This episode discusses how the anonymous author of “Prefaces to the Book of Poetry” turned “Osprey,” the first of the 305 Shijing poems, from a lively love song into a moral exempla by means of gender switching. It also explains that such imaginative gender switching was made possible by classical Chinese grammar, especially its ungendered use of pronouns and its frequent omission of sentence subjects.
Cai, Z. (2022, Mar 14). The Book of Poetry: The Han canonization: A love song and a moral exemplum . In How to read Chinese poetry podcast. Hong Kong: Lingnan University. Retrieved from https://commons.ln.edu.hk/poetry_podcast/7/