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Web of Proceedings - Francis Academic Press

Study on Symbols in Poems by Li Shangyin on Flowers

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DOI: 10.25236/ICHCAD.2020.048


Youqian Zhong

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Youqian Zhong


Allusions, especially those condensed into phrases, are also linguistic symbols that can be referred to.[2] Poetry is the most refined language, which must express rich thoughts and complex feelings with the least words. Therefore, it is sometimes necessary to quote ancient stories and idioms in order to achieve “choose objects with similar meanings and invoke past allusions for the sake of the present” [3]. This kind of expression has the function of hint, metaphor and symbol, which can make the reader produce many aspects of association, thus enhancing the appeal of poetry. Each allusion is a small world, if a poem cites a number of allusions, indicating that there are a few small world hidden behind the poem, which virtually increased the breadth and depth of the poetic realm.[4] “Citing allusions” is a positive figure of speech, with no doubt. However, Li Shangyin was good at breaking the original meaning with allusions and bringing forth the new through the old in his poems. As far as the aesthetic of readers is concerned, it is a feeling of novelty and vulgarity. It has obvious influence on the poetics of later generations such as Wang Anshi and Huang Tingjian, for example, as for presenting a handsome man as flowers, previous people often cited Tu Mi by Huang Tingjian as “Tu Mi is white like the color that Mr He wiped the sweat of skin after eating the soup with pies in the ancient time, with a furnace smell after burning Xunling incense in one day.” thinking that it breaks the thinking stereotype of the association of beauty with flowers and forms the aesthetic feeling of defamiliarization. In fact, Li Shangyin's poems on flowers were early as Peony [5-6], Thanks of Cui Ba for Viewing Early Plum and Giving Gift [7].


Li shangyin; Poems on flowers; Runeology; Literary aesthetics introduction