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Sound and SightPoetry and Courtier Culture in the Yongming Era (483-493)$
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Meow Goh

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780804768597

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804768597.001.0001

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In the Garden

In the Garden

Chapter:
(p.57) Four In the Garden
Source:
Sound and Sight
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804768597.003.0005

This chapter examines the Yongming poets' perception of space and their poetry about yuan or the garden. It explains that in the Southern Dynasties, the yuan was being portrayed more and more as a private space that one “returned to,” which signals a withdrawal from officialdom and an inward turning toward one's “true nature.” The chapter also argues that the depiction of gardens by the Yongming poets reflected a unique spatial experience where wilderness became organized “nature,” and that this fluid space provided them with the venue to contemplate the practical issue of self-preservation, the aesthetic imitation of nature, and the struggle for Buddhist enlightenment.

Keywords:   yuan, Yongming poets, perception of space, garden, Southern Dynasties, spatial experience, nature, self-preservation, Buddhist enlightenment

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