the Han and Wei, one could never be able to find a poem as 3 8 7 Charles Hartman, Han Yii and the Tang Search for Unity, p. 213-216 Yang 130 didactic as "The Poem of X ie Ziran." This is because even in the very early stage of Chinese literature, there was a tendency to reserve didactic content for prose and lyrical content for poetry. Though primitive with their empty words and occasionally irregular caesura, archaic verses such as the "Nineteen Ancient Poems" are still lyrical in nature and are distinctly different from didactic prose pieces. Therefore, regardless of its possible ideological significance, at a stylistic level Han's extreme prosaism in poetry should not be equated with fugu and should be recognized as an innovative amalgamation of genres. Yang 131 Chapter Six: Un-Confucian Qualities Han Yti 's verse is also contradictory to fugu due to some of its "un-Confucian" qualities, particularly the poet's frequent reference to Daoist sources. Although there is nothing explicitly anti-Daoist in the principles of fugu, it is fundamentally a Confucian movement. It would thus be reasonable to expect a fugu poet to allude predominantly to Confucian sources in his works. However, this is not the case for Han Yi i 's verse. Previously, in the poems "Presented to Liu Shifu" and "Fal l ing Teeth," we already saw a clear interest in the Daoist classic Zhuangzi; and in Han's other poems, there are many more examples where he alludes to Daoist texts: xi<388 "Spearing Fish" (line nineteen to line twenty) mwmm ^m^m™ Although [the fish] intimately wet each other with their saliva, Their ambition to leap over [the Dragon Gate] 3 9 0 is already unlikely [to be fulfilled]. The fish's "wetting each other with their saliva" is an allusion to the chapter "Great Quantangshi, juan 343. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 131 3 8 9 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 215 3 9 0 The leaping should refer to the legend of the Longmen or Dragon Gate Waterfall. According to the legend, a fish will turn into a dragon if it swims against the current and leaps over the waterfall. Yang 132 Master" A T F ^ in the Zhuangzi. The original passage preaches the meaninglessness of arguing over morality and compares such an act to two. fish's futile struggle to stay alive on land by wetting each other with their saliva. 3 9 1 In this poem, however, the allusion is wittily detached from its allegorical message to describe the fish caught by Han Y i i and his friends on a fishing trip. "Parting from Rectifier Dou at the Yueyang Terrace" (line seventeen to line eighteen) mmzmm mmwtmm It also makes one think that the [Yellow] Emperor Xuanyuan Has set up music in the open space, (line sixty-one to line sixty-two) mffl&=f-& » # 5 / c 3 9 2 [Zhu Pingman] spent a thousand [pieces of] gold [to learn] how to slay a dragon; In terms of achieving a skill, [such an act] may also be called superb. The Yellow Emperor's music alludes to an episode in the chapter "Heavenly Movement" A M in the Zhuangzi. In the original passage, the music played by the Yellow Emperor is said to be so profound that it encompasses all aspects of the universe and causes confusing emotions in its audience. 3 9 3 In this poem however, it is simply used to 391 as mwrntimm mvm mmvm T^um^mirm mmmwim-& ^ mm^mm jjf "When the springs dry up and the fish are left stranded on the ground, they spew each other with moisture and wet each other down with spit - but it would be much better if they could forget each other in the rivers and lakes. Instead of praising Yao and condemning Jie, it would be better to forget both of them and transform yourself with the Way." (Burton Watson's translation) WangYunwu 3E.H5 ed, Zhuangzijinzhu jinyi S t^^H^ ' l? , Taipei: Commercial Press, 1975, p. 196 Burton Watson, Zhuangzi: basic writings, New York: Columbia University Press, 2003, p. 31 3 9 2 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 316~317 Yang 133 describe the sound of the waves in Lake Dongting. The slaying of the dragon refers to another story in the chapter "L ie Yukou" WMM. in the Zhuangzi. In the chapter, a man named Zhuping Man ^ ^ i f l spends all his wealth to learn how to slay a dragon, but after he has mastered the skills he cannot find any way to use them, probably because there is no dragon to slay. 3 9 4 Originally this meaningless act is compared with the unnecessary military expansion of the various warring states, but in this poem Han Y i i somehow twists the original message and sees something admirable in its very futility, "Returning to the City Walls of Peng"3 9 6 (line twenty-one to line twenty-two) ftrTM^M OTHES397 While eating celery one may say it is delicious, But one would surely be idiotic if one presented it to the emperor. The man who enjoys celery refers to a story in the chapter "Yang Zhu" H§7^ in the Liezi ^!HP, a Daoist text attributed to the philosopher Lie Yukou ^j'MnJL in the fifth century 393 ftmrnzmrmmzm m^mzm mmzn ^mzmm mmmrn 7wg# -when Your Majesty performed the Xianchi music in the wilds around Lake Dongting, I listened, and at first I was afraid. I listened some more and felt weary, and then I listened to the end and felt confused. Overwhelmed, speechless, I couldn't get hold of myself." (Burton Watson's translation) Wang Yunwu, Zhuangzijinzhu jinyi, p. 402-403 Burton Watson, Zhuangzi: basic writings, p. 65 394 im®.mmnn-3m& wt&zM. H ^ & J S mm^mn^ -zhuping Man studied the a r t 0 f butchering dragons under Crippled Yi . It cost him all the thousand pieces of gold he had in his house, and after three years he'd mastered the art, but there was no one who could use his services." (Burton Watson's translation) Wang Yunwu, Zhuangzijinzhu jinyi, p. 911 Burton Watson, Zhuangzi: basic writings, p. 148 3 9 5 Quantangshi, juan 337. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yu juan, p. 247 3 9 6 This is today's Xuzhou City in Jiangsu Province. 