Ssu-Ma Hsiang-Ju

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ssu-Ma Hsiang-Ju


Born 179 B.C.; died 118 B.C. Chinese poet.

Ssu-ma Hsiang-ju worked in the Yüeh-fu, a special office for music, where he wrote religious songs and adaptations of lyric folk songs. He became famous for his fu, or odes written in rhymed prose. Ssu-ma Hsiang-ju’s works praised the emperor and the greatness of China. There is a distinctive lyricism in Where the Gate Is Long, a fu about the fate of an abandoned woman; the work is clearly influenced by folk songs. Ssu-ma Hsiang-ju’s style is colorful and hyperbolic. He created an original poetic language.


In Russian translation:
“Poema o Tzu-hsü.” In Anlologiia kitaiskoi poezii, vol. 1. Moscow, 1957.
“Poema o Tzu-hsü.” In Kitaiskaia klassicheskiaia proza. Translated by Academician V. M. Alekseev. Moscow, 1959.


Ssu-ma Ch’ien. Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1956.
Lisevich, I. S. “Khan’skie fu i tvorchestvo Syma Sianzhu.” In Literatura drevnego Kitaia. Moscow, 1969.
Hervouet, Y. Un Poète de cour sous les Han: Sseu-ma Sieng-jou. Paris, 1964.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The first four articles--"Ssu-ma Hsiang-ju's 'Tall Gate Palace Rhapsody,'" "The Emperor and Literature: Emperor Wu of the Han," "The fu in the Xijing zaji," "The Poetry of an Imperial Concubine: The Favorite Beauty Ban"--discuss different aspects of "Court Literature of the Former Han." The next three items concentrate on a single author, viz., "Yang Xiong, a Court Poet of the Late Western Han." Yang Xiong, a difficult and multi-faceted writer with a complicated personality, was the subject of Knechtges's 1968 doctoral thesis at the University of Washington.