The Classic of Poetry Essay
The Classic of Poetry
The Classic of Poetry is a collection of old Chinese literature that has been rewritten and renamed into the Book of Songs/Odes. (“Norton Anthology of World Literature” 812) This collection of poems seemed to become popular around the beginning of Confucianism. Confucianism is the concept of centering one’s life or work on authority figures, family, and friends. The expression of Confucianism is best seen in the work of Tu Fu. Confucianism is wide spread throughout the Classic of Poetry. Confucianism is brought out in the poetry because it focuses on education, political views, and social views.
Education in the poetry helped to spread the ideas or moral values and knowledge to the people of China. (“Norton Anthology of World Literature” 812) Political and social views were also spread because it seemed to give the Chinese people an outlook of their own political system and how the system was used to run the different Chinese dynasties. The Classic of Poetry spread through China like wildfire and was first recognized the most by the Chou society. (“Norton Anthology of World Literature” 812) Confucius wanted the poetry to get a reaction from people and for people to be able to get actual perceptions from reading the poetry.
The idea was for the reader to be able to put themselves in the author’s brain as if the reader is physically seeing what the author describes. The Classic of Poetry is compiled of simple poetry it essentially lays out the reality of “early Chinese Civilization. ” (Norton Anthology of World Literature” 813) Different works in the Classic of Poetry truly do seem very simple but when reading between the lines it is easy to find the poem’s true meaning. “Fishhawk” is an excellent example of poetry that appears to be simple, but in reality it has a deep meaning.
“Fishhawk” is a poem about a female that is watching her husband have an affair with a much younger woman from a distance. The woman is hurt and angered but will stay with her husband until the end of her/his days because that is what is expected. She would not dare to leave her husband even though there is infidelity in the marriage. (Stewart) There seems to be an unwritten understanding that marriage in the Chinese culture is sacred even if there is no physical attraction between the husband and wife. Marriage is a sacred bond and one would never enter into divorce.
Popol Vuh is a compilation of stories from the “Quiche people of Guatemala. ” (“Norton Anthology of World Literature” 3076) Popol Vuh is full of “mythological narratives and a genealogy of the rulers of the Post-Classic Quiche Maya kingdom of highland Guatemala. ” (Vopus) The Popol Vuh is made of stories merged together to create an epic and “may be called novelistic. ” (“Norton Anthology of World Literature” 3076) The Popol Vuh also has comparisons to those in “The Bible” since it covers creation of the Earth and the living creatures on the earth.
“The Bible” explains how God made the Heavens and the Earths and Popol Vuh explains how gods made the Earth, placed in in the sky, and populated the Earth with living creatures. The comparison between “The Bible” and Popol Vuh is perhaps the biggest comparison that can be made since there are various similarities. “The Bible” covers the great flood and how God was angered by the sins of mankind and He destroyed the Earth and everyone except Noah and his family and the animals on the ark. Popol Vuh gods were also angered by mankind and sent a flood to destroy them as well.
The mythology aspect in the Popol Vuh is perhaps a passed down story from “The Bible” that is told according to the Quiche people. Clearly there are enough similarities to bring truth to “The Bible” and the story of creation and the flood. Popol Vuh genealogy is depicted through the family ties. The twins Hunahu and Xbalanque are the main focus of the story’s genealogy. The twins have a family line that is involved throughout the Popol Vuh. Part Three of the Popol Vuh goes back to an earlier time in history when Hun-Hunahpu and Vucub Hunahpu, the father and uncle of the twins, were defeated in the underworld and were buried in the ball court.
Hun-Hunahpu and Vucub Hunahpu were great ball players as were the twins Hunahu and Xbalanque. The genealogical connections are that the family as a whole were good ball players and were apparently good at defeating others. There is a family tie there that cannot be broken and is strong bond. The Classic of Poetry and the Popol Vuh are both amazing works of world literature. Each of these works has made its mark on two very different cultures and societies. The Chinese culture is one that is strong and true in morals and knowledge following Confucianism. The Quiche also seemed to be focused on strong morals and religions as a whole.
Bibliography Stewart, Summer. ” Women: The Hips of Ancient Chinese and Egyptian Cultures. ” . N. p. , n. d. Web. 22 Jul 2012. <http://voices. yahoo. com/women-hips-ancient-chinese-egyptian- cultures-5713174. html>. The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Second. A. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. , 2002. 812. Print. The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Second. C. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. , 2002. 812. Print. Vopus, . “Popol Vuh – The Sacred Book of The Mayas. ” . N. p. , n. d. Web. 22 Jul 2012. <http://www. vopus. org/en/gnosis/gnostic-anthropology/popol-vuh-sacred-book-of-the- mayas. html>.