"Shi Jing" (Zh-tspw|t=|s=|p=Shī Jīng|w="Shih Ching"), translated variously as the "Classic of Poetry", the "Book of Songs" or the "Book of Odes", is the earliest existing collection of Chinese poems. It comprises 305
poems, some possibly written as early as 1000 BC. It forms part of the Five Classics.
The collection is divided into three parts according to their
genre, namely "feng", "ya" and "song", with the "ya" genre further divided into "small" and "large":
The Confucian tradition holds that the collection, one of the "Wu Jing", or Five Classics, came to what we have today after the editing of
Confucius. The collection was officially acknowledged as one of "Five Classics" during the Han Dynasty, and previously in Zhou DynastyShi (詩) was one of "Six Classics". Four schools of commentary existed then, namely the Qi (齊), the Lu (魯), the Han (韓), and the Mao (毛) schools. The first two schools did not survive. The Han school only survived partly. The Mao school became the canonical school of "Shi Jing" commentary after the Han Dynasty. As a result, the collection is also sometimes referred to as "Mao Shi" (毛詩). Zheng Xuan's elucidation on the Mao commentary is also canonical. The 305 poems had to be reconstructed from memory by scholars since the previous Qin Dynastyhad burned the collection along with other classical texts. (There are, in fact, a total of 308 poem titles that were reconstructed, but the remaining three poems only have titles without any extant text). The earliest surviving edition of "Shi Jing" is a fragmentary one of the Han Dynasty, written on bamboo strips, unearthed at Fuyang.
The poems are written in four-character lines. The airs are in the style of folk songs, although the extent to which they are real folk songs or literary imitations is debated. The odes deal with matters of court and historical subjects, while the hymns blend
history, myth and religiousmaterial.
The three major literary figures or styles employed in the poems are "fu", "bi" and "xing":
"Summary of groupings of" Shi Jing "poems"
Guo Feng (zh-tsp|t=|s=|p=Guófēng) "Airs of the States" poems 001-160; 160 total folk songs (or airs) group char group name poem #s 01 周南 Odes of Zhou & South 001-011 02 召南 Odes of Shao & South 012-025 03 邶風 Odes of Bei 026-044 04 鄘風 Odes of Yong 045-054 05 衛風 Odes of Wei 055-064 06 王風 Odes of Wang 065-074 07 鄭風 Odes of Zheng 075-095 08 齊風 Odes of Qi 096-106 09 魏風 Odes of Wei 107-113 10 唐風 Odes of Tang 114-125 11 秦風 Odes of Qin 126-135 12 陳風 Odes of Chen 136-145 13 檜風 Odes of Kuai 146-149 14 曹風 Odes of Cao 150-153 15 豳風 Odes of Bin 154-160
Xiao Ya (zh-cp|c=|p=xiǎoyǎ) "Minor Odes of the Kingdom" poems 161-234; 74 total minor festal songs (or odes) for court group char group name poem #s 01 鹿鳴 之什 Decade of Lu Ming 161-170 02 白華 之什 Decade of Baihua 170-175 03 彤弓 之什 Decade of Tong Gong 175-185 04 祈父 之什 Decade of Qi Fu 185-195 05 小旻 之什 Decade of Xiao Min 195-205 06 北山 之什 Decade of Bei Shan 205-215 07 桑扈 之什 Decade of Sang Hu 215-225 08 都人士 之什 Decade of Du Ren Shi 225-234
Da Ya (zh-cp|c=|p=dàyǎ) "Major Odes of the Kingdom" poems 235-265; 31 total major festal songs (zh-c|c=) for solemn court ceremonies group char group name poem #s 01 文王之什 Decade of Wen Wang 235-244 02 生民之什 Decade of Sheng Min 245-254 03 蕩之什 Decade of Dang 255-265
Song (zh-tsp|t=|s=|p=sòng) "Odes of the Temple & Altar" poems 266-305; 40 total praises, hymns, or eulogies sung at spirit sacrifices group char group name poem #s 01 周頌 Sacrificial Odes of Zhou1 266-296 01a -清廟之什 Decade of Qing Miao 266-275 01b -臣工之什 Decade of Chen Gong 276-285 01c -閔予小子之什 Decade of Min You Xiao Zi 286-296 02 魯頌 Praise Odes of Lu3 297-300 03 商頌 Sacrificial Odes of Shang1 301-305
note: alternative divisions may be topical or chronological (Legges): Song, DaYa, XiaoYa, GuoFeng
* "", in "The Sacred Books of China", translated by
James Legge, 1879.
* "The Book of Songs", translated by
Arthur Waley, edited with additional translations by Joseph R. Allen, New York: Grove Press, 1996.
* "Book of Poetry", translated by Xu Yuanchong (許淵沖), edited by Jiang Shengzhang (姜勝章), Hunan, China: Hunan chubanshe, 1993.
* "The Classic Anthology Defined by Confucius", translated by
Ezra Pound, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1954.
* "The Book of Odes", translated by
Bernhard Karlgren, Stockholm: The Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, 1950.
External linksOriginal Chinese text at Chinese
* [http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/chinese/shijing/shijing2.htm Legge's translation of the Shi Jing] at Chinese text initiative
* [http://afpc.asso.fr/wengu/wg/wengu.php?l=Shijing The Book of Odes] in Chinese arrayed with
* [http://ist-socrates.berkeley.edu/~hh/odes/ Shiijing with Mao prefaces and Zhu Xi commentary] by Harrison Huang
*http://www.donohoemusic.com Hear musical arrangements of the poetry as well some poetry read in traditional mandarin. Music by Colin O'Donohoe (Donohoe)
* [http://www.sacred-texts.com/cfu/sbe03/index.htm#section_007 Legge's translation of the Shi Jing at the Internet Sacred Text Archive.]
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