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An investigation into the stylistic features and principles of the seven-characters-a-line poetry in the Han and Wei Dynasties

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As the Han Dynasty gave way to the Wei Dynasty, new views emerged on the practice of metrical compositions in the structural transformation of four-character and three-character phrases into expressions that were compounded from shizi 实字 (the content word), or could stand alone in the grammatical sense. The research is conducted on the rhythmical correlation between the two expressions, which accounts for the common phenomenon for both folk songs and proverbs and the poetry that emulates the style of Lisao 离骚 (The Sorrow at the Estrangement), and this forms the background with which the rhythmical patterns are in gestation for the poems with seven characters to a line. The principles that influence the patterned rhythms determine the stylistic features that characterize the artistic structure during the initial stage, which is built upon a cluster of discrete sentences to be joined or even on a single self-contained line in isolation, through which the thread of the common narrative was not likely to run. This remarkable achievement was undertaken in a few poetic works with seven characters to a line composed at the end of the Eastern Han Period, which transcended the limitations exposed in the style itself, and which prepared society for the gradual acceptance of the genre in its narrative and lyrical application. This experience did not develop fully in contrast to the poetry with five characters per line, which had a different origin and in which was fundamentally based on the belated development of poetry with seven characters to a line during the Han and Wei Dynasties.


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