The Shih Ching, a collection of 305 poems of varied lengths taken from all echelons of Chinese society, is the source of the earliest Chinese poetry. This collection of traditional songs is the world's oldest collection of poetry, and it was designated as one of the five Confucian Classics. The other four classics are the Book of Changes (I Ching), the Zouyan Zhuan, the Commentary on the Modes of Waning and Waxing by Wang Bi, and the Odes of Zhou.
Besides the Shih Ching, there are two other major collections of ancient Chinese poetry: the Tang Poetry Collection and the Yuan Lyric Collection. The Tang Poetry Collection includes imperial poems written during the reigns of six emperors from 618 to 903. This collection shows the development of Chinese poetry over time, from the simple to the complex. The Yuan Lyric Collection consists of 300 poems written between 1279 and 1316 by various poets including Su Dongpo and Zhu Wan. It is believed that many of these poems were used as models for calligraphy training exercises.
In Japan, India, and Europe, people started writing poems after Chinese poets such as Li Bai and Du Fu. In fact, some Japanese writers claim that they wrote their works after reading certain poems by these two Chinese masters.
Poetry by Confucius The Shijing ("Classic of Poetry"), the first anthology of Chinese poetry, comprising of temple, court, and folk songs, was given definitive form during the time of Confucius (551-479 bce). The collection includes some thousand poems, most of which are attributed to ten different authors. The first three writers named are Li Bo, Li Jing, and Du Fu.
Li Bo was a contemporary of Confucius who is said to have authored more than one hundred poems. His work shows the influence of Taoism and contains many allusions to wine and women. Li Jing was another important poet of his day. He was known for his loyal friendship with King Wu of Zhou and used this position to promote himself through poems praising the king. His poems also show an interest in politics and morality. His friend and rival, Li Bo, criticized him for being too fond of wine and women. Du Fu was yet another famous poet of ancient China. He was born into a wealthy family and inherited their property when they died. Poor at math, he wasn't able to hold a job involving accounting or mathematics and instead spent his time writing poems and singing songs. His works reveal a deep understanding of humanity and nature and he has been praised for creating a complete picture of life in ancient China.
After these three poets there is a gap of about 150 years before another major writer emerges.
The Tao Te Ching is divided into 81 "chapters," each of which is a poetry in its own right. Many people believe that the first chapter contains the substance of the entire book. Others see it as opening only the door to understanding for those who seek further.
The Tao Te Ching was probably written by the sage called "the father." There are many different versions of his biography, but they all agree on one thing: that he was a living image of the universe and its nature. He showed how the eternal principles by which everything material and spiritual is governed, can be recognized in human affairs and used for our benefit. He taught that the same laws that rule the universe also govern humanity; but since we lack awareness of these laws, they work against us instead of with us.
By learning from him, we can come to understand that what is good for the world is also good for us, because it is the way things are meant to be. The father said that there is nothing supernatural about this reality; rather, it is an aspect of the natural order of things that we have forgotten. By remembering this truth, we can start living according to its principles and allow them to guide us in our daily lives.
In conclusion, the Tao Te Ching is a book that deals with fundamental issues about life and existence.
The Qianlong Emperor (1711–1799) of the Qing Dynasty is well-known in China, but he also had a literary reputation. He is the poet who has written the most poetry in the world. In his lifetime, he wrote 41863 poems, according to archives. His reign lasted from 1735 to 1796.
He was born on the first day of the year in the Chinese lunar calendar and named Yongzheng after the current era name. His father was the previous emperor, who ruled from 1644 to 1661, and his mother was the daughter of a military commander. When Yongzheng was only two years old, his father died, and he became the new emperor at the age of five. Under his rule, literati praised him as an intelligent ruler who supported literature and the arts. In addition, there are many famous writers and artists during this time. They include Li Zhi, Wang Geng, Lu Hui, and others.
Yongzheng wanted to be known for his wisdom and intelligence, so he wrote many poems about government issues. These poems are still used today in school lessons about the Qing Dynasty.
In 1755, when Yongzheng was 46 years old, he married a young girl named Xiaozhuang.
Chinese poetry is distinguished by its compactness and shortness, in addition to its reliance on end rhyme and tonal metre for rhythm. There are no epics, either folk or literary, and few narrative or descriptive poetry that are lengthy by global literature standards. Much ancient poetry was formal exercises in praise or complaint before the emperor, and most of it has been lost.
But some remains: the work of Li Bo and Du Fu is widely regarded as one of the greatest in the language. They were contemporaries of Emperor Wu of Liang, who ruled from 584 to 616 CE.
Li Bo was a courtier who served under five emperors in two centuries. He was known for his elegant writing and educated speech, which made him popular at the imperial court. During the Five Dynasties period (907-1125), he wrote about fifty poems, most of which are lyrical pieces describing nature's beauty or people's sorrow. One of them, "The Mute Willow", is a classic of Chinese poetry.
Du Fu was a courtier and official of the state of Chu during the Northern Song dynasty (960-1279). He wrote about 300 poems, most of which are lyrical pieces describing the suffering of peasants during the agricultural seasons. One of his best-known poems is "The Wild Goose".