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"I rambled and roamed together with you": (d. 217) four poems to Cao Pi.

The Jian'an [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (196-220) period witnessed a flourishing of "presentation and reply" poetry (zengda shi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]). (1) Many of these poems were written between friends and colleagues, and as such they often reveal an informal and sometimes intimate relationship between the two parties. In this essay I examine a group of four poems, entitled "To the Central Commander of Five Guards" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], that Liu Zhen [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (?-217) wrote to Cao Pi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (187-226), who was named the Central Commander of Five Guards by his father Cao Cao [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (155-220) in the sixteenth year of Jian'an (212). My goal is to demonstrate that subjective quality of these hitherto little-studied texts manifests a unique relationship between Cao Pi and the members of his literary circle at the city of Ye [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] from 211 to 217, a period of vigorous poetic activity in the history of Chinese literature. Unlike the often-romanticized praises of the Caos' (Cao Cao, Cao Pi, and his brother Cao Zhi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], 192-232) patronage of writers by critics and historians of later periods, (2) these contemporaneous materials provide us with an engaged and firsthand representation of certain aspects of this patronage. They shed light on an important facet of poetic production during this brief but significant era.

Liu Zhen's poems were included in the zengda section of the Wenxuan, which divided its poetic selection into twenty-three sections according to their topics and occasions. (3) Of these, the zengda section, which is made up of seventy-two poems, is the second largest next only to the "Miscellaneous Poems" zashi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] section. Jiang Yaling noted in her exhaustive but mainly formalistic study of this type of poetry that, although similar poems were written as early as the Latter Han (25-220 C.E.), Xiao Tong was entirely responsible for making it into a distinct subgenre by creating the term zengda for it. (4) All the poems in this section bear either zeng or da in their titles, but there is no evidence that a zeng or "presented" poem was always da or "replied," although the Wenxuan does include a number of paired pieces. (5) This information is important to my present discussion, because the Wenxuan does not include Cao Pi's reply poems, if he had ever written any; in writing his poems to Cao Pi, Liu Zhen might never have expected a response from him.

A brief account of Cao Pi's relationship with the writers at Ye and their poetic activities will help to contextualize Liu Zhen's "To the Central Commander of Five Guards." (6) Whereas Cao Cao and his policies were responsible for attracting many famous scholars of the time to his side, (7) Cao Pi played a crucial role in forming the literary circle at Ye, a city that Cao Cao took from Yuan Shao [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in the ninth year of Jian'an (205). Between 212 and 217, several members of the "Seven Masters of Jian'an" (jian'an qizi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], (8) including Liu Zhen, Xu Gan [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (170-217), and Ying Yang [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (?-17), served as Cao Pi's "Instructor" (wenxue [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), an educational position in the establishment of the Heir Apparent. In addition to the aforementioned writers, the Sanguo zhi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] also mentioned Wang Can [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (177-217), Chen Lin [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (ca. 160-217), and Ruan Yu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (?-212) as those who were befriended by Cao Pi out of his love of literature. (9) Thus, the literary circle at Ye included the entire "Seven Masters" except Kong Rong [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (153-208), who had been put to death by Cao Cao in the thirteenth year of Jian'an (208). It was during this period that Liu Zhen wrote his "To the Central Commander of Five Guards."

Cao Pi's relationship with the writers at Ye was quite different from his father's. (10) First of all, the position of the Central Commander of Five Guards, although important because it embodied Cao Cao's intention to name him Crown Prince in the future, (11) was essentially ceremonial. This freed Cao Pi from the responsibilities of actually running the state. Consequently, his relations with the writers around him were less tense and formal. Moreover, Cao Pi had a genuine interest in literature. He authored the first essay on literature in China, "Essay on Writing" ("Lun wen" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) In this essay, he eulogized literature as "a grand cause of state governance," and reiterated emphatically the ancient belief that writing is an important means to achieve immortality because contrary to our brief life-span, writing is "immortal" and "eternal." (12) This elevated view might have instilled in him more respect for writers. His treatment of Kong Rong is particularly noteworthy, because when he singled out Kong Rong's writing for praise in this essay, (13) Kong Rong had already been executed by Cao Cao for political reasons. (14) This suggests that, in Cao Pi's view, one's writing could be judged on its own ground, independent of one's political and moral stance. His comments on the writings of the Seven Masters support this argument as they focus on their formal and stylistic qualities. (15)

All this must have affected Cao Pi's attitude toward those in his literary circle. He might still have regarded them as writing and convivial companions, but nevertheless established a mutually respectful relationship with them. His own accounts of their activities reveal a rare intimacy between them. In a letter to his friend Wu Zhi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (177-230) in 218, Cao Pi wrote:
 During the plague last year, many of our relatives and friends
 succumbed. Xu [Garr], Chen [Lin], Ying [Yang], and Liu [Zhen] all
 passed away at the same time. How pained I am to speak of this!
 During those old days we would go on outings together. As we
 traveled, our chariots touched one another; as we sat, our mats
 joined. We were never separated even for a moment. We passed
 around goblets, listened to music. Whenever our ears became hot from
 drinking, we would look up and compose poetry.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. (16)


The nostalgic tone of this passage suggests a deep personal and emotional engagement on his part. Sentences such as "as we traveled, our chariots touched one another" and "as we sat, our mats joined" suggest an intimacy that transcends the normal relationship between writers and their royal patron. One source tells us that when Wang Can died, Cao Pi led his friends to imitate the cries of a donkey at his funeral because Wang Can was fond of such sounds in his life. (17) In fact, the unconventional nature of this relationship disturbed Cao Cao, who was known equally for his contempt of Confucian rituals. (18) According to an anecdote presented in Pei Songzhi's [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (372-451) commentary to the Sanguo zhi, during a party hosted by Cao Pi for his instructors, Cao Pi asked his wife to come out to meet his guests. While all others bowed their heads in greeting her, Liu Zhen alone kept his up and looked straight at her. When Cao Cao heard of this, he ordered Liu arrested, and spared his life only after having sent him to do physical labor as punishment. (19)

This special relationship between Cao Pi and his attendant scholars must have provided a less rigid and less intimidating atmosphere for poetic composition. Furthermore, Cao Pi was a poet in his own right, and as his letter to Wu Zhi suggests, he often composed poetry together with other friends. Various sources indicate that these poetic occasions were mostly casual events such as banquets, outings, and group composition on chosen subjects. In his preface to "Manao le fu" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ("Rhapsody on an Agate-Adorned Bridle"), Cao Pi gives the following information about one of these occasions:
 Agate is a kind of jade. It comes from the Western regions. Its
 intertwined patterns look like the brain of a horse, hence the name
 given it by the people there (manao = horse brains). Some use it to
 decorate bridles. I have one of these bridles. In admiration I wrote
 a rhapsody about it. I also asked Chen Lin and Wang Can to do so.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. (20)


This preface, which exists in fragmentary form, makes it clear that Cao Pi was interested in the "beauty" (mei [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) of agate. His rhapsody, which is likewise fragmentary, focuses on portraying its "colorful patterns" (wencai [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]). There seems to be no attempt to instill any moral and political significance into his treatment of this object. (21)

