The Qu form of poetry is a type of Classical Chinese poetry form, consisting of words written in one of a number of certain, set tone patterns, based upon the tunes of various songs. Thus Qu poems are lyrics with lines of varying longer and shorter lengths, set according to the certain and specific, fixed patterns of rhyme and tone of conventional musical pieces upon which they are based and after which these matched variations in lyrics (or individual Qu poems) generally take their name.The fixed-tone type of verse such as the Qu and the ci together with the shi and fu forms of poetry comprise the three main forms of Classical Chinese poetry.
In Chinese literature, the Qu (Chinese :曲; pinyin :qǔ; Wade–Giles :ch'ü) form of poetry from the Yuan Dynasty may be called Yuanqu (元曲 P: Yuánqǔ, W: Yüan-ch'ü). Qu may be derived from Chinese opera, such as the Zaju (雜劇), in which case these Qu may be referred to as sanqu (散曲).
The San in Sanqu refers to the detached status of the Qu lyrics of this verse form: in other words, rather than being embedded as part of an opera performance the lyrics stand separately on their own. Since the Qu became popular during the late Southern Song Dynasty, and reached a special height of popularity in the poetry of the Yuan Dynasty, therefore it is often called Yuanqu (元曲), specifying the type of Qu found in Chinese opera typical of the Yuan Dynasty era. Both Sanqu and Ci are lyrics written to fit a different melodies, but Sanqu differs from Ci in that it is more colloquial, and is allowed to contain Chenzi (襯字 "filler words" which are additional words to make a more complete meaning). Sanqu can be further divided into Xiaoling (小令) and Santao (散套), with the latter containing more than one melody.
Chinese culture is one of the world's oldest cultures, originating thousands of years ago. The area over which the culture prevails covers a large geographical region in East Asia and is extremely diverse and varying, with customs and traditions varying greatly between provinces, cities, and even towns as well.
Chinese poetry is poetry written, spoken, or chanted in the Chinese language. While this last term comprises Classical Chinese, Standard Chinese, Mandarin Chinese, Yue Chinese, and other historical and vernacular forms of the language, its poetry generally falls into one of two primary types, Classical Chinese poetry and Modern Chinese poetry.
Classical Chinese poetry is traditional Chinese poetry written in Classical Chinese and typified by certain traditional forms, or modes; traditional genres; and connections with particular historical periods, such as the poetry of the Tang Dynasty. Its existence was documented at least as early as the publication of the Classic of Poetry. Various combinations of forms and genres exist. Many or most of these were developed by the end of the Tang Dynasty, in 907 CE.
Qu Yuan was a Chinese poet and politician who lived during the Warring States period. He is known for his patriotism and contributions to classical poetry and verses, especially through the poems of the Chu Ci anthology : a volume of poems attributed to or considered to be inspired by his verse writing. Together with the Shi Jing, the Chu Ci is one of the two greatest collections of ancient Chinese verse. He is also remembered in connection to the supposed origin of the Dragon Boat Festival.
Ma Zhiyuan, courtesy name Dongli (東籬), was a Chinese poet and celebrated playwright, a native of Dadu during the Yuan dynasty.
Shi and shih are romanizations of the character 詩/诗, the Chinese word for all poetry generally and across all languages.
Yuefu are Chinese poems composed in a folk song style. The term originally literally meant "Music Bureau", a reference to the imperial Chinese governmental organization(s) originally charged with collecting or writing the lyrics, later the term yuefu was applied to later literary imitations or adaptations of the Music Bureau's poems. The use of fu in yuefu is different from the other Chinese term fu that refers to a type of poetry or literature: although homonyms in English, the other fu is a rhapsodic poetry/prose form of literature.
The Chu Ci, variously translated as Verses of Chu or Songs of Chu, is an anthology of Chinese poetry traditionally attributed mainly to Qu Yuan and Song Yu from the Warring States period, though about half of the poems seem to have been composed several centuries later, during the Han dynasty. The traditional version of the Chu Ci contains 17 major sections, anthologized with its current contents by Wang Yi, a 2nd-century AD librarian who served under Emperor Shun of Han. The early Classical Chinese poetry is mainly known through the two anthologies, the Chu Ci and the Shi Jing.
"Li Sao" is a Chinese poem from the anthology Chuci, dating from the Warring States period of ancient China, generally attributed to Qu Yuan.
Zhongyuan Yinyun, literally meaning "Rhymes of the central plain", is a rime book from the Yuan dynasty compiled by Zhou Deqing (周德清) in 1324. An important work for the study of historical Chinese phonology, it testifies many phonological changes from Middle Chinese to Old Mandarin, such as the reduction and disappearance of final stop consonants and the reorganization of the Middle Chinese tones. Though often termed a "rime dictionary", the work does not provide meanings for its entries.