3 9 7 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 120 Yang 134 B C E . In the story there is a peasant who could not afford good clothes and shelter, and to keep himself warm he exposes himself to the sun. The peasant finds the sunbath to be very comfortable and decides to recommend it to his king. At that point a wealthy man in the neighborhood tells the peasant that he once knew a man who liked to eat celery. The man recommended celery to the wealthy people in the neighborhood, but they all hated the taste and became sick. The wealthy man then points out that the peasant's ignorance is just like that of the man who likes celery. 3 9 8 In Han Yi i ' s poem, the allusion is used to refer to Han's own plan of remonstrating with the emperor. Although the poet has an ambition to save the state from its decline, he realizes that such an attempt is as foolish as recommending celery as a delicacy to the emperor. Similar to the previous reference to the Zhuangzi, there is a small twist in Han's usage of the allusion. Originally, the story of the peasant is meant to point out the 3 9 8 i^s ic f f l^ nmm mm* mmmiv smna T-wiTzmmmm. mmm m mnms MBzm xmm txwmm mnn m.zmm.%zm ^xmm^m UMMWWT m mmmmz mmmmwz mmn \mm mm&z. nxxm n^t^ -tn -once u p 0 n a time in the state of Song there was a farmer. He always wore hemp and linen and was barely able to last through winter. When spring arrived he started working on the field. He exposed himself under the sun and did not know that there were large buildings, warm rooms, fine cotton, and fox fur in the world. He looked to his wife and said: 'No one knows about the warmth of being exposed to the sun. If I tell my king about this I shall receive a handsome reward.' A wealthy man in the village then told him: 'Once upon a time, there was a man who found soybeans to be delicious, and the stems of hemp and the seeds of celery and duckweed to be sweet. He told the local gentry about this and the gentry tasted them. [The food] stung them in their mouths and made their stomachs sick. People ridiculed and blamed the man and he was very ashamed. You are just like him.'" Xiao Dengfu HHH, Liezi guzhu jinyi ^O^lS'fi^'lf, Taipei: Wenjin chubanshe yCWHifiSMi:, 1990, p. 665 Yang 135 stupidity of the character, but in this poem Han Y i i implies sympathy for the character by using the story to ridicule himself. And since Han's "fool ish" ambition is based on the noble concern of revitalizing the state, there is also the implication that the truly foolish ones are those who reject Han Y i i in real life, who would correspond to those who laugh at the peasant in the story. "Poem Number Four of Four Miscellaneous Poems" (line three to line four) mmamm mm^mM400 [Among all the birds] only the crane that knows time [is different]. Although it sings, it does not let [the insects] come near its body. The crane that knows time refers to a passage in the chapter "Lecturing on the Mountain" i&|jL[ in the Huainanzi y ^ j ^ p , another famous Daoist text from the Han Dynasty. In the passage it is said that roosters can notify people of dawn while cranes can tell the time of midnight, but in spite of their usefulness they end up being eaten by men. On the other hand, ferocious beasts and poisonous insects are dangerous to men, but they are able to keep their forests and gardens safe because of their ability to harm people.4 0 1 3yy Quantangshi, juan 342. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 29 4 0 0 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 246 401 mmm mr^nmis. iummm #*mz^fm mmmgk wwmzT^ -The rooster knows when it is about to dawn; the crane knows when the night is half finished, and yet they are unable to escape from the tripods and chopping boards. If a mountain has ferocious beasts, because of them the forests and trees will not be cut down. If a garden has insects that sting, because of them the vegetables and beans will not be picked." Xiong Lihui ff&USI, Xinyi huainanzi f/njfyptlfHp, Taipei: Sanmin shuju H K l F / l j , 1997, p. 844 Yang 136 However, the crane that is eaten in the original passage is praised in Han Yi i 's poem instead. Contrary to the source, Han Y i i portrays the crane that "knows time" as a wise bird that does not follow the rest of the noisy flocks in their petty search for food. Furthermore, besides including Daoist references in parts of his verse, Han Y i i has also written poems that are entirely based on a Daoist allusion. A n example is the following poem "Presented to Sui L i zh i " IftlSxi^L:402 In the past, during the rain that lasted for ten days, Master Sang suffered from cold and hunger. He sang sadly while sitting in an empty room; He did not blame anyone and only felt sorrowful. His friend named Master Yu Suddenly felt worried and thought of him. He rolled up his garment to walk into the mud and water;403 He wrapped cooked grain and went to feed [Master Sang]. xrmmm x^n^n He entered the door and they talked facing each other; They certainly did not question the fate prescribed by heaven. &mmm& mzwm The curious official from Qiyuan 4 0 4 Wrote down this account to preserve their powerful words. 4 0 2 Quantangshi, juan 339. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 601 4 0 3 Lit: rolled up his clothes and touched the mud and water. 