The first blog on East Asian poetry I’d like you to post will focus on reading and analyzing some classical poems. As you can imagine, there is an incredibly rich and storied tradition of poetry in China, Japan, and Korea respectively. Because we can’t possibly talk about all of it in such a short span of time, I’m giving you the freedom to examine the cultures and forms of poetry that strike you as particularly interesting. This post should be comprised of at least three paragraphs, which I’ll explain below.
(2+ Paragraphs) Choose just two poems (in English translations) found somewhere in the vast resources from the links below. In the text of your blog, write brief analytical paragraphs about each of your chosen poems, discussing their overall themes and the literary techniques the poets use to communicate meaning in their poems. You can either post quotes or the entire text of your poem as well, and in your analysis, you could discuss techniques such as figurative language, imagery, diction, tone, structure, and so on. I’ve purposefully tried to choose links that also display the original languages too, since that might be cool to see as well!
- A database of Classical Chinese poetry (click on the authors’ names)
- A database of Classical Japanese poetry (click on the numbers on the left side)
- A great list of Classical Japanese tanka poems
- A book of Classical Korean poetry that includes examples of sijo and kasa poems
- A book of Classical Korean kasa poems written in English and Korean
(1+ Paragraphs) Then, in a final paragraph in this post, I’d like you to reflect on some of the cultural values that you see being communicated by some of these poems that you’ve read. My hope is that we will discover that even though these three countries have stark distinctions in their development, there are certain values – tied no doubt to history, religion, and culture – that seem to unite them together. These reflections will serve as an effective introduction to our East Asian unit theme!