The informal spirit that characterized the literary activities of Cao Pi's circle is perhaps best illustrated by the banquet poems that Cao Pi and others wrote together. Robert Joe Cutter has used the word "symposium" to characterize these and other poems composed at "excursions and symposia (convivial gatherings for drinking, conversation, and so forth)." (22) He suggests that "there is a connection between the troubled nature of the last years of the Han, the penchant of the Jian'an poets for convivial gatherings, and the feast poems." (23) Before examining in detail Liu Zhen's "To the Central Commander of Five Guards," I would like to take a brief look at two of these symposium poems, because they provide valuable contextual information for Liu Zhen's pieces. As we shall wee, Liu Zhen frequently evokes the atmosphere and even the details of these banquet poems. The following piece. "Composed by the Lotus Pond" (Furong chi zuo [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], is by Cao Pi:
 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Riding in our carriages, we roam
 at night,

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Carefree, we walk in the Western
 Garden.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Double canals flow into each
 other,

4 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Fine trees ring the broad river.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Low branches touch our feathered
 canopies,

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Tall boughs reach the blue sky.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] A sudden wind blows on the
 wheels,

8 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] And flying birds hover in front of
 us.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Crimson mists hem the bright
 moon,

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Brilliant stars emerge from the
 clouds.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Heaven sends down resplendent
 light,

12 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] How luminous are its many colors!

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Our life-span is not like that of
 Song and Qiao, (24)

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Who can attain divine
 transcendence?

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] So let us roam around to please
 our heart,

16 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] And nurture ourselves to finish
 our hundred years. (25)


Wenxuan places this poem in the section of "Excursion" (youlan [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) poetry. But in all likelihood what is described in the poem is a break from or continuation of a banquet remembered fondly by Cao Pi in his letter to Wu Zhi cited earlier. Cutter's characterization of this as a "symposium poem" is more helpful, because it allows us to treat as the same type those poems that Xiao Tong assigns to different categories, especially those in the categories of feast (gongyan [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), and excursion (youlan). (26)

Cao Pi's poem above exhibits a strong personal tendency through its engaged description of the scene. Moved by his observation of this beautiful night, he comments on the transience of human existence and the impossibility of immortality. He concludes that, given this condition, the best we can do is to enjoy the present moment and make the most of our short natural span. Stephen Owen has recently discussed the composite and formulaic nature of poetic composition during this period. He notes that many of the poems written on the same occasion or treating similar topics make use of common "grammar" or "shared poetics" as seen in their many similar lines, imagery, and formulaic expressions. In this poem by Cao Pi, for example, we find many echoes of earlier and contemporaneous works. Its last four lines in particular remind one of poem 13 of the "Nineteen Ancient Poems." (27) Several similar devices are adopted in the following poem, "At the Lord's Banquet [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] by Liu Zhen: (28)
 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Throughout the day we have roamed
 and sported,

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Our pleasure still has not come
 to an end.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Lingering thoughts last into the
 dark night,

4 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Together we continue to ramble
 and roam. (29)

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [His] carriage flies with its
 white canopy,

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Followers crowd the sides of the
 road.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] The moon comes out to shine on
 the garden,

8 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Precious trees are lush and
 green.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] A clear river passes to the
 stone-paved canal,

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Flowing streams become a fishing
 dam.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Lotuses spread out their
 blossoms,

12 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] They brim over the metal-strong
 dike.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Magic birds reside by the
 waterside, (30)

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Humane animals travel over the
 soaring bridge. (31)

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Colorful palaces stand on the
 flowing streams,

16 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Their spacious rooms bring in
 cool wind.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] All my life I have never heard of
 [an event like this],

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] How can a song describe them in
 detail?

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] I lay aside my brush, giving out
 a long sigh,

20 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] This exquisite beauty can never
 be forgotten. (32)


In many ways Liu Zhen's piece resembles the poem by Cao Pi. The main part of this verse (lines 7 to 16) is similarly made up of detailed description of the setting. In this moonlit garden, trees and flowers extend their blossoms and fragrance; exotic birds and animals sport on flowing streams, (33) and a cool breeze gently wafts. Cao Pi has used "roaming" (xiaoyao [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) to convey his carefree feelings. Liu Zhen corresponds with "rambling and roaming" (aoxiang [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]). The extensive and focused description of this enchanting scene likewise produces a strong response from the poet in the last section. Liu Zhen thanks his patron for an event that he has "never heard of all his life," and whose beauty is such that he cannot celebrate adequately with his poem. In front of this "exquisite beauty," all he can do is to "lay aside his brush, giving out a long sigh."

Similarities between these two poems notwithstanding, they are different in an important way as far as our present discussion is concerned. Cao Pi was the royal patron and host of the event celebrated in his poem. It is therefore understandable that he focused on his own observation and response. Liu Zhen, however, was a subordinate and as such he was expected to praise his patron. (34) He does so without mentioning Cao Pi as he directs his praise at the occasion rather than at its host. This is another indication of the relaxed atmosphere at the Ye literary circle.

With the above contextual information in mind, let us now turn our attention to Liu Zhen's "To the Central Commander of Five Guards." These were first collected in the "Presentation and Reply" poetry section of the Wenxuan. Their exact date of composition remains unknown. Since the second verse mentions Liu Zhen's illness, we might surmise that they were composed near his death in 217. Wu Qi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] the editor of Liuchao xuanshi dinglun [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] claimed that Liu Zhen wrote these four poems in response to a poem from Cao Pi, who paid him a visit during his illness. (35) Wu Qi, however, provided no supporting evidence for this assertion, and Cao Pi's poem, if he ever wrote one, is no longer extant. In recent research on the dating of these poems, Cao Daoheng [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and Shen Yucheng [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] state that they were written at different times after 212. They also point out that the repetitions of similar lines in these four poems make it unlikely that they were written on one occasion as a series. (36)
 1

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] In the past when I was following
 our Grand Lord, (37)

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] We put our chariots in order and
 went south.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] As we stopped at the towns of
 Fengpei, (38)

4 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] I rambled and roamed together
 with you.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] The four seasons replace each
 other in turn,

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] In late winter it was windy and
 cold.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] A crowd of guests converged in
 the big hall,

8 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Bright lamps radiated luminous
 light.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Unaccompanied songs made
 wonderful music,

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Temple dances were performed in
 the central hall. (39)

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Bronze goblets held sweet wine,

12 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Feathered cups were randomly
 passed around. (40)

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Late into the night we forgot to
 return,

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] For a while enjoying ourselves to
 great excess. (41)

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] When the four-horse chariots
 galloped to the road,

16 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Our merriment was far from being
 over. (42)


Cao Daoheng and Shen Yucheng note that the first line, with its mention of "Grand Lord" (yuanhou [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), indicates that this poem could not have been written before 217, when Cao Cao was made King of Wei. They further note that this verse is Liu Zhen's fond memory of the banquets held during Cao Cao's southern expeditions, which took place five times from 204 to 217. (43) The context of this poem is noteworthy. Liu Zhen here is not presenting his poems to Cao Pi on a public occasion, as he must have done with his banquet poem mentioned earlier. Rather, he is addressing Cao Pi alone. Although the hierarchical relationship between them makes this otherwise personal and private situation still formal and ritualistic, it nonetheless offers Liu Zhen the opportunity to treat this poetic event from a personal perspective. Since zengda poetry was often written between colleagues and friends, its conventions helped Liu Zhen, at least temporarily, to shorten the distance between him and Cao Pi.

