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Lyrical Elegy: Yi Shun-ding's Poetics of Tears and Blood
|Keywords:||易順鼎 ; 清末民初 ; 抒情傳統 ; 清遺民 |
Yi Shun-ding ; late Qing and early Republic of China ; lyrical tradition ; Qing loyalist
|Issue Date:||2020-10-12 09:54:04 (UTC+8)|
Yi Shun-ding's life spanned from late Qing Dynasty to early Republic of China, and was mentioned in the works of literary history by Qian Jibo, Wang Bijiang, Qian Zhonglian, etc. He was called a child prodigy, a gifted man, a renowned scholar and a madman. He claimed to be a ＂Ku An＂ (crying man), an alcoholic, a living dead man and ＂Jia Baoyu.＂ Yi Shun-ding wrote many poems quickly. His poetic styles varied and ranged from antithetical couplets, linked verses to heptasyllabic ancient-style verses. He demonstrated the multi-faceted characteristics of lyrical self in his poetry during the tumultuous time. There were also breakthroughs in his poetic form, which could be regarded as an important ＂modern＂ case of lyrical ＂tradition.＂ Yi Shun-ding displayed wisdom at an early age, which enabled him to sense that the end of the age was imminent. The only way he could respond to the deep pain caused by this perception, which paralleled extreme physical agony, was to cry. Even in his early years, he wrote poems that could be considered end-time prophecies. His lyrical poetry dissimilated into songs of grief and despair. Five failed attempts to become Jinshi, immediately followed by the outbreak of Sino-Japanese War and the loss of his mother, led to his feelings of despair. The act of enlisting during the mourning period for his mother in the year of Yiwei stemmed from his desire to die. The conventional wisdom of ancient China could no longer settle his soul, this sentiment was reflected in his poems, which encapsulated the phrase ＂changed airs, changed odes＂ (bian feng, bian ya). After the Republic of China was founded, he was profoundly affected by the atmosphere of the time, which awakened a mysterious sense of creativity. He wrote lyrical poetry in the heptasyllabic ancient style that evoked the elegance of the old era and at the same time reflected his view about the new world. Love and death culminated in ＂flowers of evil.＂ However, at Yi's time, poetry in the older style was already considered to belong to a bygone era. Poetry had lost its power of settling one's soul, and instead overflew with alien noises. The country's demise released Yi Shun-ding's dark, primal desire. He went down the path of self-destruction, life increasingly became meaningless. Yi Shun-ding could only seek for a sense of reality from theatre performances, until his talent was exhausted and he was once again, at peace.
|Relation:||政大中文學報, 31, 295-340|
|DOI 連結:||https://doi.org/ 10.30407/BDCL.201906_(31).0009|
|Appears in Collections:||[政大中文學報 THCI Core] 期刊論文|
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