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


Early T’ang Poetry Revisited

Vol. 18 No. 2   12/1988   


Early T’ang Poetry Revisited 


Lü Cheng-hui 









Key words



    When they discuss upon the early T’ang poetry, critics always emphasize the relationship between the early T’ang and the Six Dynasties. They hold that the early T’ang only inherited the court style poetry (kung-t’i shih) of the Liang-ch’en period and did not invent anything of their own. This article, on the other hand, emphasizes the influences of the early T’ang poetry on the high T’ang poetry. It points out that the early T’ang poetry did have something new of its own.  

    This article first analyses the court style poetry of the early T’ang. On one hand, it demonstrates that these poems are much grander in setup than the court style poems of the Liang-Ch’en period. On the other hand, it shows that these works, though stylistically influenced by the court style poetry, are thematically against court style poetry. Thus, even the court style poetry of the early T’ang shows an important breakthrough. 

    Secondly, this article analyses the different ways the high T’ang poets and the poets of the Southern and Northern Dynasties dealt with themes concerning politics. It shows that the early T’ang poets were the precursors of the high T’ang poets in their way of expressing political feelings. 

    Finally, this article points out that the two most special categories of poetry of the high T’ang, namely, nature poetry and frontier poetry, both have their origins in the early T’ang poetry. 

    In short, the early T’ang poetry is in many respects the precursor of the high T’ang poetry



Author: Lü Cheng-hui
Genre: Article
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