In the opening line, Liu Zhen adopts the first-person wo [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], which effectively puts the poet at the center. This first verse narrates the poet's memory of a past time when he and Cao Pi accompanied Cao Cao, the "Grand Lord" (yuanhou) on a military campaign. (44) Cao Pi is not addressed till line 4 and thereafter disappears into the poet's description of the carefree festivities he must have hosted. In both tone and diction, this verse echoes Liu Zhe's "At the Lord's Party" cited earlier, demonstrating the formulaic nature of this type of poetry. In describing the extended pleasure of the banquet, for example, Liu Zhen states: "Late into the night we forgot to return," presumably because their "merriment was far from being over." Similar sentiment is described in nearly identical language in "At the Lord's Party": "Throughout the day we have been roaming,/Our pleasure still has not come to an end" ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]). Liu Zhen's manipulation of the allusion to the Shi jing in line 14 is humorous and effective. In the original Shi jing poem, "great excess" is used as an admonition against excessive pleasure, but Liu Zhen has turned it into a positive phrase: instead of something to be avoided, it now refers to something to be enjoyed. This helps to emphasize Liu Zhen's joyful experience with Cao Pi in the past and his strong nostalgia toward it.

Compared with "At the Lord's Party," this poem has one important difference: it is not composed impromptu at a banquet, but is cast in the form of recollection in tranquility. The distance inherent in such a mode of composition enables the poet to gain more control of the event and have it altered, filtered, and selected by his memory. This inevitably enhances the presence of the poet. Cao Pi, on the other hand, has been turned into an anonymous member of the "crowd of guests": "together" they "rambled and roamed," according to the poet's recollection, in the midst of wine, dance, and music.

Liu Zhen's second poem recounts another meeting and separation between him and Cao Pi. It takes on a distinctly personal tone:
 2

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] I have been troubled by a
 protracted illness,

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] And have been in hiding by the
 Clear Zhang. (45)

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] From summer to the dark winter,

4 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] It has lasted over a hundred days.
 (46)

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] I often fear that my soul will
 travel to Mount Tai, (47)

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] And that I will not see old friends
 again.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] How deep are your affections!

8 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] You came all the way to comfort
 me.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Our pure conversation lasted from
 morning till night, (48)

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] And we exchanged our deep concerns
 [for each other].

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] But soon we had to bid farewell
 again,

12 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Your chariot returned to the
 neighboring west.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Autumn leaves arose with wind,

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] On the broad road dust was
 flying.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [Time] passed by like a flowing
 river, (49)

16 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] How saddened I was by this
 separation.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] I asked you when we would meet
 again,

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] You invited me to come in
 springtime.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] I cannot relieve my admiration for
 you,

20 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] So I am sending you these new
 poems.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Please continue to cultivate your
 virtue,

22 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] And facing north, take good care
 of yourself. (50)


The first part of the poem (lines 1-6) describe Liu Zhen's "protracted illness" and the anxieties it causes him. Once more the poet adopts a first-person pronoun in the opening line, but this time with even more emphasis because it is the very first word of the poem. This again sets the poet on center stage. His illness and the resultant fear of death are presented as the cause of Cao Pi's affectionate call on him, which is described in the next section of the poem, lines 7-10. Lines 9 and 10 reveal a close rapport between Liu Zhen and Cao Pi: "pure conversation" indicates their common intellectual interest, and "deep concerns" suggests their tender care for each other. Their meeting is described as one between close friends. At that moment, the hierarchy that normally exists between Liu Zhen the poet and his royal patron is removed.

Their subsequent separation is described conventionally in lines 11 through 18. It happens too soon, and it happens in the autumn, the season of decline. This reminds the poet of the quick passage of time, lamented in the past by Confucius, and triggers a strong emotional reaction in him. The emotive verb ai (to grieve) in the next line intensifies the poem's personal tone and further foregrounds the poet's subjectivity. Then, in line 20, Liu Zhen employs the second-person pronoun er [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] to address Cao Pi. While this word had been used in antiquity to address both one's superior and inferior, during Liu Zhen's tie it seems to have been used exclusively in reference to one's equal or inferior. (51) This usage is another indication of the intimate and informal relationship between Cao Pi and Liu Zhen. Lines 19 and 20 are significant also because they state the theme of Liu Zhen's poem, which is to relieve his pent-up feeling for Cao Pi.

The perfunctory moral encouragement to Cao Pi in the last two lines introduces the first hint of formality thus far. It may be meant to tone down the intense personal tendency of this verse, since it fulfills the poet's official responsibility as his patron's instructor.

But this tendency is quickly reversed, for in the next poem we find the most focused and intense self-expression in the entire group:
 3

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] On this autumn day my heart is
 filled with sadness,

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Deeply moved I give out a long
 sigh.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Throughout the night I have no
 time to sleep, (52)

4 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] I express my thoughts with brush
 and ink.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] A bright lamp lights up the inner
 chamber,

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] The clear wind now is desolate and
 cold.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] White dew covers the front yard,

8 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] The main gate is locked with
 several bolts.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] The four seasons replace each
 other in turn,

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Years and months swiftly come to
 an end.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] A brave man embarks on a long
 expedition,

12 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Military tasks will be difficult
 and lonely.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Tears sprinkle all over my
 clothes.

14 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] How can I not think of the one I
 care for? (53)


The first line indicates the inward turn of this verse: its locus is not simply Liu Zhen the lyric subject, but his inner self ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) that responds to the onset of autumn. The explicit invocation of the "Nine Changes" ("Jiubian" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) places this in the mode of "autumn lamentation" (beiqiu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) poetry. (54) Conventional phrases such as "sad feelings" and "long sighs" in the first couplets provide further evidence of this. The poet is preparing his reader for an intense expression of his feeling and thought caused by this conventionally melancholic season, but his effort is complicated by the very convention he invokes, as well as by the formulaic nature of the first line. (55)

Having set this sorrowful tone and framework, the poet substantiates them with details in the next section. Unable to sleep, he gets up and begins to write in an attempt to alleviate his sadness. (56) It is at this moment that his attention is directed to the details of the environment: a cold wind blows on the lamp in his chamber, and outside the frosty dew has blanketed the front yard. Naturally, and conventionally, too, the poet is reminded of the passage of time and the approaching end of the year. In line 5, Liu Zhen uses "bright lamp" to describe the present setting. This image hearkens back to the first poem of this group, where it is part of a festive event that involves both the poet and his patron: "Bright lamps radiated luminous light." In the present verse, however, this image serves an opposite purpose: it portrays the sleepless night of the poet, and conveys his solitary melancholy.

