ASIAN 280 - Topics in Asian Studies
Section: 003 The Pleasure of Chinese Poetry
Term: FA 2010
Subject: Asian Studies (ASIAN)
Department: LSA Asian Languages & Cultures
Course Note:
Provides an opportunity for non-specialists to explore a particular area of Asian culture. It aims to give beginning students a background for the study of Asian topics, as well as special insights into the (literary) traditions, philosophies, and beliefs of different peoples within Asia.
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May be elected twice for credit.
Primary Instructor:

For more than two millennia, poetry has been the most esteemed form of literary expression in China. It is one of the chief imperishable glories of Chinese civilization. This course is designed to introduce students to the understanding and enjoyment of Chinese poetry as represented in a wide range of English translations. We shall read selected translations of great poems done by both poet-translators such as Ezra Pound, Kenneth Rexroth, and Gary Snyder, and noted scholar-translators such as D.C. Lau, Arthur Waley, Stephen Owen, and Burton Watson. Whenever possible we shall read more than one translation of the same poems, along with word-for-word renderings prepared for use in this class. Although the seminar will cover roughly the first 2,000 years of China's long literary history, the emphasis will not be on bulk. Rather, it will be on close reading of representative works so that students will have a chance to develop the skills to appreciate the beauty, the vitality of the lyric voice, the clarity of vision, the craft of poets, and the range and depth of imagination that characterized this long and rich poetic tradition. We will also explore larger issues such as the nature of the Chinese language as a medium for poetry, the role of the poet in Chinese culture, and the influence of classical Chinese poetry on Imagism, the movement in early 20th-century Anglo-American poetry that favored precision of imagery and clear, sharp language.

Requirements include active participation, frequent brief exercises, and several short papers (four pages each).

Readings include Zong-qi Cai, ed., How To Read Chinese Poetry: A Guided Anthology and a course pack containing variant translations, additional selections of poems, word-for-word translations of some poems, and a small number of secondary sources.

ASIAN 280 - Topics in Asian Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
002 (SEM)
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
003 (SEM)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
004 (SEM)
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
005 (SEM)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 0231139411
How to read Chinese poetry : a guided anthology, Author: edited by Zong-qi Cai., Publisher: Columbia University Press 2008
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