Naturalness and authenticity : the poetry of Tao Qian

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

Abstract

The simplicity and lucidity of Tao Qian’s 陶潛 (365-427) poetry is an intriguing wonder. With no intention to impress by verbal eloquence, he does not strive to startle his readers like Du Fu or Han Yu; with no burning wish to be understood by all, he does not labour to make his poetry intelligible to old women in the manner of Bai Juyi. If at times even Li Bai’s exalted valour seems a little dramatized and Du Fu’s superb skill a shade artificial, Tao’s poetry is almost unfailingly convincing in its direct lyricism and simple language. It is not without good reason that Huan Tingjian (1045-1105), himself extremely emphatic about rigorous training in poetic craft as a means to the final state of effortless effusion, looks up to Tao as a natural genius beyond the reach of the ordinary: “Yuanming’s poetry is what is called fitting naturally without any fuss about rules and tailoring” (Yanjiu 1:39). And Chen Shidao (1053-1101), characterized by Huang as “shutting himself up in search of a phrase,” enviously sees Tao as one immune from the pains of literary craftsmanship: “ Yuanming does not write poetry, but only expresses the subtleties of his heart” (Yanjiu 1:42).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-77
Number of pages43
JournalChinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews (CLEAR)
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1989
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Poetry
Naturalness
Authenticity
Tao
Artificial
Simplicity
Lucidity
Genius
Labor
Lyricism
Emphatics
Poetics
Reader
Craftsmanship
Pain
Shade
Wishes
Intentions
Eloquence
Language

Cite this

@article{47e198595f734929a7c564404156b8fa,
title = "Naturalness and authenticity : the poetry of Tao Qian",
abstract = "The simplicity and lucidity of Tao Qian’s 陶潛 (365-427) poetry is an intriguing wonder. With no intention to impress by verbal eloquence, he does not strive to startle his readers like Du Fu or Han Yu; with no burning wish to be understood by all, he does not labour to make his poetry intelligible to old women in the manner of Bai Juyi. If at times even Li Bai’s exalted valour seems a little dramatized and Du Fu’s superb skill a shade artificial, Tao’s poetry is almost unfailingly convincing in its direct lyricism and simple language. It is not without good reason that Huan Tingjian (1045-1105), himself extremely emphatic about rigorous training in poetic craft as a means to the final state of effortless effusion, looks up to Tao as a natural genius beyond the reach of the ordinary: “Yuanming’s poetry is what is called fitting naturally without any fuss about rules and tailoring” (Yanjiu 1:39). And Chen Shidao (1053-1101), characterized by Huang as “shutting himself up in search of a phrase,” enviously sees Tao as one immune from the pains of literary craftsmanship: “ Yuanming does not write poetry, but only expresses the subtleties of his heart” (Yanjiu 1:42).",
author = "KWONG, {Yim Tze, Charles}",
year = "1989",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.2307/495526",
language = "English",
volume = "11",
pages = "35--77",
journal = "Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews (CLEAR)",
issn = "0161-9705",

}

Naturalness and authenticity : the poetry of Tao Qian. / KWONG, Yim Tze, Charles.

In: Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews (CLEAR), Vol. 11, 01.01.1989, p. 35-77.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

TY - JOUR

T1 - Naturalness and authenticity : the poetry of Tao Qian

AU - KWONG, Yim Tze, Charles

PY - 1989/1/1

Y1 - 1989/1/1

N2 - The simplicity and lucidity of Tao Qian’s 陶潛 (365-427) poetry is an intriguing wonder. With no intention to impress by verbal eloquence, he does not strive to startle his readers like Du Fu or Han Yu; with no burning wish to be understood by all, he does not labour to make his poetry intelligible to old women in the manner of Bai Juyi. If at times even Li Bai’s exalted valour seems a little dramatized and Du Fu’s superb skill a shade artificial, Tao’s poetry is almost unfailingly convincing in its direct lyricism and simple language. It is not without good reason that Huan Tingjian (1045-1105), himself extremely emphatic about rigorous training in poetic craft as a means to the final state of effortless effusion, looks up to Tao as a natural genius beyond the reach of the ordinary: “Yuanming’s poetry is what is called fitting naturally without any fuss about rules and tailoring” (Yanjiu 1:39). And Chen Shidao (1053-1101), characterized by Huang as “shutting himself up in search of a phrase,” enviously sees Tao as one immune from the pains of literary craftsmanship: “ Yuanming does not write poetry, but only expresses the subtleties of his heart” (Yanjiu 1:42).

AB - The simplicity and lucidity of Tao Qian’s 陶潛 (365-427) poetry is an intriguing wonder. With no intention to impress by verbal eloquence, he does not strive to startle his readers like Du Fu or Han Yu; with no burning wish to be understood by all, he does not labour to make his poetry intelligible to old women in the manner of Bai Juyi. If at times even Li Bai’s exalted valour seems a little dramatized and Du Fu’s superb skill a shade artificial, Tao’s poetry is almost unfailingly convincing in its direct lyricism and simple language. It is not without good reason that Huan Tingjian (1045-1105), himself extremely emphatic about rigorous training in poetic craft as a means to the final state of effortless effusion, looks up to Tao as a natural genius beyond the reach of the ordinary: “Yuanming’s poetry is what is called fitting naturally without any fuss about rules and tailoring” (Yanjiu 1:39). And Chen Shidao (1053-1101), characterized by Huang as “shutting himself up in search of a phrase,” enviously sees Tao as one immune from the pains of literary craftsmanship: “ Yuanming does not write poetry, but only expresses the subtleties of his heart” (Yanjiu 1:42).

UR - http://commons.ln.edu.hk/sw_master/918

U2 - 10.2307/495526

DO - 10.2307/495526

M3 - Journal Article (refereed)

VL - 11

SP - 35

EP - 77

JO - Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews (CLEAR)

JF - Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews (CLEAR)

SN - 0161-9705

ER -