Repetition as the Common Basis for Comparison

Cecile Chu-chin Sun

in The Poetics of Repetition in English and Chinese Lyric Poetry

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780226780207
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226780221 | DOI:
Repetition as the Common Basis for Comparison

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This chapter establishes that overt repetition in English and Chinese poetry can meaningfully be compared according to the three basic units of phonic repetition of sounds, words, and verse lines. Repetition in sound and sense is a fundamental constituent of both English and Chinese lyric poetry despite their linguistic, literary, and cultural differences. One English poem and one Chinese poem have been selected for analysis. Despite their differences, there is an extraordinary similarity in the way English and Chinese utilize their basic linguistic units for sound repetition in poetry. However, in addition to being a language that embraces a huge number of dialects, Chinese differs from English in two important prosodic aspects: its monosyllabicity and its tonality.

Keywords: phonic repetition; English lyric poetry; Chinese lyric poetry; sounds; words; verse lines; prosody; monosyllabicity; tonality

Chapter.  8872 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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