Monday, October 29, 2007

some ancient thought

Lu Chi
Essay On Writing

4. The joy of Writing
Writing is in itself a joy,
Yet saints and sinners have long since held it in awe.
For it is Being, created by tasking the Great Void.
and ‘tis sound rung out of profound silence.

From: On Form
The lyric (shih) born out of pure emotion, is gossamer fiber woven into
the finest fabric.
The exhibitory essay, (fu) being true to the objects, is vividness
In monumental inscriptions (pei) rhetoric must be a foil to facts.
The elegy (lei) tenderly spins out ceaseless heartfelt grief.
The mnemonic (ming) is a smooth flow of genial phrases, succinct
but pregnant;
The staccato cadences of the epigram (chen) are all transparent
While the eulogy (sung) enjoys the full abandon of grand style,
The expository (lun) must in exactitude and clarity excel.
The memorial (tsou) balanced and lucid, must be worthy of the
dignity of its royal audience.
The argument (shou) with glowing words and cunning parables
Meticulous as these classifications are,
Lest passion and thought, given free rein, may wantonly go astray,
The maxim: Let Truth in terms most felicitous be spoken,
While of Verbiage beware.

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