Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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(2,162 words)

China has rightly been characterized as a "realm of the poetic arts." For more than 3000 years the form of the poem (shi) was the most elegant vehicle for the expression of the Chinese intellect. Especially the classical poetry of the Tang era created a wealth of poetic images which is unsurpassed not only in China. Until 1911 no other literary genre in the Middle Kingdom could compete with the poetic arts in terms of significance, spiritual richness, and expressive powers. However, this changed with the decline of the monarchy.

Since the onset of modernity, poetry in China, as in We…

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Kubin, Wolfgang, “Poetry”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 03 March 2024 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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