The poet's anxiety over the passage of time is accentuated by his repeating verbatim line 5 of the first poem: "The four seasons replace each other in turn." We have already seen in the second poem that the quick passage of time causes in the ailing poet a fear of death and of the prospect that he might never see Cao Pi again, one of his "old friends." Here, Liu Zhen introduces Cao Pi in the same context: with the swift flowing of time in mind, he turns his attention to his patron, whom he images is leading a military expedition in a distant land. This brings on an emotional outpouring. Liu Zhen's reference to Cao Pi in the last line further indicates the extraordinarily close and informal relationship between them, as he does so with the intimate phrase, "the one I care for" (or "the loved one"), which is usually used to refer to a relative, lover, or spouse. (57)

The second and third poems can best be characterized as subjective and lyrical expressions, with the focus on the poet and his inner self. Cao Pi, on the other hand, remains more in the background, even though he is the recipient of these poems. To reverse this trend, Liu Zhen goes out of his way in the last poem to pay tribute to his patron. Here Cao Pi finally comes to the center, but only in Liu Zhen's imagination:
 4

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] A cold wind is blowing sand and
 gravel,

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] How icy is the frosty air!

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] The bright moon is shining on your
 red silk tent,

4 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] An ornate lamp is beaming luminous
 light.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] There you are composing poem after
 poem,

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Deep into the night still not
 knowing to return.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Your Lordship has many a brave
 thought, (58)

8 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Your literary elegance flies far
 and wide.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] This humble subject of yours is
 truly obtuse,

10 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Despite my efforts, how can I ever
 follow? (59)


Liu Zhen here envisions Cao Pi while on campaign, in his tent at night. In contrast to the convivial banquets that lasted late into the night in "At the Lord's Banquet" and in Liu Zhen's first poem of this group, here Cao Pi seems to be alone deep into the night. Line 6 is nearly identical to line 13 of the first poem: "Late into the night we forgot to return." The same can be said of the image of the "ornate lamp," which is only slightly different from the "bright lamp" of the first and third poems. All this suggests, in addition to their formulaic nature, that the poet's thought of his patron is to a great extent shaped by his imagination, based on his own experience. On the surface, though, the focus of this final poem is on Cao Pi. Liu Zhen praises his patron's poetic wit and elegance that continue to accompany him even in a desolate environment. In an attempt to accentuate a more formal and official tone, Liu Zhen has switched his address of Cao Pi to the most formal kind, "Your Lordship." And he also changes the way he refers to himself: instead of using a first-person pronoun as in the previous poems, Liu Zhen now calls himself "this humble subject." But this deictic phrase nevertheless directs our attention to the poet. As a result, the poem ends with his own confession of poetic incompetence to match his patron's literary elegance. We thus have come full circle: at both the beginning and end of this poem group addressed to a royal patron, it is the poem who reigns, albeit in different ways.

It is worth pointing out that the final poem is the shortest of the group, having only ten lines, compared with the sixteen lines of poem 1, twenty-two of poem 2, and fourteen of poem 3. Although, as Cao Daoheng and Shen Yucheng have pointed out, thee poems were likely written at different times, one can wonder whether this arrangement is an attempt to create an overall subjective impression for the entire group, which in turn suggests a sequential "order" for the poems. (60) It almost seems that the last poem is made to put forward a gesture that is self-cutting, if not downright self-destructive, because it is so jejune and its evident failure to reverse the subjective tendency of the previous poems only serves to render that tendency more powerful. This is further suggested by comparing the use of emotive verbs in this poem and the other three. While such verbs are used in abundance in poems 2 and 3 ("fear," "grieve," "long for," "weep," etc.), there is none in poem 4, and none in poem 1, which is another relatively formal piece. Since these verbs indicate a strong emotional engagement of the poet, their absence creates an impression of detachment. (61) Therefore, when the reader reaches the end of this group of poems, he is left with a deeper impression of the poet's subjective expression in the middle two pieces.

Critical opinion of these poems has varied. (62) While Liu Zhen has received praise for his writings since his own time, this is usually directed at his other works. (63) Cao Pi asserted that Liu Zhen's pentasyllabic poems possessed an "outstanding air" (yiqi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), and that although they were not "solid" (qiu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) enough in texture, they "stand above his contemporaries." (64) In the sixth century Liu Xie and Zhong Rang echoed Cao Pi's opinion in their general remarks on Liu Zhen's works. (65) Among those who have commented on this four-poem group, some emphasize their alleged formal and perfunctory quality. For instance, Yan Yu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (fl. ca. 1225-64) singled out for condemnation Liu Zhen's formal address to Cao Cao, "grand lord," in the first poem and thereby dismissed the claim by others that Liu Zhen was a man of integrity. (66) He offered no comment on the other poems of the group, but one may surmise that his opinion is negative. Wang Fuzhi selected the first and third of the group for inclusion in his Gushi pingxuan and stated his admiration for both of them. He particularly praised lines 5-6 from the third poem, which, he says, "naturally" (ziran [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) blend the natural and human scenes together. (67) In modern-day criticism, these poems have not received much attention. Xu Gongchi's Wei Jin wenxue shi, for example, does not mention them in the section that surveys Liu Zhen's life and works. And the Han Wei Liuchao shi jianshang cidian [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], one of the most comprehensive anthologies of the poetry of this period published in recent years, does not include any of the four poems. (68) The lack of interest in these poems may have been caused by the presumption that they are works that contain nothing but perfunctory praise of the poet's patron. (69) My discussion suggests that such a presumption is inaccurate. These poems are in fact skillful and effective works of self-expression. This is particularly impressive, given the fact that they were presented to a royal patron.

This quartet of poems offers us a vivid representation of the relationship between Cao Pi and the members of his literary circle at Ye during the late years of the Jian'an era. They show us that later critics' romanticized remarks about the Caos' patronage of letters are not entirely groundless, if they are applied judiciously. On the other hand, the idealization of this patronage betrays an intense desire for it among later critics, and this in turn suggests how rare and fragile such a patronage was in Chinese literary history. This is poignantly demonstrated by the quick breakup of Cao Pi's literary circle itself. Liu Zhen and several others soon (perhaps within a year of his composition of these four poems) died in 217. Three years later, in December of 220, Cao Pi became the first emperor of the Wei dynasty. Some evidence suggests that with his ascent to the throne, his perception of himself and the people around him changed. He is pictured as increasingly arrogant, willful, suspicious, and sometimes cruel. (70) It is impossible to know whether Liu Zhen and the others who died in 217 would have continued to enjoy Cao Pi's respect and understanding if they had lived to see him on the throne.

(1.) Xiao Tong's [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Wenxuan [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1986) devotes four chapters (23-26) to zengda poetry, of which those written during the Jian'an period occupy the entire chapter 23 and part of chapter 24. For general studies of this type of poetry, see Jiang Yaling [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Wenxuan zengda shi liubian shi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Taibei: Wenjin chubanshe, 1999), and Mei Jialing [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Han Wei Liuchao wenxue xinlun: nidai yu zengda [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]:[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Beijing: Beijing daxue chubanshe, 2004), esp. 101-57. For a comprehensive survey of studies on Jian'an literature during the twentieth century, see Wu Yun [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] et al., Wei Jin Nanbeichao wenxue Yanjiu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Beijing: Beijing chubanshe, 2001), chapter 2. Among numerous studies on Jian'an literature, interested readers may consult the following: Xu Gongchi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], "Jian' an qizi lun" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Wenxue pinglun [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 4 (1981): 134-44; Xu Gongchi, "Jian'an qizi shiwen jinian kaozheng" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Wenxue yichan zengkan [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 14(1982): 125-44; Zhang Keli [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Jian'an wenxue lungao [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Ji'nan, Shandong jiayu chubanshe, 1986); Wang Wei [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Jian'an wenxue yanjiu shilun [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe, 1994); Li Wenlu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Jian'an qizi pingzhuan [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Shenyang: Shenyang chubanshe, 2001); Wang Pengting [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Jian'an qizi yanjiu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Beijing: Beijing daxue chubanshe, 2004); and Wang Mei [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Jian'an wenxue jieshou shi lun [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 2005).

