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Southern Identity and Southern Estrangement in Medieval Chinese Poetry$
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Ping Wang and Nicholas Morrow Williams

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9789888139262

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888139262.001.0001

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The Pity of Spring

The Pity of Spring

A Southern Topos Reimagined by Wang Bo and Li Bai

(p.137) 6 The Pity of Spring
Southern Identity and Southern Estrangement in Medieval Chinese Poetry

Nicholas Morrow Williams

Hong Kong University Press

“The pity of spring in my heart,” an enigmatic phrase in the conclusion to the ancient Chu poem “Summons to the Soul,” became an important topos of poetic composition during the Tang. The early Tang poet Wang Bo and the High Tang poet Li Bai both employed it in their writings, embellishing on the phrase as a way of expressing their conflicted feelings about travel, the South, and life itself. The process of elaboration and refinement of the phrase is a revealing case study in the development of Tang poetry.

Keywords:   “Summons to the Soul”, Chuci, Wang Bo, Li Bai, transience

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