Chinese poetry and author’s mediation

Choose two Mid Tang poems (by Meng Jiao, Han Yu, Li He or Bo Ju-yi) and discuss the author’s “mediation” of his

experience. What kinds of thoughts/opinions/ interpretations become part of the poem? What attitude does the poet have to

the world around him?

Reciting Aloud, Alone in the Mountains(p498)
Seeing Off Reverend Dan XII(p482)

The poet could affect by the world around him, we could see it simply through their poem. They release their thoughts and

experience through the use of themes and images in their poetry.

1. Discuss the Reciting Aloud, Alone in the Mountains through the background of the poet and the social background.
2. Discuss the Seeing Off Reverend Dan XII through the background of the poet and the social background.
3. Compare the two different poems and discuss the thoughts of the poem and poet’s experience.

Two other sources:
1. Shang Wei, “Prisoner and Creator: The Self-Image of the Poet in Han Yu and Meng Jiao” in Chinese Literature: Essays,

Articles, Reviews (Vol 16, 1994, p.14-40). This will help to get an idea about Meng Jiao’s background and the reason of

the images he used in the poem.
2. Earl George Naismith, Bai Juyi (Bai Lo Tian) 易居白 (樂白天), 772-846 AD, Tang Dynasty Poet, Midst Everyday Life, Musings on

the Ordinary, Influences of the Not So Obvious, B.A., The University of British Columbia, 2003. This will help to

understand the biography of Bai Juyi and his thoughts in poems.


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