from wind and bone
four hundred years from the fall of the han to the rise of the Sui: continual war, famine, floods, peasant revolts, millions fleeing south from barbarian conquerors: the Period of Disunion: twenty-nine dynasties in the north and six in the south: “Poem Written on the Way to My Execution” becomes a genre.
The twenty-eighth of the fifty chapters in his book is called “,” wind and bone, and is the most mysterious. To express emotions one must begin with ; to organize the words, one must have . He whose bone structure is well-exercised will be well-versed in rhetoric; he who is deep of wind will articulate well his feelings. It would seem that is sentiment and ideas, and is language, but Liu also says that to be thin in ideas and fat in words, confused and disorganized, is a sign of the lack of . And yet when ideas are incomplete, lifeless and without vitality, it is also a sign of the lack of . What is and what is have never been conclusively determined by the generations of Chinese critics, but what is certain, according to Liu Hsieh, is that the perfect combination or balance of and , the metaphor for the ideal poem, is a bird.