How to Read Chinese Poetry Podcast

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Pre-Qin Times

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This episode discusses how the language of love and kinship is used in diplomatic negotiations through the recitation of odes. For example, aLu minister uses a wedding song to compare smaller states to a bride welcomed by her groom (the powerful Jin). A woman picking artemisia with care becomes the analogue for a powerful state cherishing a weak one. A Zheng minister uses an ode about seduction to forestall or resist aggression. A Jin leader affirms an alliance through an ode celebrating brotherhood.


Episode 6

Recommended Citation

Li, W., & Cai, Z. (2022, Mar 7). The Book of Poetry and Diplomacy: What does it mean to say, “I love you”? [6]. In How to read Chinese poetry podcast. Hong Kong: Lingnan University. Retrieved from