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The Internal and the External

A Comparison of the Artistic Use of Natural Imagery in English Romantic and Chinese Classic Poetry


Zuoya Cao

The comparison of English Romantic and Chinese Classic lyrics in this book demonstrates the similarities and differences in the poets' ways of connecting the inner and outer worlds. It challenges Paul de Man's assertion that the merging of the internal and the external can never be reached in poetic language. The work also corrects misunderstandings about so-called Chinese nature poetry existing in previous comparisons, as well as contrasting inaccurate conclusions about the differences between English and Chinese poetry. More than thirty representative poems of well-known poets from each tradition are paired and discussed. The related poetics of the two traditions are also compared.