An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Wanyueci 婉約詞

Feb 28, 2023 © Ulrich Theobald

Wanyueci 婉約詞 is an anthology of poems of one of the two main genres of lyric-metre-style poetry (ci 詞) namely the genre "delicate restraint" (wanyue 婉約). The collection was compiled by Hui Qiyuan 惠淇源 and published in 1989 by the Anhui Wenyi Press 安徽文藝出版社.

In his preface, Hui explains that the genre originated in folk songs and had the characteristics of being sung. Another feature of the genre was beautiful and refined language. As to the content, emotions played an important role, be it joy, sorrow, sadness, or anger, and thus reflect aspects of the private, personal life of the authors. According to Hui, writers of poems of the wanyue genre have used refined language, brought in their sincere feelings and beautiful, artistic images moving the listener or reader, in order to reflect social life with a certain typical sense of romance. They have produced excellent works, which were rich, colourful, splendid and brilliant, and have thus been read and recited for generations.

The collection includes 518 poems of 257 writers from the Tang 唐 (618-907) to the late Qing period 清 (1644-1911), with comments and short notes on each poem.

Hui Qiyuan 惠淇源 (1989). "Xuyan 序言", in Wanyueci 婉約詞 (Hefei: Anhui wenyi chubanshe), 1-6.