Classic of Poetry

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Shi Jing (Classic of Poetry)
Various, compiled and edited by Confucius
Shi Jing (traditional Chinese: 詩經; simplified Chinese: 诗经; pinyin: Shī Jīng; Wade-Giles: Shih Ching), translated variously as the Classic of Poetry, the Book of Songs or the Book of Odes, is the earliest existing collection of Chinese poems. It comprises 305 poems, some possibly written as early as 1000 BC. The Confucian tradition holds that the collection, one of the Wu Jing, or Five Classics, came to what we have today after the editing of Confucius. The poems are written in four-character lines. The airs are in the style of folk songs, although the extent to which they are real folk songs or literary imitations is debated. The odes deal with matters of court and historical subjects, while the hymns blend history, myth and religious material.
Excerpted from Shi Jing on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


  • Shih King, the Book of Odes (1879) by James Legge
  • The Book of Songs, by Arthur Waley, edited with additional translations by Joseph R. Allen, New York: Grove Press, 1996.
  • Book of Poetry, by Xu Yuanchong (許淵沖), edited by Jiang Shengzhang (姜勝章), Hunan, China: Hunan chubanshe, 1993.
  • The Classic Anthology Defined by Confucius, by Ezra Pound, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1954.
  • The Book of Odes, by Bernhard Karlgren, Stockholm: The Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, 1950.