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Knowledge Bank - Chinese Culture | Keats Education - Learn Chinese with Keats!

Knowledge Bank - Chinese Culture

Home > Knowledge Bank > Chinese Culture > Brief Introduction of Court Verse

Brief Introduction of Court Verse


The court verse refers to the poems which was popular in the late period of South Dynasty. The name of the court verse came from the comments of Xiao Gang. According to the description of some ancient records, the court verse was created a kind of poems by Xu Li. This kind of poem was carried by Xiao Gang into the palace. The subjects in the palace all learned the poem from Xiao Gang. Then this kind of poems was becoming more and more popular in the palace. Thus, this kind of poem was called the court verse.

According to the research, this kind of poems had already been inexistence in the period of Emperor Wu of Liang Dynasty. The main authors of the court verse were Xiao Gang, Xiao Yi and some literates’ friends who were often with them. For centuries, there is much criticism to the court verse for the critics think the court verse main centers on the description of the life or the figures of women. As a matte of fact, the contents of the court verse are not confined to the description of the life of women. Foreign students who study Chinese in China know that some works focus on the expression of one’s emotions. Though many works center on the description of women, many are of high quality and literature style.

Generally speaking, the tone of the court verse tends to be frivolous flamboyance and the poem style is soft. Actually, the court verse poets like Xiao Gang and Xiao Yi all wrote many wonderful and natural works which were suitable for people to read. Many foreign students who learn to speak Chinese may also learn some poems of this kind. They say the poems are of great appreciation value.

From the development of Chinese poetry, the court verse plays an important role from two main aspects. The first aspect is that the poem style in Sui and Early Tang Dynasty tended to be delicate but weak in the expression power under the influence of the court verse. The second aspect is that the form of the court verse tends to be more rhythmic. According to the statistics of the researchers, the structure of forty percent of court verse conforms to the structure of the octave. From the research, it can be concluded that the court verse is an boosting factor in the popularity of the octave in China.


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