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A Comparative Study of the Poetry of Ye Xie and Shen De-qian
Ye Xie's "Original Poetry" represents the single most innovative style of poetry of the Qing Dynasty. It not only has a complete form, but also contains a considerable number of viewpoints which were highly original for that time. Unfortunately, his talent is not widely recognized today as his influence on his own generation was limited. Shen De-qian studied under Ye Xie from a young age, and later influenced Qianlong's poetry circles, but he never Poetry', we can find many aspects which, though not obvious, actually follow the form of 'Original Poetry'. This article undertakes a comparative study of the differences and similarities between these two poets' respective styles, and attempts to show that the distinctive regular pattern of Shen De-qian's poetry, which he developed over time, as well as the importance he placed on the mind and intellect of a poet are almost identical to the style and attitudes of Ye-Xie. Both poets were highly praised by Du Fu as poetic geniuses.Shen De-qian, however, had the ability to firmly establish his own style of poetry while borrowing certain aspects of Ye Xie's theories, the result being that the two poets ended up taking very different directions regarding the teaching and development of poetry. Ye Xie attempted to propose a set of transcendental rules for writing poems, while Shen De-qian embraced promotion of the political and didactic effects of poetry, as well as teaching all manners of poem styles, giving rise to a rather metaphysical and vulgar style of poetry. By examining these two person's basic differences and seeing how the political forces have elected Shen De-qian as their representative Qing Dynasty poet while leaving Ye Xie in the cold, we can more clearly understand the aesthetic trends and directions taken by contemporary poetry as well as illustrating the historic struggles that have resulted in the sad decline of the classical poetry style.
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