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I began to read Chinese ancient poems to DD when I was five months pregnant with DD. After her birth, I often read to her simple but popular Chinese ancient poems, a most highly regarded literary genre in Chinese classical literature.

Unlike “western culture, which was influenced by Shakespeare, Milton, and the Romantic poets, had a pronounced tendency to think of poems as ornate, elaborate creations made by a few men of genius” (Dr. Wheeler, 2011), Chinese culture had a tendency to think of poem-writing as a favorite pastime for all educated men or women to express the emotions of themselves.

Therefore, Chinese poets and artists concentrate heavily on history of humanity, the beauties of nature and landscape, love, friendship, courtship and marriage, and even everyday trials.

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Chinese poetry can be divided into three main periods: the early period, characterized by folk songs in simple, repetitive forms; the classical period from the Han, Tang and Song Dynasties to the fall of the Qing Dynasty, in which a number of different forms were developed; and the modern period of Westernized free verse.

Tang poetry refers to poetry written in or around the time of and in the characteristic style of China’s Tang dynasty (618-907 A.D.) and/or follows a certain style, often considered as the Golden Age of Chinese poetry. Tang Dynasty marked the high point of classical Chinese poetry.

Not only was the period prolific in poets and in poems (perhaps as many as 50,000 poems), but poetry was integrated into almost every aspect of professional and social life, including as part of the Imperial examinations taken by anyone wanting a government post. The poetry of the Tang Dynasty was so strong that it remains influential today, and it towered over the generations that followed it.

Chinese Flashcards - Tang Poems  A Collection of Tang Poems (Chinese Book + 2 DVDs)

Since all Chinese ancient poems are rhymed, the simple and short ones can be used as nursing rhymes, which are playful and easy to remember. No double, reading Chinese ancient poems to young children also help them acquire Chinese language and understand Chinese culture. There are multiple-ways to learn Chinese ancient poems. Children can enjoy listening to the CDs at home, in the car, or via a portable CD player, making them a wonderful tool to learn Chinese language and Chinese culture.

You can also enjoy watching on TV or computer via VCDs. The VCD narrates most stories in this book in clear Mandarin Chinese, and is accompanied with animated cartoons (see Q & A about VCD for more details).

Baby Learns Chinese Poems (3 CDs) A Collection of 300 Tang Poems (Chinese Book + VCD)

You can also help children learn and play via E-reading pen, a pen-shaped book reader onto which audio from specific books can be downloaded. When E-reading pen scans across book pages, either images or texts, the corresponding Chinese words, phrases, paragraphs, or dialogues are read out loudly in clear mandarin, a new technique of Point and Read (see E-reading pen: an interactive tool to learn Chinese).

 Easy-Read Pen & 4 Chinese Traditional Cultural Studies Audiobooks

Or, if you are proficient Chinese language speaker, you can read the poems to children and enjoy the beauty of Chinese ancient culture together.

Reference:
Dr. Wheeler (2011). Chinese Poetry, retrieved from the World Wide Web on 01/21/2011: http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/chinese_poetry.html.

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