4 0 4 This is the Daoist sage Zhuangzi. According to his biography in the Shiji, Zhuangzi used to be an official in a city called Qiyuan, which was located near today's Caozhou City U'Jtl in Shandong. Shiji, juan 61, liezhuan 1. Zhang Liansheng, Bainaben ershisishi shiji, p. 721 Yang 137 With a thousand years in between, this incident is already far away, But the friendship of the two is still admirable. The day when 1 read this chapter Was just around the time of cold snow. I myself am certainly in distress; Just what could I do for my friend? The thin congee is not [thick] enough to be wrapped, And I imagine that the deep mud is hard to gallop in. I have not done any deed that is similar to that of Master Yu, So vainly I compose the poem of Master Sang. This poem is based on a story in the chapter "Great Master" in the Zhuangzi. In the original passage a man named Master Yu worries that his friend Master Sang might be sick, so he goes to visit him with some food. When he is at Master Sang's home he hears him singing sadly about his father and mother and heaven and men. When Master Yu asks about the singing, Master Sang replies that he is pondering the reason for his predicament, and since neither his parents nor heaven have any reason to cause him harm, his distress must be caused by fate. 4 0 6 The moral of this story is that one should accept 406 ^-mm^mt M « S + B ^HH m§ x¥ A¥ m^\mwm Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 624-625 =?-mmg: nmm&kz m^-mzn wm^^ mwu mmrnm immtzgnm xmm mmm xmmmmm ^nmz^mr^m mm SjitSs^ f nptfe^  "Master Yu and Master Sang were friends. Once it rained incessantly for ten days. Master Yu said to himself, Master Sang is probably having a bad time, and he wrapped up some rice and took it for his friend to eat. When he got to Master Sang's gate, he heard something like singing or crying, Yang 138 one's fate and be content; but in Han's poem, this message is largely overlooked and the focus is shifted to the friendship between Master Yu and Master Sang, which is of little importance in the original passage. Once again we see a clever twist in Han Yi i 's use of this allusion. This poem is not at all about Master Sang's enlightened view on fate; it is about Master Yu's noble act of helping his friend in distress. From there Han extends the story to refer to his own situation and laments how he is unable to offer any help to his own friend. While Master Yu was at least capable of bringing some humble provisions to his friend, Han Yu is too poor to do even that. The poem thus carries an entirely different theme and sentiment from the story it alludes to. Like the previous examples, the variation in the use of this allusion is a display of the poet's creativity. Moreover, the use of so many Daoist allusions also reveals a strong interest in Daoist literature, in particular the Zhuangzi. Such a tendency is rather unexpected from a fugu poet who is supposed to be heavily Confucian-minded. In addition, Han Y i i also includes in his verse many Daoist legends and myths, the and someone striking a lute and saying: Father? Mother? Heaven? Man? It was as though the voice would not hold out and the singer were rushing to get through the words. Master Yu went inside and said, "What do you mean - singing a song like that!" "I was pondering what it is that has brought me to this extremity, but I couldn't find the answer. My father and mother surely wouldn't wish this poverty on me. Heaven covers all without partiality; earth bears up all without partiality - heaven and earth surely wouldn't single me out to make me poor. I try to discover who is doing it, but I can't get the answer. Still, here I am - at the very extreme. It must be fate." (Burton Watson's translation) Wang Yunwu, Zhuangzijinzhu jinyi, p. 229 Burton Watson, Zhuangzi: basic writings, p. 37 Yang 139 very same thing he dismisses as superstitions. The following are a few examples: "Morning Moon" (line one to line two) mm?mmm± w^jimees 4 0 8 The jade bowl 4 0 9 is unpolished and stained by mud and dirt; In the blue sky a hole appears and is filled by a white stone. The hole in the sky and the stone fil l ing it refers to the legend of Nuwa ixMk, a goddess who once restored order to the world and prevented it from breaking down. One of the things she did was to forge a five-color stone to fill up a hole in the sky. Although this is a very common legend, it carries a strong Daoist flavor nonetheless, and can be found in Daoist sources such as the chapter "Examining the Darkness" Jf | £ in the Huainanzi.^ "Poem of Lunar Eclipse, an Imitation of Lu Tong's Work" (line seventy to line seventy-two) The turtle4" fears the evil and is afraid of cold; It shrinks its neck and covers itself with its shell. 407 Quantangshi, juan 345. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 501 4 0 8 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 240 4 0 9 A metaphor for the moon. 410 l^^tcMW.lx&S&M^X. "Thus Nuwa forged a five-color stone to fill up [the hole] in the blue sky." Xiong Lihui t g j g g , Xinyi huainanzi §fl¥?$[f$f-p, Taipei: Sanmin shuju H K l f J l j , 1997, p. 290 4 1 1 The turtle refers to Xuanwu the guardian beast of the north. 412 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 746 Yang 140 In the end you cause Kua'e to gouge you out. Kua'e F^!i$c is the name of a god and can also be written According to a legend in the chapter "Questions of Tang" WoF^ in the Liezi, Kua'e's two sons once helped Yugong J S ^ A , the foolish old man, to remove the two mountains that were blocking the path around his home. 4 1 3 "Poem of Mr. Liu" (line eleven to line twelve) The ape-men make noises as the gibbons play; The poisonous gas scorches the body as the yellow fat flows out. The ape-man or shansao L L J ^ ^ " can also be written LuJ#- It is a kind of baboon-like creature that lives in the mountains, and in ancient times was believed to be a kind of mountain demon that harassed people. It is mentioned in the Classic of Magic and Wonder # M , f g written by Dongfang Shuo 'MlSffl (154-93 BCE. ) during the Western Han Dynasty. 4 1 5 4 1 3 ^!