An overview of poems in the pre Qin period of China

An overview of poems in the pre Qin period of China

Chinese poetry came into being before the invention of characters. It was gradually formed and developed in people's labor, singing and dancing. The source of poetry is ballad. In ancient times, it was only sung orally without written record.

The original poetry has not been recorded. The Spring and Autumn of Wuyue Dynasty(chinese pinyin: Wu Yue Chun Qiu) is considered to be a relatively primitive hunting song, but this is only a guess.

The development of Pre-Qin poetry experienced a long process from oral to written, from folk to court, from collective singing to poet creation.

The Book of Songs

An overview of poems in the pre Qin period of China

In order to make rites and music, the Zhou Dynasty set up special officials to collect poems. In the spring and autumn, they went to various places to collect ballads. In order to offer sacrifices to ancestors, entertain guests, send troops, hunt and other purposes, the nobles compiled poems around the 6th century BC. "Shi" is the earliest poetry collection in China. There are 305 poems in total (there are six other poems with titles and no contents), so it is also called "three hundred poems". Since Emperor Wu of Han Dynasty, Confucianism has regarded it as a classic, so it is called "the book of songs". In Han Dynasty, Mao Heng and Mao Chang annotated the book of songs, which is also called Mao Shi. Most of the authors of the poems in the book of songs can't be verified.

The poetry recorded in the book of songs has a long time span, covering more than 500 years of social life from the beginning of the Western Zhou Dynasty (11th century BC) to the middle of the spring and Autumn period (6th century BC), covering a wide range of regions, from the north of the Yellow River to the Jianghan River Basin. In Han Dynasty, there were Lu, Qi and Han first, and then there was Mao poetry. After the popularity of Mao poetry, the poems of Qi, Lu and Han were lost successively.

The book of songs is divided into three parts: Feng(transliteration), Ya(transliteration) and Song(transliteration). "Feng" is also called "Guo-Feng(transliteration)". There are 15 groups, called "fifteen Guo-Feng", which are folk songs from all over the country. "Feng" is the general term of songs. 15 groups of national styles are not music of 15 countries, but music of more than ten regions. The Guo-Feng includes 160 songs of Zhou Nan, Zhao Nan, Ying, he, Wei, Wang, Zheng, Hui, Qi, Wei, Tang, Qin, Chen, Cao. Guofeng was a popular local song with local style. In terms of content, most of them are folk songs. Most of the authors are folk singers, but there are also some aristocrats. This part of literature has the highest achievements, including the singing of love, labor and other beautiful things, as well as the lament and anger of homesickness, homesickness, anti oppression and anti bullying. There are 105 articles in Ya, including 31 articles in Da-Ya and 74 articles in Xiaoy-Ya. Most of them are poems of noble sacrifice, praying for good years and praising ancestors. "Ya" has the meaning of "Zheng(transliteration)". This kind of music is regarded as "Zheng Sheng(transliteration)", which is intended to show the difference from other local song. There are also some folk songs in Xiao-Ya. "Song" is the poem of sacrifice in the ancestral temple. It is the song for the nobles to sacrifice ghosts and gods in the family temple and praise the merits and virtues of the ruler. It should be accompanied by dance when playing. It is also divided into "Zhou Dynasty-Song", "Lu-Song" and "Shang Dynasty-Song", a total of 40 pieces. Among them, 31 pieces of Zhou-Dynasty Song are thought to be works of the Western Zhou Dynasty, most of which are before the Zhou Zhaowang and the Zhou Muwang; 4 pieces of Lu-Song are thought to be works of the Duke of Lu; and the song of Shang dynasty is thought to be works of the song state before the spring and Autumn period. The poems in "Ya" and "Song" are of great value to our study of early history, religion and society.

As for the classification of poems in the book of songs, there is a theory of "Si-Shi-Liu-Yi(transliteration)". "Si-Shi(transliteration)" refers to the four poems in the first place in Feng, Da-Ya, Xiao-Ya and Song. "Six righteousness" refers to "Feng, Ya, Song, Fu, Bi, Xing". "Fu, Bi, Xing" is the expression of the book of songs. "Fu" is a direct statement of events, describing the course of an event. "Bi" is to compare one thing to another. "Xing" is to associate one thing with another.

Confucius once summarized the tenet of the book of songs as "no evil thoughts in thought", and taught his disciples and children to read the book of songs as the standard of making a statement and doing something. Among the pre-Qin scholars, many quoted the book of songs, such as Mencius, Xunzi, Mozi, Zhuangzi, Hanfeizi, etc. in their reasoning and argumentation, they often quoted the sentences in the book of songs to enhance their persuasion. Later, the book of songs was regarded as a classic by the Confucians, and became one of the Six Classics (including the book of songs, the Book, the Rites, the Yue, the changes, the spring and Autumn period) and the Five Classics (without the Yue).

The Song of the Chu

In the Warring States period, the Sao style poetry of Chu Ci represented by Qu Yuan marked the emergence of a higher stage of development of Chinese poetry from folk collective singing to independent creation of poets. "All the poets of the Song Dynasty wrote Chu language, which was the sound of Chu. They were well-known for their Chu land and Chu objects, so they can be called" songs of Chu " This kind of new poetry, which is composed by poets and has a distinct cultural color of Chu, has pushed Chinese poetry forward a big step.

The pre Qin works collected in Chu Ci are from Qu Yuan and Song Yu. Generally speaking, the works of poets are richer in thought, more delicate in emotion and more delicate in art than the simple folk singing because of their individual talent, high cultural quality and inheritance of art heritage. In Qu Yuan's and Song Yu's works . In particular, Qu Yuan's works are the product of the positive results of the integration of North and South cultures.

Qu Yuan's poems in Sao style are typical works of romanticism. The ardent and persistent pursuit of ideals, the explosive self talk of love and hate, and the devotion to the motherland are all contained in bold words and grand structures. The poet boldly galloped his imagination, combining the myths and legends, historical stories, natural phenomena and his own experiences, creating a magical and magnificent fantasy world that has never been seen before. Qu Yuan's works have an outstanding unique personality. The formation of this romantic feature is closely related to the cultural tradition of Chu state. Witchcraft prevailed in the state of Chu. Both the imperial court and the folk sacrifice made the witches "make songs, music and encouragement to entertain the gods.". This kind of music with primitive religious atmosphere is naturally the hotbed of romantic masterpieces. For example, "Nine Songs", the predecessor of which is the folk God worship songs in Yuanxiang area. From the realism of the book of songs to the romanticism of Qu Yuan, it is a milestone in the development of Chinese poetry. Qu Yuan's poetry of Sao style, based on the poetry, introduces analogy, inherits and develops the tradition of comparison in the book of songs. The comparison in the book of songs is relatively simple, while the comparison in the songs of Chu has symbolic characteristics and often becomes an image system. The Sao style poetry broke through the fixed format of the four character poetry in the book of songs. The sentence pattern was lengthened and flexible, the chapter was enlarged and tight, and the words were gorgeous and appropriate. It was a great liberation of the poetic style after the book of songs.

In the pre-Qin period, the two peaks of the book of songs and the Ci of Chu stand side by side, which are the two towering coordinates of realism and Romanticism in the history of Chinese poetry. However, the Sao style poetry has broken through the fixed format of the four character poetry in the book of songs. The sentence pattern is long and flexible, the chapter is enlarged and tight, and the poetry is gorgeous and appropriate, which is a great liberation of the poetic style after the book of songs.