"Lisao" of the Lyrics of Chu

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The poem, "Encountering Sorrow" ("Lisao")- encapsulates a ritual formula of an all-too-brief or unsuccessful meeting with the divine being is later self-consciously invoked for allegorical purposes to express other kinds of longing and unfulfillment.(David Schulman and Guy Stroumsa 36).


It has a lofty ideal and contains his determination to fight for its realization. His poem aims to discuss the various historical themes combined with legends and myths. (Stephen Owen). In terms of form, the Lisao is a first person monologue which is rich in imagery and skillful metaphor. The Lisao is a long lyrical poem permeated with romanticism and moving fairy tales.
Lisao deals with calumny and slander of a sordid political reality, and the more general burden of the constraints of human existence, prompt the poet to undertake an "upward journey" (shangzheng). In Lisao, the enactment of other realms is self-conscious, almost self-reflexive: it is an extension of the poet's "declaration of intent." Summoned through an act of sheer will, the other world can be a precarious illusion-hence the poet's disappointments, doubts, and hesitations during his aerial journeys in "Encountering Sorrow."(David Schulman and Guy Stroumsa 37). In terms of content, the poem deals with search, sorrow and disappointments of an exiled prince. The poem also represents stages in Quan's life. It also laments his misfortunes and declares his virtue. In this poem, Qu Yuan attacks those who have defamed him and goes on a cosmic quest for a worthy lord.
Moreover, the Lisao counterchange at poetic peaks; chiastic rhetoric highlights and fulfills central cultural and literary values. ...
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