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I would like to identify some Cantonese poetry to study, and I'm looking for the kind of poetry that follows a recognized style and is bound by certain rules (even Cantonese haiku or limericks would do).

Now obviously there is lots of classical Chinese poetry which can all be read in Cantonese. However this might sometimes not sound very natural, and I'm looking for poems that sound natural, not awkward, when read in Cantonese.

I'm aware that written Cantonese is a very recent thing, and that classical written Chinese was sort of separated from spoken language; that "traditional Cantonese poetry" might be a self-contradictory term to some extent. Even so, I think some Cantonese poets would have had their own native pronunciation in mind, when supposedly writing the same non-verbal, classical written Chinese as everyone else, to a greater extent than someone from the other side of the country would have. My theory is that poetry by such poets might sound more natural in Cantonese, and it would qualify as "Cantonese poetry" for me.

My question(s):

  • Is there any famous traditional Chinese poet who lived in Guangdong and/or is known to or can be assumed to have written poetry with Cantonese in mind?
  • Are there any collections of modern Cantonese poetry following any recognized style (also non-Chinese styles)?
  • Are there any other sources one should know about?

EDIT: I keep updating this as I think of ways to make more sense.

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I actually like this question. It's community-wiki worthy imho. –  Stumpy Joe Pete Jan 17 '13 at 17:53
    
There is no such thing called Cantonese poetry. –  tomriddle_1234 Jan 18 '13 at 3:23
    
@tomriddle_1234 What do you mean? –  Alenanno Jan 18 '13 at 10:00
    
@gaidal The question is still a bit poor, however I doubt it will encourage tons of answers, so I'm going to reopen it. If it goes bad, I might need to re-close it (but I doubt that). –  Alenanno Jan 18 '13 at 10:01
    
@Alenanno Thank you! Feel free to point out any specific ways in which it could be improved. –  gaidal Jan 19 '13 at 9:26

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted
  1. Google 粵詩.
  2. This article (PDF Download from Cantonese Association) in 趣味詩文 gives a few examples.
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I am a Chinese who happens to know the basics of Cantonese and grew up listening to some Cantonese pop songs.

Is there any famous traditional Chinese poet who lived in Guangdong and/or is known to or can be assumed to have written poetry for Cantonese?

No I do not think there is any famous traditional Chinese poet who did that. There is an author 黄霑 who has some work written in Written Cantonese such as《不文集》, 《香港仔手记》and 《问我》.

Are there any collections of modern Cantonese poetry following any traditional style (from anywhere)?

No, I do not believe so. However, there are tons of Cantonese songs like those played by Beyond (band). For all the subtitles I have ever seen for popular Cantonese songs in my entire life, there is not one written in Written Cantonese. They are all written in mandarin Chinese or traditional Chinese.

Are there any other sources one should know about?

You might have seen this but the wikipedia page for Written Cantonese is actually quite neat.

This link for 粤语白话文 should be useful too

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1  
Thank you. I have not accepted your answer for now, but upvoted it. 1. Good to know about 黄霑 and his works 2. I'm not sure I follow, by song subtitles, do you mean in karaoke? Any song can be written using either simplified or traditional Chinese, but it's not hard to find songs using Cantonese-specific words/characters. 3. Yes, those pages are very informative! –  gaidal Jan 19 '13 at 9:59
    
"They are all written in mandarin Chinese or traditional Chinese." Traditional Chinese is a script, not a language. You can write Mandarin in both Traditional and Simplified Chinese. Conversely, you can write a few languages and dialects in Traditional. –  dda Jan 19 '13 at 13:40
    
"[...] subtitles [...], there is not one written in Written Cantonese." I have seen plenty in HK and Guandong KTVs. –  dda Jan 19 '13 at 13:40
1  
@dda Thank you for pointing this out to me. –  qiuqiyuan Jan 19 '13 at 20:15
2  
@gaidal The answer given by dda might be exactly what you are looking for. –  qiuqiyuan Jan 19 '13 at 20:17

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