§J£=$ ft—III — If $jlg —UPlrf "The Lord was moved by their sincerity. He ordered the two sons of god Kua'e to carry the two mountains and put one in the east of Shuo[fang] and the other in the south of Yong[zhou]." Xiao Dengfu, Liezi guzhu jinyi, p. 446 4 1 4 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 222 "'mnwiu^AM MMRm mM- mmm tt^A HAIHI mmiku%.m& nxr^ m ^XMlii'^mM Billie "There are humanoid creatures in the deep mountains of the west. They are several feet tall, naked, and catch shrimps and crabs for a living. They do not fear people, and when they see people stop over to camp, they will sit next to the campfire and use it to cook shrimps and crabs. When they see that people are not around, they will steal people's salt to eat shrimps and crabs. They are called shansao." YanYiping f|— j$ comp. and ed, Shenyijing # f |& l , Baibu congshu jicheng 'Sa^W.MMf^ 16, Taipei: Yiwen yinshuguan H^EPilrf lt, 1965, p. 18 Yang 141 "The Nag and the Stallion" (line seventeen to line eighteen) When [the stallion] is hungry it eats the grain of the Jade Mountain; When it is thirsty it drinks from the current of a sweet spring, (line twenty-one to line twenty-four) m^wz? mzmmm Alas, in the past, Mu the Son of Heaven Rode [the stallion] to wander to the ends of earth. Wang Liang held his reins; Zaofu carried his shafts. The Jade Mountain is a mythical mountain mentioned in the Classic of Mountains and Seas [Ij$S#§. According to the text, this mountain is the residence of the Queen Mother of the West one of the supreme deities in Daoism. Mu the Son of Heaven is King M u of Zhou jf f l 3 E (?~922 BCE. ) , the fifth king of the Western Zhou 418 * Dynasty. The king is associated with many myths and is said to have become an immortal after traveling to the Kunlun Mountain j S ^ r [ ± J and encountering the Queen Mother of the West. Many legendary accounts of his can be found in the Biography of Mu the Son of Heaven f H A i ^ f l P - Wang Liang was a very skillful horse rider during the Spring and Autumn Period, and Zaofu was an excellent chariot driver from Zhou 416 Quantangshi, juan 337. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 476 4 1 7 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 115 418 Shiji, juan 4, diji 4. Zhang Liansheng, Bainaben ershisishi shiji, p. 47 Yang 142 times. While the former figure is not associated with any myth, the latter is mentioned in the Biography of Mu the Son of Heaven as Mu's chariot driver. 4 1 9 As for the sweet spring, it is a generic myth that appears in many sources. For example, in the Shiji, a passage says that a spring that tastes sweet can be found in the mythical Kunlun Mountain. 4 2 0 "Sea Water" (line one and line two) It is not that the sea water is not vast; How is there not a branch in the Forest of Deng? The Forest of Deng is a legendary forest said to stretch across thousands of //'. It is mentioned in the chapter "Question of Tang" in the Zfezz'.4 2 3 Moreover, other than being sporadically used, Daoist or Daoist flavored legends also constitute the main imagery in some of Han Y i i ' s poems: 4 1 9 A " ? i ^ 3a5^MPP "The son of heaven led the chariot and Zaofu was his driver." GuoPu f p i ed, Mutianzi zhuan WK^M, Taipei: Guangwen shuju BSCMM, 1981, p. 38 4 2 0 MtBSiir n i g s s s - ^ E W ^ m Bnmmmm^m %±.mmm mm -The rveiiow] River originates from [Mount] Kunlun. Kunlun is two thousand and five hundred miles high. It is illuminated as the sun and the moon descend there; at its peak there is a sweet spring and a jade pool." Shiji, juan 123, liezhuan 63. Zhang Liansheng, Bainaben ershisishi shiji, p. 1153 4 2 1 Quantangshi, juan 345. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yu juan, p. 367 4 2 2 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 125 "Kuafu overestimated his strength and wished to chase after the shadow of the sun. ~ Before he could reach it, he died from thirst on the road. He dropped his walking stick and his corpse was soaked in this fat and flesh. The Forest of Deng grew [from his corpse]; the Forest of Deng reached for several thousand miles." Xiao Dengfu, Liezi guzhu jinyi, p. 451 Yang 143 "Ancient Essence" The lotuses in the jade well at the peak of the great Mount Hua -When they blossom their flowers are tens of feet425 tall and their arrowroots are like boats. ^ t h B f f l E f t b ® -KXnttim They are cold like snow and frost and are sweet like honey; With a slice in the mouth severe sickness can be cured. I want to look for them and am not afraid of the long distance, But there is no road by the green [mountain] cliffs and it is hard to climb up. How can I acquire a long ladder to climb up, pick the fruits, Plant them in the Seven Lakes 4 2 7 beneath, and let them grow into root after root? The imagery of this poem is based on legends of magic lotuses on Mount Hua, one of the five holy mountains. In the Daoist text Record of Mount Hua IJILLIBB, it is said that the reason why the Mountain is named "Hua" or "flower" is because on the mountain top there are lotuses that can allow one to achieve immortality. The lotus is used here as a symbol for court officials' integrity, which Han Yu thinks is hopelessly lacking. The wish to bring down the lotus to the Seven Lakes thus refers to the poet's desire to restore Quantangshi, juan 338. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 398 4 2 5 Lit: ten zhang +3t, which is about thirty metres as a zhang is roughly equivalent to three metres. 4 2 6 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 174-175 4 2 7 Another way to refer to Lake Dongting in Hunan. 