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The Pentametrical Quatrains Of He Zhu, 1085–98

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Chapter Summary

About sixteen percent of Hu Zhu’s extant poems are pentametrical Quatrains. A marked aspect of Fanghui’s pentametrical Quatrains is the fact that they appear in the record late, ten years after his earliest extant poem, a heptametrical Regulated Verse from 1075. It is only in Yuanfeng 8 (1085), after three years in Xuzhou and during a year of high output for his poetry in general, that Fanghui comes up with pentametrical Quatrains that he preserves. This chapter gives an overview of pentametrical Quatrains from the ninth month that either imitates works of the past or acknowledges them in some other way. The poems presented have aimed at capturing the flavor of a moment or making a single point, often a humorous one. In this chapter, it is found useful to use notions of poetic closure and countermotion to analyze why a given Quatrain did or didn’t seem complete in itself.

Keywords: Fanghui; Hu Zhu; pentametrical quatrains; Xuzhou; Yuanfeng



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