(2.) A classic example of this praise is chapter 45 of Liu Xie's [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (d. 531 C.E.) Wenxin diaolong [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]:

Emperor Wu of the Wei, who was then a prince and prime minister, had a deep love for poetry; Emperor Wen, who was then heir apparent, was well versed in poetry and rhymeprose; and Chensi [Cao Zhi], the son of a prince, wielded his brush. The style of their writing was as brilliant as sonorous jade. These three, important as their positions were, all showed great respect for others who had outstanding literary talent. Hence many talented writers gathered around them like vapors and clouds. ... Goblets in hand, they proudly showed their elegant style and, moving with leisurely grace while they feasted, composed songs with a swing of the brush, and out of the well-ground ink created witty pieces that served as subjects of talk and laughter.

[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]

See Fan Wenlan [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ed., Wenxin dialong zhu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], 2 vols. (rpt. Beijing: Renmin wenxue chubanshe, 1978), 2: 673-74. The English translation is that of Vincent Yu-chung Shih, The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragon (Hong Kong: Chinese Univ. Press, 1983), 463-64, with some modifications.

In his "Yu Yang Dezu shu" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Cao Zhi also described the gathering of literary talents under Cao Cao. See Zhao Youwen [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], ed., Cao Zhi ji jiaozhu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Beijing: Renmin wenxue, 1984), 153. For another classic celebration of this patronage, see Zhong Rong [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (ca. 468-518), Shi pin [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], ed. Chen Yenjie [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Beijing: Renmin wenxue, 1958), 2. Contemporary Chinese scholarship generally pays similar tribute to this phenomenon; see Xu Gongchi, Wei Jin wenxue shi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Beijing: Renmin wenxue chubanshe, 1999), 4-5, and Li Baojun [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Caoshi fuzi he Jian'an wenxue [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1978), 10-11.

Liu Xie's romantic description of the Jian'an literary scene has made a myth of a complex situation. The relationship between Cao Cao and the intellectuals that gathered around him was often difficult and tense. Sanguo zhi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1969; hereafter cited as SGZ) notes that Cao Cao was "suspicious by nature" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], which caused him to eliminate whomever he could not tolerate (12.370). He got rid of Kong Rong [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (d. 208) because of Kong's disrespect for him and his policies. Yang Xiu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] was another victim of Cao Cao's suspicion and wrath; he was executed by Cao Cao because he was suspected to be on Cao Zhi's side in the latter's rivalry with Cao Pi; see SGZ 19.558. For a comprehensive study of Cao Cao, see Paul W. Kroll, "Portraits of Ts'ao Ts'ao: Literary Studies on the Man and the Myth" (Ph.D. diss., Univ. of Michigan, 1976); for a brief description of Cao Cao's treatment of intellectuals, see Liu Zehua [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] et al., Shiren yu shehui: Qin Han Wei Jin Nunbeichao juan [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Tianjin: Tianjin renmin chubanshe, 1992), 260-71; for a study on the circumstances surrounding Yang Xiu's death, see Robert Joe Cutter, "The Incident at the Gate: Cao Zhi, the Succession, and Literary Fame," T'oung Pao 71 (1985): 228-62.

(3.) For studies on Wenxuan's selection criteria and practice, see Wang Yunxi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] "Wenxuan xuanlu zuopin de fanwei he biaozhun" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in his Han Wei Liuchao Tangdai wenxue luncong (Zenghu ben) [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Shanghai: Fudan daxue chubanshe, 2002), 361-73, and David R. Knechtges, "Culling the Weeds and Selecting Prime Blossoms: The Anthology in Early Medieval China," in Culture and Power in the Reconstitution of the Chinese Realm, 200-600, ed. Scott Pearce, Audrey Spiro, and Patricia Ebrey (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Asia Center, 2001). 200-241.

(4.) According to Jiang, the first zengda poem was "Yu Liu Bozong juejiao shi" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] written by Zhu Mu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (d. 166): see Lu Qinli [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], ed., Xian-Qin Han Wei Jin Nanbeichao shi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1983), 181.

(5.) Jiang Yaling notes that, the ratio between the zeng and da poems in the Wenxuan is 4:1; see Wenxuan zengda shi liubian shi, 272.

(6.) For studies on the literary activities at the Ye, see Zheng Yuyu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], "Shilun gongyan shi zhiyu Ye xia wenshi jituan de xiangzheng yiyi" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in her Liuchao qingjing meixue zonglun [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Taibei: Xuesheng shuju, 1996), 171-218: Liu Huairong [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], "Lun Ye xia houqi yanji huodong dui Jian'an shige de yingxiang" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], in Zhonggu wenxue yanjiu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], ed. Zhao Minli [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and Sato Toshiyuki [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Beijing: Xueyuan chubanshe, 2005), 511-20. These two authors share the view that, contrary to the conventional notion that regards the poems written at banquets to be inferior to the earlier works of their authors, banquet and other recreational activities at Ye offered their participants a special opportunity for self-realization through their poetic composition thanks to their informal nature.

(7.) In Cao Cao's own words, his only criterion in selecting officials to work for him was talent ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]). See his "Qiuxian ling" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in Cao Cao ji yizhu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju 1979), ed. Anhui boxian Cao Cao ji yuzhu xiaozu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], 130. He stated in this decree that "if one first has to be a virtuous scholar/official (shi [+ or -]) before one is employed, then how could Duke Huan of Qi become the ruler of the world?" Kroll translates and discusses this and other similar edicts of Cao Cao in his "Portraits of Ts'ao Ts'ao: Literary Studies on the Man and the Myth," 17-24.

(8.) The phrase "Seven Masters" was first used by Cao Pi. It refers to Kong Rong, Chen Lin, Wang Can, Xu Gan, Ruan Yu, Ying Yang, and Liu Zhen. See his "Dianlun: Lunwen" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], in Wenxuan, 52.2270-72, and Cao Pi ji jiaozhu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ed. Xia Chuancai [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and Tang Shaozhong [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Zhengzhou: Zhongzhou guji chubanshe, 1992, hereafter cited as Cao Pi Ji), 237. For English translations and studies of this text, see Ronald Miao, "Literary Criticism at the End of the Eastern Han," Literature East and West 16 (1972): 1016-28; Donald Holzman, "Literary Criticism in China in the Early Third Century A.D.," Asiatische Studien 28.2 (1974), 111-49, and Stephen Owen, Readings in Chinese Literary Thought (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1992), 57-71. Robert Joe Culler translates most of this essay and discusses it extensively in his "To the Manner Born? Nature and Nurture in Early Medieval Chinese Literary Thought." in Culture and Power in the Reconstitution of the Chinese Realm, 53-71. For English studies of Cao Pi's works, see Lois Fusek, "The Poetry of Ts'ao P'i (187-226)" (Ph.D. diss., Yale University, 1975), and Christopher Leigh Connery, "Jian'an Poetic Discourse" (Ph.D. diss., Princeton University Press, 1991), chapter 3.

