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The Study of Nature in Su Shi’s Poetry
|Authors:||Theng Kai Joe|
Su Shi,nature,landscape poetry (Shanshui poetry),the identity of poet,the Creator,
|Publication Year :||2019|
The purpose of this study was to investigate the nature in Su Shi’s poetry which divided into three sections: repeated appearance of nature, personal characteristics of nature, and the impact it had on the poet’s body and mind. The poet was very well relished in experiencing nature through his senses, and there was certain repeated appearance of nature that portrayed in his poem which was discussed in Chapter 2. This included the coolness and pureness, nobility and emotive, and extraordinary and sublimity of nature. Coolness and pureness state of nature was related to the poet’s current feelings and the pursuit of ideal state of mind. While nobility of nature symbolised the integrity of poet, emotive qualities of nature was depicted under his sentiment gaze. The outlandish and extraordinary qualities of nature was usually merged with supernatural and mystical imagination, whereas the transcended greatness and beauty of the poet’s philosophy embodied in the vast, sublime scenery.
Chapter 3 discussed about the personal characteristics of nature shown in Su Shi’s poetry, there were resentments and loneliness, being friendly towards human, and being hard to understand. Firstly, resentments and the feeling of isolation that showed in the nature revealed dark emotions of the poet as he experienced endless hardships throughout his life. Secondly, friendliness shown by the nature and the way the poet gained warmth in a secure relationship with the nature revealed his constantly worried and feeling of insecure in social interaction. Next, the relationship between poet and the Creator was examined. It was believed that the physical world was created by the Creator, interestingly, the poet felt that he was being taken care of by the Creator, thus he held an opinion that events that happened in life was actually arranged by the Creator, which put a positive twist in dealing difficulties and disappointment in his life.
Lastly, Chapter 4 examined the impact that nature had on the poet’s body and mind. It was found that nature improved emotion regulation, helped in life decision making, and aided in self-positioning by identifying himself as a poet. By marvelling at the mysteries of nature, nature escapade soothed and refreshed the poet, helped him cleared his mind and enhanced his engagement in deep inner reflection, challenged him with physical adventures which boosted his willpower. He felt rejuvenated and exceptionally fulfilled in nature which made him realised his wilderness personality. This caused a lifelong internal conflict whether to fully engage in contribution to society or to retreat to nature, as he was a person with wild and free personalities who also cared much about politics, however he was often at odds with others as each of them held different political standpoints. When he was exiled into the wild for false accusations, he felt powerless and drowned in frustration at first, but sooner or later he shifted his political concern to living space designing. He started in experimenting and creating his living space by farming and building new home rather than passively absorbing the wonderment of nature, consequently discovered that all true power came from within. At this stage of life, the surrounding nature helped him realised that being a poet played a vital role in identity construction after losing his political status. He found inspirations and comfortable personal space in nature, wrote marvellous poetry by transforming physical nature into meaningful context. What was more interesting was that, he felt himself as powerful as the Creator when he identified himself as a poet, after all, the Creator only constructed physical nature, he was the one who created meaningful context in nature by writing them in the way he wanted. Hence, the intricate relationship between poet and the Creator could be both dominance-subordinate and equal at the same time.
This study presented results within the context of certain limitations, therefore further research is needed. Firstly, investigation of the relationship between the Creator and other poets in Song dynasty is needed. By combining and analysing the results, we are able to discover more about the way Song dynasty people view and deal with their relationships with the Creator. Hence, we would eventually have a deeper understanding of the outlook on life of Song dynasty people. Secondly, comparison of Su Shi’s sublime landscape writing which represents Song dynasty poetry with Tang dynasty poetry is needed in order to explore the similarities and differences between both. This enables us to understand more about the context of sublime landscape writing in both dynasties, as well as the meaning of sublime writings for the poets, and at the same time, it definitely contributes to aesthetics theory and philosophy of arts.
|Appears in Collections:||中國文學系|
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