4 2 8 [lllSWrfe ii^HUffc MZMit H B ^ l i l "At the top of Mount [Hua] there is a pool, in which lotuses with a thousand leaves grow. Eating them causes one to become an immortal. Because of this [the mountain] is called Mount Hua (Flower)." Lu Hong H£#§, Huashan ji IjllJjJE, Shanghai: Commercial Press, 1927, p. 3 Yang 144 the integrity of the government. Although the poem carries a typical Confucian theme, it is interesting that such a theme is conveyed through a strongly Daoist imagery. Unlike Han's other poems that severely criticize Daoism, this poem does not dismiss the Daoist legends as superstitions at all. Instead it employs them as a metaphor for something positive and truly desired by the poet. Once again this is a clear sign of Han Yi i 's interest in Daoist legends and literature, which is somewhat at odds with his identity as a Confucian fugu activist. With such extensive use of Daoist references, it is obvious that Han Y i i has both a strong interest for and a deep understanding of Daoist literature. In fact, despite Han Yi i 's self-proclamation of being a fervent Confucian, and regardless of his overt hostility towards the Daoist religion; in his poems he actually alludes to Daoist sources at about the same frequency as to Confucian sources. It seems that the poet does not discriminate between Daoist and Confucian sources as long as they help make his poems more colorful and interesting. This is very different from the truly Confucian-minded poets such as Du Fu, who includes very little Daoist references in his works. As mentioned before, while fugu does not require one to be anti-Daoist, it does require a total commitment to Confucianism, and since he has shown such a high interest to the ideological rival of Confucius, it is hard for one to detect such commitment in Han Yi i 's Yang 145 poetry. One may argue the Han is using the above Daoist allusions for non-Daoist or Confucian purposes, which makes the spirit of his poems consistent with that of fugu. However, even i f we ignore the Daoist references, there are still other more drastically "un-Confucian" qualities in Han Yi i 's poetry, as some of his poems convey messages that contradict the Confucian moral norms. One example of this is the poem "Mountain Fire of Luhun." In the later half of the poem, after the fire gods have ravaged the land, the focus shifts to the water gods who have suffered from the destructive heat. In order to plead their case with the Lord of Heaven, the water gods send a black dragon to heaven as their messenger, but receive an unkingly response from the ultimate deity: (line forty to line fifty-nine) [The water gods] ordered the black dragon to spy for them but its head was burned; The pass of heaven is far away and could not be climbed. [The dragon] reached the High Lord 4 2 9 in his dream and pleaded, with its face bloody; It leaned its body, wanting to move forward, but it was sent away by the gatekeeper. The Lord bestowed the Nine Rivers to wash away the traces of its tears, And also summoned Wuyang 4 3 0 to invoke its soul. Slowly, [the Lord] ordered [the dragon] to go forward and asked how it had been wronged; 4 2 9 Synonymous with Tiandi A ^ or the Lord of Heaven. 4 3 0 Name of a legendary shaman in the ancient kingdom of Chu @. Yang 146 [He replied to the dragon saying:] "Fire thrives in winter, it is [an order] preserved from antiquity. If I forbid this, then I would cut off [the fire gods'] meals; Lady Ding [the daughter of a fire god] was the wife of Ren [the son of a water god];431 It was a marriage that lasted for generations. If you become enemies one day, what would happen to your descendents? As time goes, [the season of water] will return, so duck and crouch carefully [for now]. When the peach trees blossom, you may raise [your head] a little bit; By the seventh and eighth month, it will be advantageous for you to have your vengeance. [By that time, 1 shall send] the Five Dragons and Nine Whales to help you Flood their land and imprison them in [Mount] Kunlun." Huangfu composed this poem to prevent him from sleeping; His words were hyperbolic and deviated from the truth, so he burned [the poem]. It is weird and annoying that he wanted me to respond to his poem and add more lines; Although I am about to regret this, my tongue cannot be stopped. The symbolism of this poem is typical of the Confucian political allegories. The rampaging fire gods represent the wicked but powerful members in the court; the water gods represent the righteous officials overpowered by the wicked, and the Lord of Heaven represents the emperor and the ultimate adjudicator. However, the behavior of the Lord of Heaven is highly inconsistent with his role. As the upholder of justice, he is 4 3 1 This refers to a legendary marriage between Dingqian T^ f% the daughter of the fire god Zhurong iftilfc and Renfu 3r5^, the son of the water god Xuanming 4 3 2 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 685 Yang 147 supposed to punish the evil fire gods resolutely and swiftly, but on the contrary, he only promises the water gods a chance for retaliation in the future. This delay of justice makes the supreme deity look surprisingly impotent. He has not taken any real action to remedy the situation, merely comforted the victims with a lecture on the cosmic order and some encouraging promises. It seems that the Lord of Heaven is trying to dodge responsibility and avoid trouble, which makes him look more like a petty bureaucrat than a ruler of gods. Moreover, according to the Lord of Heaven, the fiery destruction that torments the water gods is in fact a natural phenomenon destined to happen during winter. The proper thing to do is not to pacify the fire gods but to repay them with an equal amount of destruction during summer. Such a chaotic balance maintained by the constant battles between the elements is contradictory to the Confucian world view, which envisions harmony in the ideal and natural state of the world. It seems that Han Y i i is using the Lord of Heaven to refute some Confucian assumptions about the world. The Confucian doctrines state that a ruler should be just and resolute, but in real life, rulers have neither the power nor the wil l to punish evil. They are not even supposed to punish evil, for the world is not driven by an inherent tendency towards moral harmony but by the mutual aggression of evil forces instead. Yang 148 On the other hand, judging from the ending, it is also possible that Han Y i i is making a joke, for the last few lines contain several things that undermine the seriousness of the poem. For example, it is said that Huangfu Shi composed the original "Mountain Fire of Luhun" merely to prevent himself from falling asleep, and that he "weirdly and annoyingly" asked for a similar poem from Han Yu . However, even if this poem is a joke between friends, such a joke is at the expense of Confucian norms and is highly inappropriate for someone associated with fugu, because it mocks the Confucian model of a resolute and capable ruler, and the Confucian assumption of the harmonious nature of the world. Stephen Owen calls poems such as "Mountain Fire" the "mythopoetic" poems of Han Y i i . He uses the word mythopoetic because in these poems "gods and supernatural beings are used to make abstract problems of order and disorder comprehensible." 