(9.) SGZ 21.599.

(10.) In addition to Cao Cao's occasional execution of scholars, which must have made his relations with the writers around him tense, the working environment at his court also seemed to be tedious. Liu Zhen, who once served as Cao Cao's clerical administrator or "lesser subordinate" (yuanshu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), wrote the following "Unclassified Poem" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] to express his boredom at the court:
 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Official duties keep burying me,

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Documents are scattered
 everywhere.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] I keep dashing the brush, having
 no time to eat,

4 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Not aware that the day is already
 getting late.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] I am lost in books and records,

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] My mind is awhirl and
 disoriented.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Putting this aside I go out to
 the west city-wall,

8 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Ascending to a height I let my
 vision roam.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] The square pond holds the white
 water,

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] In it there are ducks and geese.

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Where might I get fluttering
 wings,

12 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] That I could float with you on
 the waves!


Wenxuan 29.1359-60; Jian'an qizi ji jiaozhu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], rev. ed., ed. Wu Yun et al. (Tianjin: Tianjin guji chubanshe, 2005, hereafter cited as Jian'an qizi ji), 571. For another English translation of this poem, see Stephen Owen, An Anthology of Chinese Literature: Beginning to 1911 (New York: Norton, 1996), 265.

(11.) Cao Cao named Cao Pi crown prince six years later, in 217. In his decree he said that his intention to do so was made clear when he appointed Cao Pi the Central Commander of Five Guards, because, except for Cao Pi, all his other children were enfeoffed. See "Li Taizi ling" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], in Cao Cao ji yizhu, 173.

(12.) In addition to works cited in note 8, one may also refer to other discussions on this issue by Wang Yunxi and Gu Yisheng [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], eds., Zhongguo wenxue piping tongshi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], 7 vols. (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1996), 2: 20-47, and Robert Joe Cutter, "To the Manner Born?" Cutter's earlier essays, "The Incident at the Gate," also addresses the issue of literary fame and immortality. Zheng Yuyu cites the words of another critic, Wang Meng'ou [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], who said that Cao Pi made this remark at a time when he and Cao Zhi were locked in a succession struggle, and that he deliberately exaggerated the value of literature to encourage Cao Zhi to concentrate his attention on literature rather than on politics. See "Shilun gongyan shi zhiyu Ye xia wenshi jituan de xiangzheng yiyi," 212.

The idea that writing is one of the three means to achieve immortality was first stated in the Zuo zhuan [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ("First and foremost is to establish merit; next comes establishing virtue, and after that comes establishing words. These will not decay even after a long time. This is what is called immortal"). See Yang Bojun [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], ed., Chunqiu Zuozhuan zhu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1981), 1088 (Xiang gong 24).

(13.) Cao Pi placed Kong Rong first of the "Seven Masters," and praised his writings as "having a high and wonderful style and energy, superior to others." See Wenxuan 52.2271, and Cao pi ji, 238.

(14.) Kong Rong's execution took place in 208, and Cao Pi's "Dianlun: Lunwen," wherein he made his famous remarks on the writings of the Seven Masters, is believed to have been composed in 217. See Cao Pi ji, 236 n. 1. Hou Han shu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1965; hereafter cited as HHS) notes that after Kong Rong was executed, Cao Pi offered gold and silk to anyone who possessed Kong Rong's writings; see 60.2279.

(15.) His remark on the aesthetic qualities of poetry and rhapsody might lend further support to this argument: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], "poetry and rhapsody should be beautiful." See "Dianlun: Lunwen," in Cao Pi ji, 240, and Wenxuan 6.2271. Lu Xun's [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (1881-1936) claim that "Cao Pi's time was one of literary self-consciousness; or to use a modern expression, it represented the school of "art for art's sake' might have been inspired by these factors. See "Wei Jin fengdu ji wenzhan yu yao ji jiu de guanxi" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in Lu Xun quanji, 16 vols. (Beijing: Renmin wenxue chubanshe, 1973), 3: 491. Although the second part of this statement is clearly exaggerated, it nonetheless calls our attention to Cao Pi's intense interest in the unique qualities of literature. Cutter comments on the concept of qi and its possible connection with Cao Pi's emphasis on individual talent in literature; see his "To the Manner Born?" 53-71. Zheng Yuyu attributed the purely literary nature of the Ye literary circle and its activities to Cao Cao's separating literary talent from other pragmatic abilities and treating them differently. Precisely because Cao Cao did not assign the scholars around him to important positions in his government, they had the chance to regard themselves and their activities as unique. See "Shilun gongyan shi zhiyu Ye xia wenshi jituan de xiangzheng yiyi," esp. 186-204.

(16.) "Yu Wi Zhi shu" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in Cao Pi ji, 108. Cao Pi makes a similar remark in an earlier letter to Wu Zhi in the year 215 C.E.; see Cao Pi ji, 101-2. Robert Joe Cutter also discusses this letter in his "Cao Zhi's (192-232) Symposium Poems," Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles. Reviews 6 (1984): 1-31.

(17.) See Liu Yiqing [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Shishuo xinyu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], ed. Xu Zhen'e [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1984), 16.347-48. The anecdotes collected in this source are sometimes fictional. For an English translation of this book, see Richard B. Mather, A New Account of Tales of the World, 2nd ed. (Ann Arbor: Center for Chinese Studies, Univ. of Michigan, 2000). For a study of this text, see Nanxiu Qian, Spirit and Self in Medieval China: The Shih-shuo hsin-yu and its Legacy (Honolulu: Univ. of Hawaii Press, 2001).

(18.) See his "Qiuxian ling," where he states explicitly that the talented men he was seeking did not have to be virtuous persons; Cao Cao ji, 130. Pei Songzhi's note in SGZ provides more details of his frivolous (tiaoyi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] behavior: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ("Taizu [Cao Cao] was a frivolous man with no dignity. He loved music, and often had entertaining ladies around day and night"). SGZ 1.54, n. 2.

(19.) SGZ 21.602.

(20.) Cao Pi ji, 82.

(21.) The matching pieces by Chen Lin and Wang Can are also fragmentary. Wang Can's piece follows closely Cao Pi's example: Chen Lin's piece is so fragmented that it is difficult to judge its overall quality. See Jian'an qizi, 161-62, 372-73.

(22.) "Cao Zhi's Symposium Poems," 3.

(23.) Ibid., 18.

(24.) Song and Qiao refer to Qi Songzi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and Wang Ziqiao [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] two legendary figures who were supposed to have attained immortality.

(25.) Wenxuan 22.1031-32; Cao Pi ji, 4. Ronald Miao has also translated this poem; see Wu-chi Liu and Irving Yucheng Lo, eds., Sunflower Splendor: Three Thousand Years of Chinese Poetry (New York: Anchor Press, 1975), 45. Zhong Rong ranked Cao Pi in the second category of his Shi pin; see Shi pin, 21.

