Vikram Seth translated Three Chinese Authors, a volume of poetry by the three poets Wang Wei, Li Bai, and Du Fu. Many modern academics regard the Three Poets to be among the finest Chinese poets since they were contemporaries. They were also friends who shared political interests and opinions about literature and art.
Wang Wei is regarded as China's most famous poet during the classical period (about 500-250 B.C.). He is noted for his spontaneous nature and love of life, which makes him popular with many people today.
Li Bai was one of China's most important poets during the early 7th century. His poems are delicate and graceful but often dark and melancholic. He has been called "the Chinese Petrarch" because he wrote about the same time as Dante in Italy and Chaucer in England, two other great poets.
Du Fu was a major poet during the late 7th century and early 8th century. He is known for his simplicity and directness in writing about daily life. His poems are usually short and to the point.
Other famous poets from this period include Guo Yu, Zeng Jiao, and Zhou Daoqin.
The classic text that scholars use to classify Chinese poems is the Shang Shu, or Book of Songs.
Early Woodblock Printing and Poetry during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) The poetry of Dufu, Li Bai, and many other poets from this era made the most significant contribution to Chinese literature. Dufu and Li Bai are often regarded as China's best poets. Li Bai (701-762) was one of ancient China's best romantic poets. He lived in a time when warlords were fighting each other for power so crime and violence were common. Still, he managed to fight off his enemies and live in peace with his family until he died at age 47. His poems are still loved today.
During the Song Dynasty (960-1279), authors started using prose instead of only writing poetry. This is because more people were starting to read and write than sing or play instruments. So, writers wanted to communicate information in a clear and easy-to-understand way so that more people would read their works. In addition, during this time period, scholars started classifying things like books, artists, and even plants based on how well they matched with other similar items. For example, they would group books by genre such as history, philosophy, and fiction. Authors would then choose what type of book to write according to these classifications.
The great leap forward into modern times came with the printing press. Before this time, only monks, priests, and teachers could afford to buy books because they were written by hand and cost a lot to make.
("Poetry Classic") Romanization according to Wade-Giles Shih-ching, the earliest Chinese poetry collection, was written up by C.E.T. Moule in 1906. It includes about 150 poems by 150 different authors dating from about 300 B.C. to A.D. 804. The collection has been called "the Bible of Chinese poetry" because it contains most if not all of the major poets of ancient China.
After the fall of the Han dynasty in 200 A.D., there were no new collections of Chinese poetry for more than 1,000 years. But in 10th century Japan, a new form of poetry called "mono-no-aware" or "single-leafed poem" began to appear. Its origin is unclear but some scholars believe it may have come from China. In any case, it soon became popular with Japanese poets.
In 1024, a monk named Ji Hongzhong wrote a book called "Jingde Chishu Yuanyu" (Compendium of Correct Sounds and Colors). One of its sections included 146 single-leafed poems written by Ji himself as well as other monks of the time. This book is considered the first compilation of Chinese poems ever written.
The body of works published in Chinese, including lyric poetry, historical and didactic writing, theatre, and many genres of fiction, is known as Chinese literature. The term refers also to the people who write such works - scholars, teachers, officials, and others - as well as to the content of these works themselves.
Chinese literature is one of the four great traditions of writing: classical Chinese, modern Chinese, international English, and Israeli Hebrew. It can be traced back more than 2,000 years. Classical Chinese literature is written in the tradition-defining scripts used during this time, which are based on an ancestral form of Chinese called Old Chinese. The modern languages most commonly associated with China include Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, and Tibetan. However, due to large migrations of people from southern China to other parts of the world, many other dialects are now spoken in different countries around the world.
In addition to its extensive history, Chinese literature is notable for its longevity. The earliest surviving poems date back to about 800 BC, but major developments occurred almost continuously until the mid-20th century.
One characteristic of Chinese literature is its diversity.
Poetry. 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 poems in this collection were all written by men. However, women had a role in choosing which poems would be included in the Shijing and editing some of them later when they were chosen as examples of good style.
The first female poet for whom we have any information at all about her life is Ji Xiangchong. Her birth name was Wang Yangming and she was born in 772 ce. She was well-known in her day for being outspoken and argumentative, traits that got her into trouble with her teachers and elders. At the age of 14 she married a wealthy merchant named Wang Du who died two years later. After her husband's death, she went to live with her father who was then an old man. There she learned how to write poetry from another famous woman poet of the time named Jiang Wanli.
This book contains poems that reveal much about her personal feelings toward life and people. One of the themes that comes through in many of her poems is her desire for freedom.