4 3 3 Owen also further comments that: The myth that Han Yii creates in most of these poems to oppose a world of disorder is the "rectification of nature." In the organic universe, not only do nature and the human world reflect the cosmic cycles, nature and the universe may be organized and understood ethically, according to the ideal Confucian social model... Error and imbalance in the natural world can be rectified by the proper moral action or expostulation... As a Confucian intellectual, the ethical and political pattern of the rectification of nature provided Han Yu with an intelligible way to perceive and participate in the world of nature and the cosmic order.4 3 4 4 3 3 Stephen Owen, The poetry of Meng Chiao and Han Yii, p. 211 4 3 4 Stephen Owen, The poetry of Meng Chiao and Han Yii, p. 211 Yang 149 However, Owen never specifies how the curiously impotent Lord of Heaven in "Mountain Fire" fits this "ideal Confucian social model," nor does he explain how his reluctance to act can be considered a "proper moral action" that actively rectifies the imbalance of the world. Although Owen recognizes that the cosmic order in this poem is an order of disorder, and that balance is "achieved through two opposing and complementary elements, two extremes," 4 3 5 he never points out the fact that this endless cycle of violence is highly contradictory to the Confucian view of the world. Even though Owen's theory of mythopoetic poetry provides an insightful analysis on Han Yi i ' s verse, it fails to call attention to Han's shockingly un-Confucian views and values. It is a reluctant point for many scholars to make, since deviation from Confucianism implies deviation from fugu, and due to Han Y i i ' s unquestionable status as a fugu essayist, many have refrained from doubting his commitment to fugu in poetry. Furthermore, "Mountain Fire" is not an isolated case; Han Y i i has written other poems that carry or imply a disturbingly un-Confucian message. For example, the following poem by Han questions Confucian values even more drastically than "Mountain Fire:" Stephen Owen, The poetry of Meng Chiao and Han Yii, p. 220 Yang 150 "Meng Jiao Lost His Son, with a Preface" imz Meng Jiao fathered three sons successively, but within a few days he lost all of them. He was becoming old and saddened by the thought that he would be without posterity. His friend Han Yii of Changli feared that [this sorrow] would harm him and borrowed the mandate of heaven to instruct him. Whom should I blame for losing a son? I shall go upward and blame heaven. You certainly govern the people down below, But you are so unfair in what you give and take. What has that man done for you That you cause him to flourish and multiply? Just what crime has this man committed That you only allow ten days between the life and death [of his sons]. [Meng's] crying towards heaven could be heard all the time; His tears dropped to the ground and reached the [Yellow] Spring. mmzm mmxr^ The Earth God was saddened by this; Crouching and cowering, he was uneasy for a long time. He then summoned the Great Spiritual Tortoise To ride the clouds and knock on heaven's gate. P ^ A ± T A mmm^m It asked heaven: "When you govern the people down below, Why are you so biased in your favors?" ^B^t f tA m%&MR Heaven said: "As for heaven, earth, and men, They never had anything to do with each other. I hang up the sun and the moon; Yang 151 I tie together the stars and constellations. [Yet] the sun and the moon bite and gnaw on each other,436 And the stars and constellations trip and fall down. 4 3 7 I do not blame you for all this; I know it is not because of you. Also, everything has its own duty; Who could force them to be like this [or otherwise]? Having a son and not having a son, It is uncertain whether they are fortunes or disasters. &Timm —mmm As the fish eggs fill up their mother's stomach, How could [the mother] look after them one by one? The slender-waisted wasps do not nurse their own [young]; The whole race is forever lone and orphaned. Owls peck on their mother's brain; When the mother dies the offspring then start flapping their wings. When the pit-vipers give birth to their children, They split and tear [their mother's] intestines and liver 4 3 8 Although [having] a good son is said to be good, He would never be able to repay your love and care. A bad son [is so terrible that he] cannot even be talked about, For he is just like the owls and pit-vipers. 4 3 6 A reference to solar and lunar eclipses, which were inauspicious omens in ancient time. 4 3 7 A reference to the shooting stars and comets, which were also considered as inauspicious astronomical anomalies. 