(26.) Jiang Yaling has also discussed the blurring and merging of poems in different sections in the Wenxuan, See Wenxuan zengda shi liubian shi, 162-63.

(27.) See Owen, The Making of Early Chinese Poetry (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Asia Center, 2006), especially chapters 3 and 4, which discuss poems that treat the topics of immortality and feast.

The last four lines of poem 13 of the "Nineteen Ancient Poems" are: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII],[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ("Those who take medicine to seek divine transcendence/Are often duped by what they take./Better to drink the finest wine, /And be clothed in the finest silk"). See Lu Qinli, Xian-Qin Han Wei Jin Nanbeicho shi, 331. For studies on this group of poems, see Jean-Pierre Dieny, Les dix-neuf poemes anciens (Paris: Universitaires de France, 1963), and Ma Maoyuan [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Gushi shijiushou chutan [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Xi'an: Shanxi renmin chubanshe, 1981).

(28.) Wenxuan places this poem in the section of "gongyan" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (poems written at "Lord's Banquets"), following a poem of the same title by Wang Can (27.945). Wang Can's piece was believed to have been written to Cao Cao (see Li Shan's note at the end of the poem). This may have caused Yu Xianhao [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and Zhang Caimin [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] the editors of Jian'an qizi shi jianzhu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Chengdu: Bashu shushe, 1988; hereafter cited as Jian'an qizi shi) to suggest that Liu Zhen's poem was also addressed to Cao Cao. But Wang Can's poem is highly formal, in sharp contrast to Liu Zhen's piece. I concur with the editors of Cao Pi ji that Liu Zhen's poem was written in the same year as Cao Pi's poem discussed earlier, in 211 when he was named Central Commander of the Five Guards. Liu Zhen was appointed Cao Pi's instructor in the same year. Cao Zhi also wrote a poem of the same title on this occasion, and it demonstrates similar casual and personal qualities. For the text of Cao Zhi's poem, see Wenxuan 27.942.

(29.) [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ("ramble and roam") alludes to a passage from poem 105 of the Shijing: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ("The Way from Loo is easy and plain, /And the daughter of Ts'e moves on with unconcern"); tr. James Legge, The Chinese Classics, 5 vols. (rpt. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Univ. Press, 1960), vol. IV: The She King, or The Book of Poetry, 160.

(30.) "Magic birds" refers to phoenixes. See Jian'an qizi shi, 195 n. 8, citing the Mao note on [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]("The male and female phoenix fly about") in poem 252 of the Shi jing; see Legge, She King, 492.

(31.) "Humane animals" refers to [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] or unicorns. Jian'an qizi shi, 195 n. 8, citing Shuowen jiezi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ("the unicorn is a humane animal").

(32.) Wenxuan 20.945; Jian'an qizi ji, 403.

(33.) In all likelihood, these were statues that were placed in the river or carved on the bridges. As Ge Xiaoyin [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] points out, the yuefu poetry of the Han this was a common practice. See "Lun Han yuefu xushishi de fazhan yuanyin he biaoxian yishu" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in her Han Tang wenxue de shanbian [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Beijing: Beijing daxue chubanshe, 1990), 13-14.

(34.) Cutter notes that the ingredients of symposium poems "may include a description of the affair, an expression of gratitude or appreciation, and praise." See "Cao Zhi's Symposium Poems," 7.

(35.) Cited in Jian'an qizi shi, 207. For a study of Liu Zhen and his works, see Wang Yunxi, "Liu Zhen pingzhuan" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], in his Han Wei Liuchao Tangdai wenxue lunji (zengbu ben), 308-17; also see Wu Yen et al., Jian'an qizi ji, 551-59, and Xu Gongchi, Wei Jin wenxue shi, 113-20.

(36.) See their zhonggu wenxue shiliao congkai [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2003), 60-61. The lines they single out are [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in poem 1 and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], which is repeated verbatim in poems 1 and 3.

(37.) "Grand Lord" refers to one's monarch; here it refers to Cao Cao. See the passage [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ("you must eventually ascend the throne of the great sovereign") in the "Dayu mo" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ("Counsels of the Great Yu") chapter of the Shang shu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. See James Legge, trans., The Chinese Classics, vol. III: The Shoo King, or The Book of Historical Documents, 61.

(38.) Fengpei was the hometown of Liu Bang [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Emperor Gaozu of Han [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (r. 206-184 B.C.E.). Here it is used to stand for Qiao [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Cao Cao's hometown. See Li Shan's note on this line (Wenxuan 23.1111).

(39.) "Temple dances," according to the Mao commentary to poem 38 of the Shi jing, were performed in "worshiping ancestors and spirits of mountains and lands." See Shisanjing zhushu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (rpt. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1989), 308a: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ("We are to perform the temple dances"); Legge, Chinese Classics, IV: She King, 61. Legge renders this line as "I am ready to perform in all dances."

(40.) There are two explanations of "feathered cups." First, the phrase was thought to be a reference to the "Zhao hun" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] poem in Chu ci [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ("Jade-like wine, honey-flavored, fills the winged [feathered] cups." Hong Xingzu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] noted that "feathered cups" refer to the practice of "putting feathers in the cup to encourage [the drinker] to drink fast." See Hong Xingzu, ed., Chuci buzhu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1983), 2.208, English translation in David Hawkes, The Songs of the South: An Anthology of Ancient Chinese Poems by Qu Yuan and other Poets (New York: Penguin, 1985), 228. Second, they refer to wine goblets with wing-shaped handles; see the note to [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in Han shu 97B.3988.

(41.) "Great excess" is a reference to a passage from poem 114 of the Shi jing: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ("But let us not go to great excess,/Let us first think of the duties of our position." See Legge, She King, 174.

(42.) Wenxuan, 23.1110-11; Jian'an qizi ji, 404.

(43.) Zhongguo zhonggu wenxue shiliao congkao, 60.

(44.) It should be noted that even though Cao Cao was the de facto ruler, Emperor Xian of Han [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (r. 189-220 C.E.) was still the nominal ruler. Liu Zhen's referring to Cao Cao as "Grand Lord" (yuanhou), the phrase normally used to refer to one's monarch, has caused harsh criticism from traditional critics. See Yan Yu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Canglang shihua jiaoshi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], ed. Guo Shaoyu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Beijing: Renmin wenxue chubanshe, 1983), 203-4.

(45.) The Clear Zhang River has its source in Shanxi, and flows into Hebei where the city of Ye was located. It is joined by the Muddy Zhang (Zhouzhang [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) west of Ye.

(46.) This couplet is quoted as [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in Shuowen jizhuan [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] compiled in the tenth century by Xu Kai [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; see Jian'an qizi shi, 201 n. 3.

(47.) One's spirit was thought to go to Mount Tai after one's death; see Li Shan's note in Wenxuan 23.1111.

