Yuanhe Poetry Sequences A New Look

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David McCraw

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Abstract




During the Yuanhe reign period (806–821), premier mid-Tang poets Han Yu (768–824) and Meng Jiao (751–815) experimented with the poem sequence, leaving several remarkable examples. This article examines one sequence by each poet: Han’s “Autumn Meditations” and Meng’s “Wintry Creek.” It demonstrates that Han did indeed write a poetic sequence (rather than a mere “series”) and that Meng offered a darker view of man’s place in the natural world than mainline readings would allow. The study illuminates the therapeutic nature of both sequences and so sheds light on the art of the poetry sequence.




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