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Sounds, images and rhymes in Sikong Tu’s poetical art

Abstract : When musicians, calligraphers and painters used poetical metaphors to describe effects and qualities of art works, Sikong Tu (837-908) vice-versa used sounds and images from music (mainly qin zither) and painting (mainly landscape) to depict stylistic qualities in Poetry. His series of twenty-four poems, which follows a theme and variations pattern, reveals a Daoist perception of Nature. Indeed, even though Tang poets were used to write poems in four or eight verses (quatrains or huitains) of five or seven characters, Sikong Tu preferred poems in six verses of eight characters or twelve verses of four characters, that is to say he reversed the structural numbers in verses/characters (four and eight) in order to show a cosmological approach (like lülü musical system in twice 'six-tones'), and to suggest the triple dimensional composition of sight-hearing and thought. Besides, the choice of rhymes echoes the structure shown in the poems studied in this paper. Moreover, the 18 th poem gives rise to the feeling that poetry appears like a mirror, a dual mirror, reflecting not only the poet's mind in regard of Nature, but also the reader's character through the interpretation of the poem.
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Contributor : Véronique Alexandre Journeau <>
Submitted on : Sunday, January 20, 2019 - 7:22:04 PM
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Véronique Alexandre Journeau. Sounds, images and rhymes in Sikong Tu’s poetical art. Asian and African Studies, Jana S. Rošker 2007, Special Issue: XVI Biennal conference of the European Association of Chinese Studies, XII (1), pp.71-86. ⟨halshs-01987150⟩



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