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The Shih King

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The Shih King is the collection of Poetry book. The character Shû, as formed by the combination of two others, one of which signified 'a pencil', and the other 'to speak', supplied, we saw in its structure, an indication of its primary significance, and furnished a clue to its different applications. The character Shih was made on a different principle, that of phonetical formation, in the peculiar sense of these words when applied to a large class of Chinese terms. The significative portion of it is the character for 'speech', but the other half is merely phonetical, enabling us to approximate to its pronunciation or name. The meaning of the compound has to be learned from its usage. Its most common significations are 'poetry', a poem, or poems', and a collection of poems! This last is its meaning when we speak of the Shih or the Shih King. The earliest Chinese utterance that we have on the subject of poetry is that in the Shû by the ancient Shun, when he said to his Minister of Music, 'Poetry is the Expression of earnest thought, and singing, is the prolonged utterance of that expression'. To the same effect is the language of a Preface to the Shih, sometimes ascribed to Confucius and certainly older than our Christian era: 'Poetry is the product of earnest thought. Thought cherished in the mind becomes earnest; then expressed in words, it becomes poetry. The feelings move inwardly, and are embodied in words. When words are insufficient for them, recourse is had to sighs and exclamations. When sighs and exclamations are insufficient for them, recourse is had to the prolonged utterance of song.

The Shih King
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  • Category: Poetry
  • Published: 01 January 1897
  • Publisher: Public Domain
  • Print Length: 222 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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