The book of odes and hymns
The Religious Portions of the Shih King - Wikisource, the free online libraryThe Airs of the states are folk songs, often concered with a love theme. The Odes are said to come from the aristocratic class, the Major Odes being sung at the royal court, the Minor Odes at the courts of the regional rulers. The songs collected in the Shijing are not only of a high literary value as the oldest songs in China, but they also reveal much of the activities of different social strata in early China. This is how the Airs came into being. The Odes, however, were said to have been submitted by their composers to the throne directly. According to records an original collection of songs included chapters, a corpus which was compiled by Confucius, who chose the best from more than 3, songs. That the "songs" were music, and not only recited poems, is revealed by numerous sources.
Chinese Poetry: Book of Odes
Skip to main content. Eastern Poetry Religion. Believed to be compiled by Confucius, Shih ching or "Book of Odes" is a collection of poems, dating from to BC. These are believed to be the oldest existing examples of Chinese poetry. The collection includes refined folk songs, ritualistic poems, dynastic legends and hymns for ancestral temples.
Translated by James Legge. From the Sacred Books of the East , Vol. This work was published before January 1, , and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least years ago. It comprises poems, some possibly written as early as BC. The Confucian tradition holds that the collection, one of the Wu Jing, or Five Classics , came to what we have today after the editing of Confucius. The poems are written in four-character lines. The airs are in the style of folk songs, although the extent to which they are real folk songs or literary imitations is debated.
The poems in Da Ya are basically written by the nobles, while Xiao Ya contains both the poems of the nobles and folk songs. Shi Jing represents the great artistic achievement of ancient China, reflecting the social life, folk customs and tradition, and the institutional regulations of that time. At present, there are many annotated versions of Shi Jing. Many poems in Shi Jing are historical poems, and thus can be used as historical materials. The content can be divided into five categories in general:. The history and legends of the early Zhou Dynasty;.