Analysis Of Poem Without A Category By Tao Yuanming
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Poetry is a creation of man and thus tied to the self. This creates a problem for those who wish to not only explore the idea of selflessness but share it. This problem was keenly felt by Confucian, Daoist and Buddhist poets. To escape this problem, they created tools used to convey selflessness. Poets used things like themes, language and format within poetry to convey a selflessness. They used themes like rejecting desire, becoming a recluse and living a simple life. To reinforce these themes, they used images of nature to represent selflessness. Finally, the rules provided a new way for poets to express the inexpressible through writing. These three things are evident in three poems, “Poem Without a Category” by Tao Yuanming, “Farewell to a Friend Returning South” by Wang Wei and “Feelings Awakened by a Mirror” by Bai Juyi. Each of these poems has something to do with expressing selflessness and they use common themes, language, and form to express it.
The first poem, “Poem Without a Category” by Tao Yuanming, is interesting because it is not about complete seclusion but simplicity. Tao Yuanming 's writings are most attributed to Daoist teaching so it makes sense his poetry focuses on this idea of wuwei or non-action. Within Yuanming’s support of simplicity there is a common theme; the rejection of desire. “The brave man has ambitions wide as the four seas, my desire is not to grow old,” (Yuanming). In the beginning, the poet seems to be criticizing himself that his