Tang poetry is one of the most valuable cultural inheritances of Chinese history. Its distinctive aesthetics, delicate language and diverse styles constitute great literature in itself, as well as a rich topic for literary study. This two-volume set is the masterpiece of Professor Lin Geng, one of China’s most respected literary historians, and reflects decades of active research into Tang poetry, covering the “Golden Age” of Chinese poetry (618–907 CE).
In the first volume, the author provides a general understanding of poetry in the “High Tang” era from a range of perspectives. Starting with an indepth discussion of the Romantic tradition and historical context, the author focuses on poetic language patterns, Youth Spirit, maturity symbols, and prototypes of poetry. The author demonstrates that the most valuable part of Tang poetry is how it can provide people with a new perspective on every aspect of life.
The second volume focuses on the prominent Tang poets and poems. Beginning with an introduction to the “four greatest poets”—Li Bai, Du Fu, Wang Wei, and Bai Juyi—the author discusses their subjects, language, influence, and key works. The volume also includes essays on a dozen masterpieces of Tang poetry, categorized by topics such as love and friendship, aspirationsand seclusion, as well as travelling and nostalgia. As the author stresses, Tang poetry is worth rereading because it makes us invigorate our mental wellbeing, leaving it powerful and full of vitality.
This book will appeal to researchers and students of Chinese literature, especially of classical Chinese poetry. People interested in Chinese culture will also benefit from the book.
Table of Contents
1 Chen Zi'ang and the Jian'an Spirit. 2 The High Tang Atmosphere. 3 Symbols at the Peak of the Tang Poetry. 4 How Did Landscape Poetry Come into Being?. 5 Language of the Tang Poetry. 6 Metrical Patterns of the Tang Poetry. 7 Vitality and New Prototypes of Poetry.
1 The Four Great Tang Poets. 2 The Poet Li Bai. 3 On Exaggeration in Li Bai's Poetry. 4 Starting with the Characteristics of the Tang poetry. 5 A Note on the Tang poetry. 6 A Note on Frontier Fortress Poetry. 7 Wang Zhihuan's "Song of Liangzhou". 8 On Liangzhou . 9 "Ancient Style: When a Millet is Sown in Spring". 10 Spring is Late, the Green Wild Graceful. 11 On a Poem by Xie Tiao. 12 On Yu Xin's "Zhaojun Left on the Emperor's Order". 13 In the Passes of Han under the Moon from Qin. 14 On Meng Haoran's "Passing by My Old Friend's Farmstead". 15 On Wang Wei's "Song of Weicheng". 16 On Wang Wei's "Farewell in the Mountain".
Lin Geng was a literary historian, a scholar in ancient Chinese literature, and a modern poet. He was a professor and doctoral supervisor of Peking University. His poetic and rational qualities interact in his writing and research, forming a distinct characteristic rarely seen in the literary world.