ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing»
  • Poems & Poetry

Shi Poetry, flowers and Hummingbirds: an example of writing poems in Chinese poetic style

Updated on January 16, 2014

What is Shi Poetry?

The earliest Chinese poetry is found in the Shijing or Book of Poetry, and contains poems written as early as 1027 B.C.E. These poems fall into four categories: airs standardized from the folk songs of the common people, songs or hymns of nobility; odes of praise for rulers; and odes written for religious ceremony.

Songs often include a four word line, a four line stanza, rhymes on even lines and the use of metaphor, simile, synecdoche, puns, onomatopoeia, rhyming and reduplicative compounds, alliteration and puns as well as parallelism.- see Bob's Glossary to define any unfamiliar terms.

Example from Book of Poetry

One such song is The Peach Tree Tender:

The peach tree budding and tender.
Vivid and bright its flowers.
This girl is going to be married,
And fit for her chamber and house.

The peach tree budding and tender,
Quite large its fruit.
This girl is going to be married,
And fit for her house and chamber.

The peach tree budding and tender,
Its leaves luxuriant and lush.
This girl is going to be married,
And fits with all in the family.


This poem has a tetrameter rhythm and rhyme scheme (abab/acac/ adad- although this is not apparent in the English translation, it exists in Chinese) that is balanced and suits the nature of the match- the bride will fit well with his family.

The bride is compared to the peach, which is a traditional fertility symbol, and the flowers reference the beauty of her face.

Later poems in this collection do not have such a strict rhythm and rhyme but do have three elements in common; they all have exposition or a rhyme-prose style that reflects what is happening in the poem, such as the balance illustrated above; comparison as in comparing the young girl to a peach or a flower; and affective image which invokes the reader's participation, for "without emotionally arousing the reader first, and thus setting the response process in motion, a poem is nothing but a series of sounds or, in its written form, a mass of physical remarks."

Hummingbird

My attempt at exposition, comparison and affective imaging- my rhyme scheme is abcd/ebfd/gbhd/ibjd if this is a rhyme scheme, lol. I attempted to keep the images consistent while telling a metaphorical story in the same vein as what I have learned thus far about Shi poetry...

The hummingbird zips through a sliding door,
Radiating energy and internal joy.
Wall without windows. Flower without scent.
Light beams warm and bright.

The hummingbird hits a panel of glass,
Suffocating energy and confusing joy.
Window without wind. Nectar beyond reach.
Sun sets orange as night.

The hummingbird falls in a shopping bag,
Surrendering energy, relinquishing joy.
Wafting without lift. Deflowered of life.
Darkness saps her might.

The hummingbird rallies by the sliding door,
Summoning fresh energy, reinforcing joy.
Rising with the wind as pistils lapping light
Winged one takes flight.



© 2009 Barbara

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 7 years ago from TEXAS

      What an interesting mind you have.

    • sherrylou57 profile image

      sherrylou57 7 years ago from Riverside

      I like your poetry. I read it to the very beginning to the end. I like how you ended the poem "The winged one takes flight."

    • Storytellersrus profile image
      Author

      Barbara 8 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Ben, I am sure I am doing my own study, lol. But I am finding a great deal to ponder.

      Aya, I studied Mandarin in college but this experience only gave me an insight into the language. I am reading Zong-Qi Cai's book How To Read Chinese Poetry IN ENGLISH!!! It is a challenge and I have been remiss while my father in law is dying. But I intend to return to this study soon. Please tell me more about what you are discovering regarding the linking verb "shi"- are you reading Sian L. Yen's book on the subject?

    • Aya Katz profile image

      Aya Katz 8 years ago from The Ozarks

      Storytellersrus, I didn't realize you had a hub about the Book of Odes. My friend June and I are studying the use of the copula "shi" in that book to determine its grammaticalization path! Are you reading it in translation or in the original? It's wonderful to discover that you and I have so many interests in common!

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 8 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      That is fascinating, it's one of if not the oldest histories in the world, so I could see lots of room for interpreting trends.

    • Storytellersrus profile image
      Author

      Barbara 8 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Sounds like a dinosaur, lol. Thanks for stopping by, Ben. Chinese poetry fascinates me because it comes out of a very long and consistent history. It's like tracking trends.

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 8 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Very interesting, I haven't read much about Chinese poetry, thanks for the introduction and I enjoyed your hummingbird in the shopping bag poem, ironic and strange enough to be interesting! Thank Storytellersaurus!

    • Benjimester profile image

      Benji Mester 8 years ago from San Diego, California

      Another lover of Chinese poetry!! I'm very impressed. Your poem has the same feel as theirs, which is quite difficult to duplicate. I've never read the Shijing, but I love the Tao Te Ching, which has a similar style and feel. Now I'm all inspired to go and read poetry :)

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 8 years ago from South Africa

      Great stuff! Gave me much to think about and enjoy.

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

      Hi Barb, this is something different! I think your poem has more energy than the Chines example, and it conjures up an interesting image. I'm glad the story had a happy ending!

    • Storytellersrus profile image
      Author

      Barbara 8 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Thank you coffeesnob. I tip a floral mug to your expresso joy.

    • profile image

      coffeesnob 8 years ago

      I love this! What a beautiful imagery of the hummingbirds flight into a false flower so to speak and then her attenpt at freedom and having to acquiesce to the darkness and then suddenly again finding freedom and the sense of joy in being free. Whew! great thoughts rolling here.

      "Rising with the wind as pistils lapping light. Winged one takes flight."

      Loved this ending

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is used to quickly and efficiently deliver files such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisements has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)