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The Ancient-Style Verse Of He Zhu, 1078–98

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Chapter Summary

Fanghui wrote one hundred twenty-one Ancient-Style Verse; this form comprises over 20% of his extant shi poetry. In fourteen poems He Zhu does something more unusual: he rhymes the first line, which is seldom done in pentametrical poetry, whether Ancient or Regulated. The fact that twelve of these poems were written in 1080-86 suggests that his experimentation in the form was especially vigorous in the earlier part of the period for which his works are available to us. From 1078 to 1080, his Ancient Verses far outnumber his Regulated Verses and heptametrical Quatrains. It is only from 1092 on that there is a marked decline in the quantity of his Ancient Verse. The emphasis in this chapter is on themes, ideas, and precedents. It tries to suggest why Ancient Verse was chosen for certain purposes.

Keywords: ancient-style verse; Fanghui; He Zhu; shi poetry

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