William Dolby

Classical Chinese Translations and Research

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31. Chinese Poetry Through the Ages


Book Details

"Chinese Poetry Through the Ages: An Enlarged Anthology", translations by William Dolby. This volume was published in 2012 but with the original translations undoubtedly made between 1980- 2000

This work represents the 31st of 33 of the Chinese Culture Series.

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In China, poetry has been the pinnacle of literary activity. It was used in examinations to select men for the highest posts in the land. It was the core of stage drama, and the pride of story-telling. It was employed by philosophy and religion, and in the court's grave rituals and the common populace's aphorisms. For emperors and beggars it was taken for granted as being an important mode in the gamut of means of verbal expression.Poetry was virtually everywhere, at the top and bottom of society, for solemn occasions, for saucy and vulgar humour, for love - in some settings "composing poetry" could be a synonym for "having a love affair", for friendship, for partings, sorrows, and indeed for each and every aspect of life. Hundreds of thousands of ancient Chinese poems survive, and poetry is increasingly re-asserting itself in modern Chinese life.