Request in regards to "Ode to the Goddess of Luo River"

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Request in regards to "Ode to the Goddess of Luo River"

Unread postby Xu Yuan » Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:14 pm

Hello, I'm doing an analysis of Cao Zhi's Ode to the Goddess of Luo River for an English Literature course, but for the life of me I can find very little informative analysis on the structure of the poem or the poem in English or Chinese itself.

I have the poem in English in a book here, but I also want to see how faithful the translation is to the original. Is the meaning still kept? Does the poem lose any of its rhymes, parallels, word plays, etc?

I was also wondering if anyone knows where I could find a spoken word version? My Chinese pronunciations are sketchy at best so having that as an aid would help greatly.

I am also looking for some informative analysis on the poem itself. As I've said I've come up dry, but I'm hoping I'm just overlooking something that someone else may have found?
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Re: Request in regards to "Ode to the Goddess of Luo River"

Unread postby TigerTally » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:02 pm

Hugh Dunn' s Cao Zhi: The Life of a Princely Chinese Poet and Robert Joe Cutter's works (i.e. Cao Zhi and His Poetry, Empresses and Consorts and "The Death of Empress Zhen") would be your most important English references. For Chinese works, there are more than thousands of them, with the latest one being the 2011 book 洛神賦圖與中國古代故事畫 by Prof. Pao-chen Chen 陳葆真 of National Taiwan University.

I assume your "spoken word version" would mean one with pinyin marks on top of the Chinese characters, which many websites can do (such as this one). You can simply copy the original texts from wikisource to the online converter. Yet if what you wanted was something like a MP3 record, I could just find one with fair quality here. Also, I should remind you that modern Mandarin Chinese sound far from simliar to its medieval counterpart.

If possible, you may type in the texts or point out the source of translation you had read, so that we could have a further discussion. :wink:
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Re: Request in regards to "Ode to the Goddess of Luo River"

Unread postby Xu Yuan » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:55 am

TigerTally wrote:Hugh Dunn' s Cao Zhi: The Life of a Princely Chinese Poet and Robert Joe Cutter's works (i.e. Cao Zhi and His Poetry, Empresses and Consorts and "The Death of Empress Zhen") would be your most important English references. For Chinese works, there are more than thousands of them, with the latest one being the 2011 book 洛神賦圖與中國古代故事畫 by Prof. Pao-chen Chen 陳葆真 of National Taiwan University.

I assume your "spoken word version" would mean one with pinyin marks on top of the Chinese characters, which many websites can do (such as this one). You can simply copy the original texts from wikisource to the online converter. Yet if what you wanted was something like a MP3 record, I could just find one with fair quality here. Also, I should remind you that modern Mandarin Chinese sound far from simliar to its medieval counterpart.

If possible, you may type in the texts or point out the source of translation you had read, so that we could have a further discussion. :wink:


I ordered Hugh Dunn's "Cao Zhi Life of a Princely Poet" years and years ago and still read it occasionally. It's where I developed a deep interest and respect for a character that the novel doesn't spend too much time embellishing. It was my only resource for the poem that I could find in English, I've also found a few other Cao Zhi poetry critique, mainly by, as you said Robert Joe Cutter. I believe I've read Death of Empress Zhen, but I did not know he also made Empresses and Consorts. Hah, small world when it comes to Three Kingdom literati in English.

Also what I meant by "spoken word" was basically the poem being spoken aloud. Since I like to believe myself relatively comfortable with pinyin and it's pronunciations, but hearing it spoken will allow me to more easily catch meter, rhyme, and rhythm that English translations may miss.

Unfortunately though as there was no wealth of information on Goddess of Luo River in English (I needed an academic article 3-5 pages) I decided to go with "I am Unfortunate" another very strange poem, which from what I've read from Cao Zhi's works seems telling if not stretching the mores of the time. I found what I was looking for in English on that with Cao Zhi's Symposium Poems, also written by Robert Joe Cutter, he wrote a fairly lengthy analysis on it's history and compilation.

If I may change my request to information on that? The original Chinese version and a version of the poem spoken aloud? That would be absolutely fantastic.
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Re: Request in regards to "Ode to the Goddess of Luo River"

Unread postby TigerTally » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:41 pm

Here are some more reference titles besides Robert Cutter's:

Burton Watson's Chinese Rhyme-Prose
David Knechtges' Wen Xuan: or Selections of Refined Literature (with translation and commentary of the ode)

George Kent's Worlds of Dust and Jade
John Turner's A Golden Treasury of Chinese Poetry
Wang Rongpei's 300 Early Chinese Poems (206BC - 618AD)
Paul Kroll's "Seven Rhapsodies of Ts'ao Chih", Journal of the American Oriental Society 120:1
Hans Frankel's "Fifteen Poems by Ts'ao Chih", Journal of the American Oriental Society 84:1
David Roy's "The Themes of the Neglected Wife in the Poetry of Ts'ao Chih", Journal of Asia Studies 19 (on Cao Zhi's other works)

And for the Chinese textual and spoken versions ... I thought I had already included links to them in my last post :?

TigerTally wrote:I assume your "spoken word version" would mean one with pinyin marks on top of the Chinese characters, which many websites can do (such as this one). You can simply copy the original texts from wikisource to the online converter. Yet if what you wanted was something like a MP3 record, I could just find one with fair quality here. Also, I should remind you that modern Mandarin Chinese sound far from simliar to its medieval counterpart.
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Re: Request in regards to "Ode to the Goddess of Luo River"

Unread postby Xu Yuan » Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:52 am

Oh, how silly of me. I read that as if it was only going to give me the correct Pinyin type above the word. Actually clicking on the link and reading a bit more carefully of your previous post showed I was wrong. Thanks for that!
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Nice

Unread postby alton11 » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:00 am

I wonder if it's going to be like in the book that Lara Parker came out with in the mid 90's called 'Angelique's Descent' showing how they had met when they were younger, but not knowing that they would meet again years later when Barnabas came back to Martinique to help Jeremiah establish trades routes from there to Maine I believe.
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