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How to Read Chinese Poetry Workbook [Paperback]

Jie Cui , Zong-qi Cai
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 17.50
Price: 12.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

13 April 2012
Designed to work with the acclaimed course text How to Read Chinese Poetry: A Guided Anthology, the How to Read Chinese Poetry Workbook introduces classical Chinese to advanced beginners and learners at higher levels, teaching them how to appreciate Chinese poetry in its original form. Also a remarkable stand-alone resource, the volume illuminates China's major poetic genres and themes through one hundred well-known, easy-to-recite works. Each of the volume's twenty units contains four to six classical poems in Chinese, English, and tone-marked pinyin romanization, with comprehensive vocabulary notes and prose poem translations in modern Chinese. Subsequent comprehension questions and comments focus on the artistic aspects of the poems, while exercises test readers' grasp of both classical and modern Chinese words, phrases, and syntax. An extensive glossary cross-references classical and modern Chinese usage, characters and compounds, and multiple character meanings, and online sound recordings are provided for each poem and its prose translation free of charge. A list of literary issues addressed throughout completes the volume, along with phonetic transcriptions for entering-tone characters, which appear in Tang and Song--regulated shi poems and lyric songs.

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Frequently Bought Together

How to Read Chinese Poetry Workbook + How to Read Chinese Poetry: A Guided Anthology + Chinese Through Poetry: An introduction to the language and imagery of traditional verse.
Price For All Three: 45.40

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press; Blg Wkb edition (13 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231156588
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231156585
  • Product Dimensions: 28 x 21 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 448,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Authors

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Product Description

About the Author

Jie Cui is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is currently working on a dissertation entitled "Gu Tang Shigui and the Making of Commented Poetry Anthologies in Seventeenth-Century China" and has extensive experience teaching Chinese. She assisted in the editing of How to Read Chinese Poetry: A Guided Anthology. Zong-qi Cai is professor of Chinese, comparative literature, and medieval studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of The Matrix of Lyric Transformation: Poetic Modes and Self-Presentation in Early Chinese Pentasyllabic Poetry and Configurations of Comparative Poetics: Three Perspectives on Western and Chinese Literary Criticism. He has also edited A Chinese Literary Mind: Culture, Creativity, and Rhetoric in Wenxin Dialong; Chinese Aesthetics: The Ordering of Literature, the Arts, and the Universe in the Six Dynasties; and How to Read Chinese Poetry: A Guided Anthology.

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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
3.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Simplified characters! 26 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book, an offshoot of the excellent HOW TO READ CHINESE POETRY, offers texts, translations, analyses, etc. of 100 classic Chinese poems, over 50 of them not included in HTRCP. It's a superb resource, but gets 3 stars because, unlike HTRCP, the poems are given in simplified characters, an astonishing decision given the book's likely audience (presumably mainland Chinese readers are amply supplied with their own introductions to Classical poetry). The Preface admits that this is unfortunate, and notes that the traditional characters are supplied when a word is discussed in the commentary following each poem; but really it ought to have been the other way round: text in tradional characters, with the simplified ones in the commentary. So, a bad decision, but otherwise an excellent book.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Useless in a Kindle ! 13 Mar 2014
By Sramana
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Chinese text is totally illegible in a Kindle. It does not use Chinese fonts for the characters, it uses pictures that come as blurred near-microscopic blotches on the Kindle page. Slightly more legible on the Kindle for PC app, but still not worth it.

There are better options to learn Chinese poetry in free web pages.
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5.0 out of 5 stars good book for beginning learners 20 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you're relatively new to learning Chinese poetry from the classic eras of the past and you do not read traditional characters then this is the book you need to appreciate the distinct qualities and pleaures of Chinese verse. The poems are printed in simplified characters with accompanying pinyin, vocab notes, a modern Chinese translation and comments to pick out the salient features of each poem. Furthermore, a series of exercises are provided to help the learner memorize the poems. MP3 files can also be obtained - for free - to accompany the poems, which are helpful in conveying the cadences of these beguiling ancient Chinese poems. The only fault I have with the book is that it lacks an index.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great addition to my bedside 30 Mar 2012
By philipmerrill - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Personally, this book is just what I needed. No matter how much one admires Chinese verse in translation, gaining a close exposure to the original texts produces a different variety of meaningful and powerful experiences. I had been in touch with Zong-qi Cai while reading the book this workbook accompanies (note my January 18, 2010 review of it) and I encouraged something along these lines because of my frustration with wanting to gain a better appreciation of the poems themselves in the original. While I was grateful for that book, I'm dumbstruck by this one and expect it to be my bedside companion for years. These hundred Chinese gems are laid out so neatly - like an anatomy textbook, the clean layout enables a glimpse toward the possibility of much more profound explorations. No matter how much these poems have moved me, I still feel in orbit at too great a distance from them, but I can't imagine any better way to get closer to them than what this workbook accomplishes. I only wish this treatment had already been given to most of the great works of Chinese poetry, literature and philosophy.

Those seeking an introduction to Chinese poetry and ready to embrace it in the original will be well served by starting with this workbook and then considering whether to invest in the greater breadth and depth of its parent "How To Read Chinese Poetry." In addition to what is in the workbook already, the authors have created a Facebook page and invite readers to suggest improvements. I can speak to their sincere willingness, having helped encourage this workbook into existence myself. Certainly the exercises could be improved by years of classroom use and feedback and I believe this book merits that degree of intensive academic use. Beginners can gain from it and even sophisticated Mandarin fans can enjoy the relaxed ease with which they can immerse themselves in the material. I like to think of each poem as a cultural ambassador; they speak of many lives lived so nobly across the expanse of the tapestry of Chinese history. I find my sense of these noble lives most bracing as I face my own life's challenges - and great writers offer a wondrous source of moral courage. Like millions of Chinese students, in China and around the world, I find I sometimes need all the help I can get in order to keep working hard on my progress with the language and its many texts. The poems in this workbook serve as both an incentive and an encouragement to persevere.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect support for learning Classical Chinese poetry 19 Feb 2013
By William Branch - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The layout of the poems, the chosen examples, the various supporting sections are incomparable to most other literature study texts. Not for the beginning Chinese student, but a great place to start for someone who has completed a beginning course in modern Chinese, and who wants to appreciate the most accessible genre of Classical Chinese literature.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book but the name is a bit misleading 12 April 2013
By R.X.Z. - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent reader's companion to Professor Zong-qi Cai's "How to Read Chinese Poetry." However, the name of the book is a bit misleading. When my teacher first recommended the book, I thought it was, as the name suggested, a "Workbook." And I thought to myself, "Oh no! homework!" But when I got the book and read it, it was pretty fun. It struck me more as a "reader's companion" rather than a "workbook" with all the supplementary readings, further explanations, and insightful analyses, which are perfectly complementary to the "How to Read Chinese Poetry" book. I would have been more happy and willing to get this reader's companion had I known better.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to Read Chinese Poetrye Workbook 26 May 2014
By Wolfgang W Frick - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
All those whose native language is not Chinese will have encountered some difficulties with Chinese classical poetry.
This work book greatly simplified this odious task for students of Chinese poetry and this book is therefore, what I consider
an absolute must have. Well done Amazon. Thanks a million.
2.0 out of 5 stars Bad workbook meant to pair with a very good textbook. 5 Mar 2014
By Steven R. Severance - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The textbook this workbook goes with is quite good so I had high expectations when I ordered it. Bummer. This book is not very good. It is also (in an incredably bad editorial decision) written in Simplfied Chinese characters when the textbook is in traditional characters. D'oh! Apart from the nice cover I can't think of anything good to say about it.
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