How to Read Chinese Poetry Podcast

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Pre-Qin Times

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The three courtship forms, “I Beg of you, Zhong Zi,” “The Banks of the Ru,” and “The Retiring Girl,” present contrasting depictions of the courtship process in early China. In the first, a village encounter between two lovers or potential lovers is depicted. The man and the woman in “The Banks of the Ru” may be married or simply lovers, but the link to the previous poem is the concern about the girl’s parents. This is the most clearly erotic of the poems presented. “The Retiring Girl” depicts a couple in a relationship with the young woman still reticent to have their love made public.


Episode 2

Recommended Citation

Nienhauser, W. H., & Cai, Z. (2022, Feb 7). The Book of Poetry: Courtship poems [2]. In How to read Chinese poetry podcast. Hong Kong: Lingnan University. Retrieved from