To illustrate this pattern concretely, we shall examine a seven-syllable lü shih written by Shên Ch’üan-ch’I in 705 in response to Tu Shên-yen, Tu Fu’s grandfather, when they were both living in exile in the northern part of present-day Vietnam. The Romanized reading is in Cantonese, which among current Chinese dialects preserves most fully the feature of T’ang pronunciation. The even tones are indicated by small capitals, the deflected tones by small letters, and the deviation by italics.

Since even Shên, a master of the new technique, had to resort to deviations (YUE) , it is understandable that to some poets like Li Po, the lü shih verse form presented no special attration.

With the ascension of Emperor Hsüan Tsung in 712, T’ang prosperity was to reach its zenith. Much luxury and leisure were available to members of the upper classes in Chinese society. A natural product of the age was the birth of superior art and literature.

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