|Title:||The poetry of the Chinese. Poeseos sinicae commentarii 解詩文漢|
|Authors:||J. F. Davis|
|Publisher:||Eric Serejski (Ed.)|
|Number of pages:||144|
John Francis Davis, the second Governor of Hong Kong, delivered a seminal lecture on Chinese poetry to the Royal Asiatic Society in 1829. This lecture, the Poeseos Sinicae Commentarii or Poetry of the Chinese, published under the same title, was the most extensive discussion of Chinese poetry at the time, introducing the topic in the West. He presents formal features as rhymes and parallelism and had good judgement in the verses he translated.
Mr. Davis was probably the first scholar in the West to pint out the importance of parallelism in Chinese poetry and its “striking coincidence” with the Hebrew forms. He was also the first to mention the occurrence of parallelism in Chinese prose texts. His presentation should be read in parallel with that of Hervey de Saint Denis, Poésies de l'époque des Tang and Li sao, ou Tristesse de la séparation, de Chuci, Joseph Edkins, Essays on Chinese poetry, and Shigeyoshi Obata, The works of Li Bai.
His work is divided into two sections: (1) versifications or the “outward form” of Chinese poetry and (2) species of composition or “the spirit that animates” Chinese poetry.