The Social Message in Chinese Poetry
In recent years, Chinese poetry has become so fashionable in Europe and America that many an observer of the new literary movements in China has begun to be puzzled at the fact that young China is endeavoring to overthrow a thing which has come to be so highly treasured in the West. Have we been guilty of lacking in appreciation for our own treasures? Or have the Occidental admirers of Chinese poetry been guilty of treasuring something which is after all not so valuable as they think? My own answer is that neither is the case. It is quite natural that Occidental poetry which has long been under the unconscious influence of epic verbosity, should find much admiration for the brief and concise imageries of Chinese poetry which for 3,000 years has almost never indulged in the field of the epic. And it equally is natural that the Chinese poetry which has so long been petrified by an overemphasis upon a contentless formalism, should find itself in need of an emancipation largely in the direction of unadorned naturalness and simplicity.