4 3 8 This is the Pallas pit-viper, which gives birth to its young live instead of laying eggs. The process looks messy and bloody but does not really kill the mother. Yang 152 If you have a son, do not be happy yet, And if you do not have a son, you certainly should not sigh. ±m*m%. mmmmm The high and sagely do not need to be taught; The worthy hear the words and change [their ways]. The lowly and the foolish hear the words and feel confused; Even if you teach them, there is no way for them to change [their thinking]." The Great Spiritual [Tortoise] bowed its head and received [the teaching]; Within the day he returned with [Heaven's] instructions. The Earth God told the Great Spiritual [Tortoise]: "You, go and inform that person." Meng Jiao [then] had a dream at night; There was a man in black robes and cap. He suddenly burst through his door, And repeated the words of Heaven three times. mm** wmmft™ [Meng Jiao] bowed twice and thanked the man in black; He restrained his sorrow and became joyful. In this bizarre attempt to comfort his friend, Han Y i i has demolished one of the most fundamental family values in a Confucian society - the importance of having a son. Though the desire to have offspring to carry on one's legacy is universal across all cultures, it is especially important in Confucianism, for the relationship between a father and his sons is thought to be parallel with that of a ruler and his subjects and ultimately Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 675 Yang 153 with that of heaven and men. A man with no sons thus has hardly any meaning in his existence, for he is similar to a lone ruler who has no people to rule and an uninhabited world with no one living in it. In other words, the loving relationship between a father and a son forms the most basic fabric of the Confucian world view and morals, and it is most tragic i f a man is to die without an heir. Yet in this poem, Han Y i i refutes this belief and suggests that having children in fact does more harm than good. According to the poet, most children are not only ungrateful for their parents love, but also naturally inclined to harm their parents. To prove this point, Han has cited gruesome folklore about animals and insects that kil l their parents -which makes the poem all the more bizarre and inappropriate to a dignified Confucian orthodoxy. Finally, in line forty-three, Han Y i i makes a further mockery of Confucian traditions by saying that his absurd theory is in fact intrinsically understood by the shangsheng J i ! ? or the "high and sagely." The use of this term is extremely ironic, for it is usually reserved for the Confucian sages whose views on kinship and parenthood are the precise opposite of what is expressed in this poem. As in "Mountain Fire," in this poem the nature of the world is said to be sinister and violent rather than harmonious; and also as in the previous poem, heaven in this poem cares nothing about those living down below. Just as the Lord of Heaven refuses Yang 154 to uphold justice for the water gods, heaven in this poem refuses to bless Meng Jiao with a healthy son. Moreover, he considers his indifference to be the correct attitude, and blames humans for imagining a connection between heaven and men. Again this is completely contradictory to Confucian cosmology, which emphasizes that such a connection does exist, and is based on and manifested through family ties and morality -meaning that i f harmony cannot be achieved on the most basic level of a father and son, then the well-being of the state and the whole world could be in jeopardy. Nevertheless, this belief is explicitly dismissed in lines seventeen and eighteen, where Heaven states that there has never been any relation between heaven, earth, and men. Not surprisingly, although gods and supernatural beings do appear in this poem, it is not mentioned in Owen's discussion of Han's mythopoetic poems. This is probably because the radical ideas introduced in this poem are too disparate from the Confucian ethics and values, which Owen thinks are the centre of the mythopoetic poetry. If Han Y i i ' s poems contain such un-Confucian ideas, it would be questionable to classify him as a fugu poet, for similar to Owen's mythopoetic poetry, fugu poetry is fundamentally based on the longing for a long-lost Confucian moral integrity. Yang 155 Conclusion To conclude my thesis, I would like to quote the Qing historian, poet, and critic Zhao Y i i tR (1727-1814), who, as Hartman says, provided one of the "keenest observations ever made on the poetry of Han Y i i . " 4 4 0 Han Yii strove his whole life to emulate and to trace the works of Li Bai and Du Fu. But prior to Li Bai and Du Fu there was no one of their stature, so their brilliance was domineering and knew no restraint; each opened new vistas in his poetry and has remained unique for a thousand years. But for Han Yii's generation Li Bai and Du Fu already existed, so although he worked hard at innovation and change, in the end he could not open yet another path. Only among Du Fu's unconventional and unprecedented passages was there still some possibility for further development. So Han Yii fixed on these with a steady gaze, intending from them to open up new territory and form his own style. And it was here he focused his attention. But such passages have both good and bad aspects. Han Yii worked single-mindedly to perfect what Du Fu had achieved through an occasional brilliant insight, and therefore one sometimes sees the scars of ax and chisel in Han Yii's poetry. It is the difference between Charles Hartman, Han Yii and the Tang Search for Unity, p. 268 1 ZhaoYi Oubei shihua H4tl#IS> Beijing: People's Literature Press, 1963, p. 96 Yang 156 being intentional and unintentional. (Hartman's translation)442 Indeed, L i Bai and Du Fu are the two poets who are repeatedly mentioned with admiration in Han Yi i ' s poems: "Number Two of the Four Poems Inspired by Spring" (line eleven to line twelve) Recently I came to admire Li [Bai] and Du [Fu's] lack of restraint And how they got wildly drunk for a long time and wrote many poems. mwmf" "Urging Meng Jiao to Stay After Drunk" (line one to line four) In the past because I read the poems of Li Bai and Du Fu, I constantly regretted that those two could not meet each other. [Now that] Meng Jiao and I live in this world together, How are we going to follow the two masters' path? "Mocking Zhang Ji" (line one to line two) From where the writings of Li [Bai] and Du [Fu] are, Light and flame stretch to a million feet long. Charles Hartman, Han Yii and the Tang Search for Unity, p. 267 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 369 Quantangshi, juan 340. