In the thousand years covered by this volume the shih reached its highest level of development. A lyric form which, using a predominantly four-character line, had earlier been employed in the Confucian Book of Odes, it rose to prominence once more in the period under discussion. The new shih, which differed from the original form only in its use of a five- or seven-character line, became the best known and most characteristic of Chinese poetic forms.
About the Author
Burton Watson is one of the world's best-known translators from the Chinese and Japanese. His translations include The Lotus Sutra, The Vimalakirti Sutra, Ryokan: Zen Monk-Poet of Japan, Saigyo: Poems of a Mountain Home, and The Columbia Book of Chinese Poetry: From Early Times to the Thirteenth Century, all published by Columbia.