4

In writing regulated verses 近體詩, there's a saying "一三五不論,二四六分明。" (We don't care the tone 平仄 of the odd-numbered characters in each line, but we care about that of the even-numbered ones.)

However, Baidu's page about seven-character jueju 七絕 shows that the tone of the 5th character of each line is fixed.

I wonder if one has the freedom to choose the tone of the 5th character in a seven-character jueju.

Let's take a concrete example. Is it ok to take a deflected 仄 tone at the 5th character at the first (out of four) verse?

秋風拂澗泛桑葉,舉目棕巢掛禿枝。
平平仄仄仄平仄,仄仄平平仄仄平。
碧水浮鵝追舫艇,舟乘遠去土盧茲。[1]
仄仄平平平仄仄,平平仄仄仄平平。

[1]: 土盧茲 (Toulouse, capital of Occitane region in France)

Remarks:

  1. In principle, I'm following Shiwen 詩韻 published by the Hong Kong Public Library (HKPL). This is the standard for regulated verses in the HKPL's Chinese Poetry Writing Competition. In practice, I'll first use my mother tongue to determine the tones 平仄, before verifying Pingshui Yun 平水韻 online. Cantonese's accuracy rate is over 90% since it preserves 入聲 in medieval Chinese. The rationale for sticking to an ancient phonetic standard for composing regulated verses nowadays is to maintain the universality of this genre of poems: if poets compose in their own dialect, the 平仄 tones won't be carried to other dialects. This inhibits others from appreciating the poem, and this genre would loss its influence in the long run.
  2. I know very well that the first verse has a problem of "isolated plane tone" 孤平 according to "the second school of thought" 乙派 in the linked Baidu 百度 page, but let's adopt the "first school of thought"'s 甲派 viewpoint on this issue.
  3. From my user profile, I'm neither a writer nor a poet. I've written some regulated verses simply to cultivate my character 陶冶性情.
  • If you want an example from the masters: 曲江其二 (The Qu River, No. 2) by 杜甫 Du Fu has a deflected 仄 in the 5th character of line 6 out of 8. [Although caveats about emulating the way the masters of an art break the rules apply!] – Michaelyus Jul 16 at 17:04
  • @Michaelyus Thanks for comments. I've checked that poem. The tone of 6th line is regular "仄仄平平仄仄平". The tone of the upcoming line "中仄平平仄平仄" is a well-known form of aogu 拗句 known as 出句自救. What I'm not sure is issue of isolated flat tone on second last character of a verse. – GNUSupporter 8964民主女神 地下教會 Jul 18 at 12:18
  • Whoops I did mean line 7, with that 拗句. – Michaelyus Jul 18 at 12:46
1

It is actually a big topic on the tone of Chinese poetry, even in different dynasties the rule is slightly different. I recommand you read Wang Li's (王力) book named 《诗词格律》, which has a systematic description on it.

  • Am I reading the same version as yours? So what do you think about the tone 平仄 of the 1st verse of my sample poem? You describe Prof. Wang's work as "systematic", so you might be able to find a "systematic" way to tackle this problem. It seems that from chap 2 sect 3 & 7 that the tone of my sample poem is not regular enough. I'd love to hear your feedback. – GNUSupporter 8964民主女神 地下教會 Jul 19 at 23:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.