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 88 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 58 Quantangshi, juan 340. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 47 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 989 Yang 157 • E U ® ; 4 4 8 "Song of the Stone Drum" (line one to line four) Master Zhang 4 4 9 holds in his hands the text [printed] from the stone drum, And urges me to compose a song for the stone drum. [But] there is no one on Mound Shao4 5 1 anymore and the Banished Immortal452 has died; [With my] limited talent, what am I going to do with the stone drum? Such admiration for L i and Du implies a desire to compete with or even surpass them in poetry. This is especially obvious in the "Song of the Stone Drum." Although the poem begins in a humble tone, it is actually a long and adeptly crafted epic that shows every intention to compete with the two masters in poetic skills. The ambition to outdo his predecessors motivated Han Y i i to create a strong and distinctive style of his own, and in order to achieve this he needed to do something drastically different in his poems. A diligent restoration of the ancient ways would not cause enough impact to raise him to the level of L i Bai and Du Fu; it is in the pursuit of eccentricity and unconventionality that he 4 4 6 Quantangshi, juan 340. Chen Kang, Quantangshi suoyin Han Yii juan, p. 80 4 4 9 This is Zhang Ji. 4 5 0 Qian Zhonglian, Han Changli shi xinian jishi, p. 794 4 5 1 Mound Shao is the royal tomb of Empress Xu f^FjUn, the consort of Emperor Xuandi of Western Han (reign 73~49 BCE.). Because Du Fu's hometown was near that mound, he used "Mound Shao" (Shaoling) as his style name or hao. 4 5 2 This is Li Bai's style name. Yang 158 sees the possibility to establish himself as a unique poetic master. It is interesting that although Han Y i i claimed to be an ardent seeker of remote antiquity, his admiration and ambition were fixed on two poets only two generations before him. It is also interesting that Zhao Y i , who gave one of the most comprehensive comments on Han's verse, did not relate his poems to fugu at all. Yet this conclusion should hardly be surprising, for although Han Y i i is a true master of the ancient style prose, his poetry is something completely new and resembles anything but antiquity. Therefore, it is obvious that the term fugu does not adequately characterize Han Yi i 's poetry at all, and sometimes one needs to see outside the context of fugu to give a more comprehensive analysis of Han Yi i 's verse. For example, contemporary scholar Jerry Schmidt is one of the few who recognize Han Yi i 's departure from traditional poetic conventions. In his article "Disorder and the Irrational in the Poetry of Han Y i i , " he comments that by organizing their books around a concept of fugu and Confucian moral concerns, authors such as Owen and Hartman are unable to break completely free from the Song Neo-Confucian approach to Han Yi i 's work, 4 5 3 which essentially sees Han Yu as an ardent Confucian in every aspect. In his discussion of poems such as "Meng Jiao Lost His Son" Schmidt further comments that "the view of the universe expressed in the 4 5 3 Jerry D. Schmidt, "Disorder and the Irrational in the Poetry of Han Yu", Tang Studies 7, 1989, p. 138 Yang 159 poems by Han Y i i is considerably more pessimistic than anything found in earlier Chinese poetry and bears no resemblance to traditional Confucianism, which viewed the world as a morally ordered structure." 4 5 4 In the same article he also compares Han Yti's poetry to the works of the twentieth-century existentialist author Franz Kafka (1883-1924). This comparison may seem odd at first, but it accurately addresses the bizarre, unconventional, and irrational elements in the two writers' works and is much more insightful than an awkward attempt to interprete Han Yi i 's verse as a form offugu. The essence of fugu lies within its natural ruggedness and moral integrity. Yet in Han Yi i 's poetry, we sense a highly artificial form of ruggedness and a tendency to undermine orthodox moral norms, which make his poems seem strange and bizarre but not archaic. The peculiar imagery, extreme prosaism, and overwhelming array of obscure characters are all characteristics that push the limit of conventional aesthetics. Furthermore, as these qualities obviously require great craftsmanship, they also seem intentionally synthetic and fail to convey the natural beauty of the earlier and more primitive poems. They differ greatly from the simplicity and spontaneity of early poetry and differ significantly from a fugu style. Besides being stylistically unconventional, Daoist elements and moral unorthodoxy in Han's verse challenge the traditional 4 5 4 Jerry D . Schmidt, "Disorder and the Irrational in the Poetry of Han Y u " , Tang Studies 7, 1989, p. 160 Yang 160 Confucian values that form the backbone of fugu. The frequent use of humor also undermines the seriousness of his works and forms a sharp contrast with fugu's solemn and urgent atmosphere. In other words, of all the signature features of Han Yi i 's poetry, none is consistent with the principles of fugu. They reveal an urge to defy conventions instead of confirming them, to create something new instead of emulating the old, and to startle the readers with boldness and strangeness instead of moving them with a dignified force. 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