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Tsing Hua Journal of Chinese Studies
ISSN 0577-9170; DOI 10.6503/THJCS


Heart Bears Frost” : Yao Ho’s Mode of Poetic Thinking

Vol. 25 No. 3   12/1995  


Heart Bears Frost”Yao Ho’s Mode of Poetic Thinking


Au-yan Chen









Key words

T’ang poetry, Yao Ho, poetic thinking


      In his poem“Heart Bears Frost”(“Hsin huai-shuang”心懷霜), Yao Ho姚合(781-c.859resorts to figures of speech to manifest feelings and perceptions that arise from the creative process. This study focuses on the analysis of Yao Ho’s poetic thought as it develops through distinct stages. The six couplets of the poem are scrutinized in order to formulate a coherent account of poetry-making: first, a clear mind, which results from freeing oneself from worldly distractions; second, a concentration to create optimal conditions for the flow of creative thought; third, the poetic reverie, that provides increased access to unconscious data, heightened ability for visual imagery, and more fluent free association; fourth, cold chanting, in which the poet exercises his literary skill, bringing it to bear on the images and ideas that his creative genius has captured.

    Recognizing that cognition is an important element of poetic consciousness, this study evaluates“Heart Bears Frost”making references to other of Yao Ho’s poems-and is accordingly structured on two levels. On the primary level, each of the six couplets of“Heart Bears Frost”constitutes one section. Then within each section, images from Yao Ho’s other poems are used to clarify the poet’s intent and establish the metaphor in each couplet as an allusion to one of the aspects of the creative thinking process. Consequently, this study illustrates that, although these secondary poems are not usually read as descriptions of artistic invention, they nevertheless reveal the extreme care with which the poet orders his inspiration.



Author: Au-yan Chen
Genre: Article
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