Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Dreaming of Poetics 1: from the Shih ching

Poetry is the outcome of intent. In the mind it is intent; expressed in words, it becomes poetry. Emotion stirs within and forms into words. As the words are inadequate, one sighs them. As the sighing is inadequate, one sings aloud. As the singing is inadequate, without knowing it, the hands start to dance, and the feet beat in time.

from "Major Preface" to the Shih ching, translated by Donald Gibbs, as quoted by John Timothy Wixted in "The Kokinshu Prefaces: Another Perspective" from Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, Vol. 43, No. 1. (Jun., 1983) p.222

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