The Classic of Poetry

The Classic of Poetry is a collection of old Chinese literature that has been rewritten and renamed into the Book of Songs/Odes. (“Norton Anthology of World Literature” 812) This collection of poems seemed to become popular around the beginning of Confucianism. Confucianism is the concept of centering one’s life or work on authority figures, family, and friends. The expression of Confucianism is best seen in the work of Tu Fu. Confucianism is wide spread throughout the Classic of Poetry.
Confucianism is brought out in the poetry because it focuses on education, political views, and social views. Education in the poetry helped to spread the ideas or moral values and knowledge to the people of China. (“Norton Anthology of World Literature” 812) Political and social views were also spread because it seemed to give the Chinese people an outlook of their own political system and how the system was used to run the different Chinese dynasties. The Classic of Poetry spread through China like wildfire and was first recognized the most by the Chou society. “Norton Anthology of World Literature” 812) Confucius wanted the poetry to get a reaction from people and for people to be able to get actual perceptions from reading the poetry. The idea was for the reader to be able to put themselves in the author’s brain as if the reader is physically seeing what the author describes. The Classic of Poetry is compiled of simple poetry it essentially lays out the reality of “early Chinese Civilization. ” (Norton Anthology of World Literature” 813)
Also read: Platos Attack on Poetry

Different works in the Classic of Poetry truly do seem very simple but when reading between the lines it is easy to find the poem’s true meaning. “Fishhawk” is an excellent example of poetry that appears to be simple, but in reality it has a deep meaning. “Fishhawk” is a poem about a female that is watching her husband have an affair with a much younger woman from a distance. The woman is hurt and angered but will stay with her husband until the end of her/his days because that is what is expected. She would not dare to leave her husband even though there is infidelity in the marriage. Stewart) There seems to be an unwritten understanding that marriage in the Chinese culture is sacred even if there is no physical attraction between the husband and wife. Marriage is a sacred bond and one would never enter into divorce. Popol Vuh is a compilation of stories from the “Quiche people of Guatemala. ” (“Norton Anthology of World Literature” 3076) Popol Vuh is full of “mythological narratives and a genealogy of the rulers of the Post-Classic Quiche Maya kingdom of highland Guatemala. (Vopus) The Popol Vuh is made of stories merged together to create an epic and “may be called novelistic. ” (“Norton Anthology of World Literature” 3076) The Popol Vuh also has comparisons to those in “The Bible” since it covers creation of the Earth and the living creatures on the earth. “The Bible” explains how God made the Heavens and the Earths and Popol Vuh explains how gods made the Earth, placed in in the sky, and populated the Earth with living creatures. The comparison between “The Bible” and Popol Vuh is perhaps the biggest comparison that can be made since there are various similarities. The Bible” covers the great flood and how God was angered by the sins of mankind and He destroyed the Earth and everyone except Noah and his family and the animals on the ark. Popol Vuh gods were also angered by mankind and sent a flood to destroy them as well. The mythology aspect in the Popol Vuh is perhaps a passed down story from “The Bible” that is told according to the Quiche people. Clearly there are enough similarities to bring truth to “The Bible” and the story of creation and the flood. Popol Vuh genealogy is depicted through the family ties.
The twins Hunahu and Xbalanque are the main focus of the story’s genealogy. The twins have a family line that is involved throughout the Popol Vuh. Part Three of the Popol Vuh goes back to an earlier time in history when Hun-Hunahpu and Vucub Hunahpu, the father and uncle of the twins, were defeated in the underworld and were buried in the ball court. Hun-Hunahpu and Vucub Hunahpu were great ball players as were the twins Hunahu and Xbalanque. The genealogical connections are that the family as a whole were good ball players and were apparently good at defeating others.
There is a family tie there that cannot be broken and is strong bond. The Classic of Poetry and the Popol Vuh are both amazing works of world literature. Each of these works has made its mark on two very different cultures and societies. The Chinese culture is one that is strong and true in morals and knowledge following Confucianism. The Quiche also seemed to be focused on strong morals and religions as a whole. Bibliography Stewart, Summer. ” Women: The Hips of Ancient Chinese and Egyptian Cultures. ” . N. p. , n. d. Web. 22 Jul 2012. lt;http://voices. yahoo. com/women-hips-ancient-chinese-egyptian- cultures-5713174. html>. The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Second. A. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. , 2002. 812. Print. The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Second. C. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. , 2002. 812. Print. Vopus, . “Popol Vuh – The Sacred Book of The Mayas. ” . N. p. , n. d. Web. 22 Jul 2012. <http://www. vopus. org/en/gnosis/gnostic-anthropology/popol-vuh-sacred-book-of-the- mayas. html>.


