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Rediscover 'Book of Songs' with watercolor illustrations

Updated: 2017-07-27 09:57:54

( chinadaily.com.cn )

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The two-volume hardcover book called Illustrations of Wildlife in the Book of Songs was published in June. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The Book of Songs, also known as Shi Jing in pinyin, is the oldest existing collection of Chinese poetry, comprising 305 works dating back from the Western Zhou Dynasty (c.11th century-771 BC) to the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC).

It is one of the five canonical classics compiled by Confucius which have been studied by literati in China and neighboring countries for over 2,000 years.

Confucius said the Book of Songs in the Analects was a realization of genuine feelings. And much like most of Chinese poetry, it conveys these authentic emotions through imagery, most frequently via animals and plants.

This June, the Shanghai Ancient Books Publishing House, an agency known for its quality publications on traditional Chinese culture, released a two-volume book called Illustrations of Wildlife in the Book of Songs, providing a new way to appreciate the literary classics.

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