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Poetry: China (Until the Song Period)
(4,139 words)

That Buddhism had a major impact on the Chinese poetic tradition is beyond dispute. The phonological awareness prompted by the process of translation from Indo-European languages, for example, had a verifiable influence on prosody (Mair & Mei, 1991); many other influences in form and content are also detectable. Yet “poetry” (shi [詩]) was in premodern China defined not only in linguistic terms but also by reference to history. The language may be straightforward, in the style of a folk ballad, but an awareness of literary tradition generally ob…

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T.H. (Tim) Barrett, “Poetry: China (Until the Song Period)”, in: Encyclopedia of Buddhism Online, Editor-in-Chief: Consulting Editors: Jonathan A. Silk, Oskar von Hinüber, Vincent Eltschinger. Consulted online on 28 June 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2467-9666_enbo_COM_0050>
First published online: 2020
First print edition: 20151231

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