Sanqu is a fixed-rhythm form of Classical Chinese poetry or "literary song". Specifically sanqu is a subtype of the qu formal type of poetry. Sanqu was a notable Chinese poetic form, possibly beginning in the Jin dynasty (1115–1234), but especially associated with the Yuan (1271–1368), Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1912) dynasties. The tonal patterns modeled on tunes drawn from folk songs or other music.
The arts of China have varied throughout its ancient history, divided into periods by the ruling dynasties of China and changing technology, but still containing a high degree of continuity. Different forms of art have been influenced by great philosophers, teachers, religious figures and even political leaders. The arrival of Buddhism and modern Western influence produced especially large changes. Chinese art encompasses fine arts, folk arts and performance arts.
Shang Ting 商挺 (1209–1288), also known as Shang Mengqing 商孟卿 and in old age as “The Old Man of Zuo Mountain” 左 山老人. was a Yuan 元 period writer of Chinese Sanqu poetry. He was also a noted calligrapher and landscape artist. Unfortunately, although a prolific poet, most of his writings have been lost. The surviving sanqu poems of the poet are all written to the same musical mode and song title. However the content of the poems suggests they were written at different times. His son Shang Qi 商琦 was likewise an official and artist.
Hu Zhiyu, also known as Purple Mountain Hu, was a period writer of Chinese Sanqu poetry during the Yuan Dynasty. He was from Hebei and orphaned early in life. Nonetheless he applied himself to his studies and associated with others of exceptional ability. In the 1260s he rose to the high official position of Erudite of the Court of Imperial Sacrifices. However he earned the enmity of a Muslim high minister of finance Ahmad Fanakati (?-1282). Hu was then obliged to fill lesser official positions. Others wrote of him that officials feared him while ordinary people loved him. His writings were largely poetry. He was much influenced by Song poetry with its directness and lack or ornament. His sanqu (散曲) verses were highly literate, a characteristic of the time. He was likewise gifted at a variety of literary forms, as well as a skilled calligrapher.
Yuan Haowen also known as Yuan Yishan (遺山/遗山) or “Yuan of Yi Mountain” (1190–1257) was a poet from Xinzhou, in what is now Shanxi province, noted for his poems in the ci and the sanqu forms and for including poems in the sangluan genre of Classical Chinese poetry among his poetic works. Yuan Haowen was the outstanding literary figure of his period, in northern China, excelling at various genres of both prose and poetry: his ci poetry is said to be some of the best of the Jin period writers. Just a few of his sanqu lyrics have survived. Yuan Haowen was born in the territory of the Jurchen Jin dynasty, in what is now northern China, and which was co-existent with the Chinese Southern Song Dynasty.
Tone patterns are common constraints in classical Chinese poetry.
Classical Chinese poetry forms are those poetry forms, or modes which typify the traditional Chinese poems written in Literary Chinese or Classical Chinese. Classical Chinese poetry has various characteristic forms, some attested to as early as the publication of the Classic of Poetry, dating from a traditionally, and roughly, estimated time of around 10th–7th century BC. The term "forms" refers to various formal and technical aspects applied to poems: this includes such poetic characteristics as meter, rhythm, and other considerations such as vocabulary and style. These forms and modes are generally, but not invariably, independent of the Classical Chinese poetry genres. Many or most of these were developed by the time of the Tang Dynasty, and the use and development of Classical Chinese poetry and genres actively continued up until the May Fourth Movement, and still continues even today in the 21st century.
Yuan poetry refers to those types or styles of poetry particularly associated with the era of the Yuan dynasty (1271–1368), in China. Although the poetic forms of past literature were continued, the Yuan period is particularly known for the development of the poetic aspects included in the complex mix of different art forms which characterize Chinese opera, namely the qu or fixed-tone pattern type of verses that were delivered by the actors of these shows. Although the language of Yuan poetry is still generally considered to be Classical Chinese, a certain vernacular aspect reflecting linguistic changes can be seen in some of the fixed-rhythm verse forms, such as Yuan ci and qu. Certain aspects of Yuan poetry can be understood in the context of the social and political changes which took place as part of the process of the Mongol conquest of the Jin and Song Dynasties and their subsequent establishment of the Yuan dynasty.
Zaju was a form of Chinese opera which provided entertainment through a synthesis of recitations of prose and poetry, dance, singing, and mime, with a certain emphasis on comedy. Although with diverse and earlier roots, zaju has particularly been associated with the time of the Yuan dynasty (1271–1368), and zaju remains important in terms of the historical study of the theater arts as well as Classical Chinese literature and poetry. Zaju is known to have been performed during the earlier Song (960–1279) and Jin (1115–1234) dynasties. The various particulars of the zaju multimedia performance were derived from many and diverse sources of musical, dance, poetry, and theater traditions.