Chen Zi'ang's collection of thirty-eight poems, titled “Emotional Impressions,” carries on the tradition of Han-dynasty scholars' verses on unrecognized talents. It offers a systematic and rational reflection on the relationship between time, talent and destiny through the lenses of nature, history and custom. These seemingly disparate topics converge under the motif of underappreciated scholars abilities, creating a highly cohesive and thematic whole. At the same time, concerns about tradition and governance lie at the core of his lamentations about unacknowledged talents. Even in his seclusion, Chen Zi'ang's heart remained tied to the imperial court, and he subtly conveyed his vision of governance through critiques of contemporary reality. This reflected the Confucian value of life that scholars should bear a responsibility for the state of the world. Consequently, Chen Zi'ang's vision of poetic antiquity is connected from his concept of political antiquity. The thirty-eight poems of “Emotional Impressions” not only resurrect the formal structure of ancient poetry of the Han and Wei dynasties, but also rekindle the spirit of scholars, solidify the fundamental content, and establish the creative purpose of poetic antiquity in the Tang dynasty. They stand as an important spiritual guide for the resurgence of ancient literature in the mid-Tang dynasty.


Chen Zi'ang, Emotional Impressions, verse on unrecognized talents

First Page


Last Page