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Tuesday, 11 November 2008

The Book of Songs now translated into Persian from English

November 12

by Suzan Abrams

The earliest anthology of 305 ancient Chinese poems called The Book of Songs and formerly referred to as Poetry, is currently being translated from English into the Persian language for the first time by Iranian translators Azita Bafekr, Susan Pirnia and Mersedeh Daneshvar in Tehran. This news is just announced in Iran.

About the Book of Songs

Labelled one of the five priceless classics of ancient China and said to have been compiled by the wise philosopher Confucious who insisted that poetry-reading formed a staple diet for every loyal Confucian , The Book of Songs which is classified into three parts, has been interpreted and studied diligently throughout the ages with surprising eagerness and right up to the present time and with no let up of a diminishing interest.

Comprising of Feng (ballads/folk songs), Ya (poems composed by intellectuals/aristocrats) and Song (prayer songs), Confucious would give high praise to the scholarly works claiming that peoples' cultures, language and even daily thought patters, could easily evolve and progress through a keen study of the accompanying poetry.

Feng(ballads/folks songs) is divided into 15 groups and rings up a total of 160 poems, mostly expressing romantic love or else the nation's dissatisfactions and rantings towards the Emperor.

Ya (poems by intellectuals/aristocrats) contains a 105 poems, mostly written by court officials.

Song (prayer poems) meaning songs of sacrifice and worship towards the emperor is basically the collection of works featuring much of the public at large, although most were anonymous. up to this day, only a small part of this section has been carefully researched.

Overall, The Book of Songs did command a subtle and enlightening effect over the observations of ancient China towards the arts, humanities and philosophy.

Further reading from a gathering four poems listed in The Book of Songs:

Guan! Guan! Cry the Fish Hawks, Chasing the Phantom, We Pluck the Bracken and Halloa!.

Credit: Picture showing an earnest gathering for the poetry compilation is courtesy of Cultural-China.Com.

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