(48.) At Liu Zhen's time, "pure conversation" referred to graceful, witty, and pointed comments on people, but here it may simply refer to a refined conversation. HHS 70.2285 mentions the "pure conversation and lofty comments" ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) of a Kong Gongxu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. Later, during the Wei-Jin (220-420) period, "pure conversation" developed into "abstruse conversation" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], which was an important part of "abstruse learning" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. See Liu Dajie [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Wei Jin sixiang lun [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1998), chapter 7, and Tang Yongtong [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Wei Jin xuanxue lungao [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], in Tang Yongtong xueshu lunwenji [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1983).

(49.) A reference to Analects 9.16: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ("The Master standing by a stream, said, 'It passes on just like this, not ceasing day or night'"). Trans. Legge, The Chinese Classics, I: 222.

(50.) "Facing north" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] "is the position of a subject," as opposed to "facing south," which is the position of monarch. See Li Shan's note in Wenxuan, citing Li ji [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. Liu Liang [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], one of the editors of the Liuchen zhu Wenxuan [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], maintained that Liu Zhen used this phrase to refer to Cao Pi, encouraging him "to serve the monarch in his north-facing position, so that he may preserve the favor [he received from His Majesty], because Emperor Xian was still around." Cited in Jian'an qizi shi, 203. Wu Qi, the editor of Liuchao xuanshi dinglu, read it (p. 207) as a reference to Liu Zhen, but regarded it as inappropriate because he is not addressing Cao Cao, the de facto ruler.

(51.) In a note to Shishuo xinyu 2.8, Liu Xiaobiao cites the following anecdote from Wenshi zhuan [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]: "When he was young Mi Heng [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] had a er'ru zhijiao [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (thee-thou relationship) with Kong Rong. At that time Heng was not yet twenty, but Rong was already in his fifties" (Mather, 30). Apparently this er'ru zhijiao was considered remarkable because it transcended the generation gap between the two. It now has come to stand for a friendship unfettered by differences in age, class, or rank between the two parties.

(52.) A reference to a couplet from poem 197 of the Shi jing: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ("My heart is sad,/I have not leisure to lie down [even] undressed." See Legge, She King, 338.

(53.) Wenxuan 23.1112; Jian'an qizi ji, 406-7.

(54.) This poem is attributed to Song Yu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (fl. 298-262 B.C.E.). It opens with the following line: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ("How sad is the air of autumn!"). See Chuci buzhu, 8.182. For an English translation, see Hawkes, The Songs of the South, 207-18.

(55.) The syntactic structure of the first line, for example, echoes the opening lines of some of Cao Zhi's poems, such as ("Among the tall trees there is much sorrowful wind"), [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ("In the famous capital there are many charming women"), and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ("On the tall platform there is much sorrowful wind"). See Lu Qinli, 425, 431, 456.

(56.) Line 3 is another formulaic expression which echoes earlier and contemporaneous works, the most notable of which is the line [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], from poem 19 of the "Nineteen Ancient Poems." See Owen, The Making of Early Chinese Classical Poetry, 77-92.

(57.) See the following two lines from an anonymous ancient poem: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ("Now you go away, leaving me abandoned,/Your new heart has another beloved"), in Lu Qinli, 335. A variation of this phrase is suosi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ("the one I long for"), found in several early yuefu poems, and in the "Shangui" poem of the "Nine Songs."

(58.) "Your Lordship" (junhou) in ancient times referred to the feudal lords. Since the Qin unification, it was often used to refer to the chancellor of the state. Later it became a respectful form of address to a person of nobility or high rank. Mere it refers to Cao Pi. See Li Shan's note in Wenxuan 23.1112, and note 5 in Jian'an qizi shi, 206.

(59.) Wenxuan 23.1112; Jian'an qizi ji, 407.

(60.) It is pointless to try to ascertain whether the sequence of the poems given in the Wenxuan was "original" to Liu Zhen (we have no record that he compiled his own works) or was made by his contemporaries such as Cao Pi, who did put together a collection of the writings of Liu Zhen and other members of the Ye literary circle (see his "Yuyu Wu Zhi shu" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], in Cao Pi ji, 108-9; but this collection is no longer extant). Li Shan's is the earliest arrangement that exists today. In the case of Liu Zhen's four-poem group, the present ordering does seem to serve a thematic function. The same may be said of some other poem groups in the Wenxuan, such as Wang Can's "Congjun xing" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Wenxuan 27.1269-75). In this five-poem group, the first and the last are also formal and perfunctory in comparison to the three highly personalized pieces in the middle.

(61.) It should be noted that such verbs are shared, conventional vocabulary used by other poets of the time, and as such they compromise and qualify Liu Zhen's attempt to personalize the presentation of his experience. For discussion on this issue, see Owen, The Making, of Early Chinese Classical Poetry, esp. chapter 2.

(62.) For an account of criticism on Liu Zhen's works during the imperial era, see Wang Yunxi, "Tan qianren dui Liu Zhen shi de pingjia" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], in his Han Wei Liuchao Tangdai wenxue lunwen ji (zengbu ben), 319-31.

(63.) Cao Pi made no mention of specific works in his commentary on Liu Zhen and others. Zhong Rong selected five poems by Liu Zhen in his selection of poems in Shi pin: they are "Gong yan" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], "Zeng congdi sanshou" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and "Za shi" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. As Wang Yunxi noted (ibid., 326-27), among Liu Zhen's poems, "Zeng congdi sanshou" has received most of the attention; next is "Zeng Xu Gan" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].

(64.) "Youyu Wu Zhi shu," in Cao Pi ji, 108. He made a similar remark on Liu Zhen's writings in "Dian un: Lunwen" (238).

(65.) See Wang Yunxi, "Tan qianren dui Liu Zhen shi de pingjia," 319-25.

(66.) Canglang shihua jiaoshi, 203-4.

(67.) Gushi pingxuan, 162.

(68.) Wu Xiaoru [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]et al., eds., Han Wei Lichao shi jianshang cidian (Shanghai: Shanghai cishu chubanshe, 1990).

(69.) See the passing remark on the poems by Wang Zhongling [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in his Zhongguo zhonggu shigeshi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Nanjing: Jiangsu jiaoyu chubanshe, 1988), 250. Mei Jialing, while acknowledging that these were "the best works that a subordinate wrote to his patron," has made a similar remark; see Han Wei Lichao wenxue xinlun, 138-39.

(70.) A few examples: shortly alter taking the throne, Cao Pi launched a military expedition to the south. When Huo Xing [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], a court official, wrote a petition to Cao Pi speaking against this, saying that a newly established regime Should first aim to care for its own people instead of engaging in warfare, Cao Pi was so angered that he ordered Huo's execution (SGZ 2.60, n. 2). In his persecution of his brother Cao Zhi, Cao Pi executed Cao Zhi's friends Ding Yi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Ding Yi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], and all the male members of their families (19.561). Even his closest family members did not escape his wrath. In 221, only the second year after he became the emperor, Cao Pi put to death his wife nee Zhenshi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] because she complained about Cao Pi's favoring of his new concubines (5.160). Of course, the descriptions of these events may be colored by the views of those who have recorded them.

FUSHENG WU

UNIVERSITY OF UTAH
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Author:Wu, Fusheng
Publication:The Journal of the American Oriental Society
Article Type:Critical essay
Geographic Code:9CHIN
Date:Oct 1, 2009
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