Chü Yüan

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Ch’ü Yüan


Born circa 340 B.C; died circa 278 B.C. Chinese poet.

Ch’ü Yüan was the first Chinese poet to be known by name. In his capacity as a high official he helped formulate government decrees and influenced the court’s foreign policy. Ch’ü Yüan was unjustly slandered and was exiled. In protest against this injustice, he drowned himself in the Milo River in Ch’angsha.

Ch’ü Yüan was the first Chinese poet to express social and historical conflicts, profound love of the homeland, and the emotions experienced by a lofty soul tormented by anguish over injustice and the tragic fate of his native land. Ch’ü Yüan created the ch’u tz’u (also called sao t’i), one of the main genres of ancient Chinese poetry. The folklore of the Ch’u kingdom was the main source of Ch’ü Yüan’s imagery, whose mythical character was nevertheless linked with actual life. According to the Han shu (History of the Han), Ch’ü Yüan wrote 25 works, including the elegiac narrative poem Li sao, which expressed his world view most fully.

The poems of Ch’ü Yüan constituted the most important works in the Ch’u tz’u (Elegies of Ch’u; third century B.C.), a poetry collection compiled in the Ch’u kingdom in South China. The concepts expressed in the Ch’u tz’u became widely known after Liu Hsiang compiled a collection of the same name in 77–66 B.C. Wang I (first to second centuries A.D.) compiled an annotated edition of the Ch’u tz’u that has become a classic. A photographic facsimile of the Ch’u tz’u published in 1953 was a reproduction of a xylograph (engraving on wood) of 1234 that was based on a similar collection by Chu Hsi (1130–1200). The brilliant poems of Ch’ü Yüan were the first works of Chinese literature whose author was known by name.


Ch’u tz’u chu. Peking, 1953.
In Russian translation:
Stikhi. Moscow, 1954.
Stikhi. Moscow, 1956.
“Chuskie strofy.” In Antologiia kitaiskoi poezii, vol. 1. Moscow, 1957.


Fedorenko, N. T. “Problema Tsiui Iuania.” Sovetskoe kitaevedenie, 1958, no. 2.
Fedorenko, N. T. “Poeziia Tsiui-Iuania.” In International’noe i natsional’noe v literaturakh Vostoka. Moscow, 1972.
Fedorenko, N. T. “Bessmertie Tsiui Iuania.” Problemy Dal’nego Vostoka, 1973, no. 2.
Serebriakov, E. A. “O Tsiui Iuane i chuskikh strofakh.” In the collection Literatura drevnego Kitaia. Moscow, 1969.


References in periodicals archive ?
The observance commemorates a Chinese scholar-statesman, Chu Yuan, who drowned in the Mi Lo River more than 2000 years ago while protesting against the emperor and the corruption of the leaders.
Chu Yuan was a poet and loyal, faithful adviser to the emperor of the Kingdom of Chu.
Chu Yuan was heartbroken and threw himself into the Mi Lo River.
In Chinatowns all over the world, movie theaters were shutting down one by one, Movietown had begun its long decline, and the widescreen epics of great directors like King Hu, Zhang Che, and Chu Yuan survived, if at all, as truncated, faded, panned-and-scanned, horribly dubbed videos, interspersed indistinguishably with far cruder and cheaper martial-arts fodder and valued chiefly as a source of motifs and samples for hip-hop records.
Pure fantasy found a home, however, in a cycle of films adapted by Chu Yuan from a series of twentieth-century novels by Gu Long, including The Magic Blade (1976), Killer Clans (1976), and Clans of Intrigue (1977).
Dragon boats date back more than 2,000 years to the death of a Chinese scholar statesman, Chu Yuan, who threw himself into the Mi Lo River as a political protest.
The observance commemorates a Chinese scholar-statesman, Chu Yuan, who threw himself into the Mi Lo River as a political protest more than 2000 years ago.
It celebrates the memory of a famous Chinese statesman and port, Chu Yuan.
Celestial's Shaw Brothers library encompasses 760 Chinese-language films, including many blockbusters featuring stars such as Ti Lung, Lily Ho, David Chiang, and Alexander Fu Sheng, and directed by the pioneers of the Hong Kong film industry such as Chang Cheh, Chu Yuan, and Li Han-hsiang.