Definition of Poetry

What is Poetry? According to W. H. Hudson we all have a sense of what poetry constitutes. There are innumerable definitions of poetry given by poets and critics of poetry and out of which Hudson chooses some famous definitions. They are given below: * Johnson : “Metrical composition” , it is “the art of uniting pleasure with truth by calling imagination to the help of reason” * Macaulay: “we mean the art of employing words in such a manner as to produce an illusion on the imagination, the art of doing by means of words what the painter does by means of colours” * Carlyle: “We will call Musical thought” Shelley: “In a general sense may be defined as the expression of the imagination” * Hazlitt: “It is the language of the imagination and the passions” * Leigh Hunt: “The utterance of a passion for truth, beauty, and power, embodying and illustrating its conceptions by imagination and fancy, and modulating its language on the principle of variety in unity” * Coleridge: “Poetry is the antithesis of science, having for its immediate object pleasure, not truth” * Wordsworth: “It is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge and the impassioned expression which is in the countenance of all science” * Edgar Allan Poe: “It is the rhythmic creation of beauty” * Keble: “A vent for overcharged feeling or a full imagination” * Doyle: “It expresses our dissatisfaction with what is present and close at hand” * Ruskin: “The suggestion by the imagination, of noble grounds for the noble emotions” * Prof. Courthope: “The art of producing pleasure by the just expression of imaginative thought and feeling in metrical language” * Mr. Watts-Dunton: “ The concrete and artistic expression of the human mind in emotional and rhythmical language” * Matthew Arnold: “It is simply the most delightful and perfect form of utterance that human words can reach” * “It is nothing less than the most perfect speech of man that in which he comes nearest to being able to utter the truth” * “It is a criticism of life under the conditions fixed for such a criticism by the laws of poetic truth and poetic beauty” As Hudson state when we look at them critically, and compare them with one another, certain disturbing facts about them become clear. Commenting on these definitions Hudson concludes they are almost distracting in their variety because the subject is approached from many different points of view. Some, strictly speaking, fail to define, because they express rather what is poetical in general, wherever it may be found, than what is specifically poetry. Some, on the other hand, are too narrow and exclusive, because they recognize only the particular kind of poetry in which the writer happened to be personally interested.


Is Poetry Still Relevant in Today’s Society

Poetry has been used throughout the centuries, but is it still relevant in today’s society? some major aspects of poems are relevant today such as; subject matters, structure, rhythm, rhyme and the desire for expression of one’s own self in a written form. There are also aspects which may not be of relevance in modern society these are; form, language style and emotional complexity. The subject matters that nineteenth century poets wrote about are relatable to today’s people. The sonnet ‘Summer Noon’ describes an extremely hot “breathless hour” somewhere similar to the australian outback.
This subject is not just relevant to the poets of the nineteenth century but also to today’s society. People like to express their feelings, experiences and opinions of the enviroment around them. The sonnet structure allows a poet to express this mood and atmosphere in depth, helping you to visualise and feel that particular place. In the lines, “blur of sound/ that dulls the brain, with slumbrous weight” effectively describes a lazy mood and relaxed atmosphere. The majority of subjects depicted by nineteenth century poets focused on deep feelings and emotions such as love, joyfullness, anguish and sorrow.
A common poem form in the 19th century; the sonnet which usually used beauty as a subject matter, which is also expressed in 21st century poetry. Various poem forms incorporate simple and effective structures, rhythm and rhyming schemes. Poets use these forms as it artistically illustrates and organises thoughts. The nineteenth century poets established these particular forms in which we use today in modern poetry.

A song is a form of ballad and this form is the superior form used in todays society. songs are attractive because of their free, abstract and experimental structure while still using rhyme and rythm as a base. he other forms of poems are not as popular to listener and readers. This is mainly because they are personal and for one’s own personal satisfaction and are therefore not created for other poeple to appreciate.
Due to the old english language used in 18th and 19th century poems, it is difficult to accurately translate this formal language and therefore distracts the reader from the poems central meaning, making these poems difficult to decifer. The poeple of the 1800’s expressed themselves and their emotions in a straight forward way whereas poeple of today are more insightful using indirect symbolism and deeper meaning in their poetry. odays youth find difficulty in relating to this type of thinking and cheesy expression of feelings, detering them from using poetry as a medium for personal expression. The use of poetry throughout the ages has always been a way of expressing inner emotions, views and experiences in a structured yet artistic way. varying differences in the english languages may have resulted through time but the concept of poetry still remains relevant and is ageless.