Wen - Poetry in Chinese culture
Under wen we find a number of things that go beyond even the most advanced conception of literacy in the West.
An introduction
Poetry has been many things to the Chinese over the long centuries of their history…

Chinese poetry & the American imagination
Chinese poetry entering the American poetic consciousness

The idea of the Chinese Poet
The roles and influences of the Chinese poets, in China and in contemporary society
Cosmology in Chinese Poetry
Ideographic writing in China was perceived not as an arbitrary invention of man, but as the result of supernatural revelation. 
Taoist cosmology and poetry
Consciousness, cosmos, and language form a unity in a Chinese poem.
The Chinese cosmos
Basic concepts of Chinese cosmology
Poetic forms
An introduction to  Chinese poetics forms. coming soon
The Book of Songs and the origins of Chinese poetry
Spontaneity in the structural irregularities of “In the Wilds Is a Dead River-Deer.” from the Book of Songs

The Chinese written character
Three types of Chinese characters constitute more than 95% of the writing system.
Components of Chinese characters
Moonlight Through the Door – an animation from hm68.com on component characters.
Traditional and simplified characters
An animation showing the two general forms of Chinese characters
The Chinese language
Introductions to the tones and characters of Chinese
Li PoBoBai
The challenge of representing Chinese in written English
Chinese prosody
Prominent features of Chinese prosody, including rhyme and meter
Music and poetry
Poetry was united to music in a particularly durable fashion in China.
The Musicalization of poetry
The importance of the song lyric in the long history of the relationship between Chinese poetry and music 
So ha-ha-ho-ha-ha
The nature of the Tao of Hanshan and the mountain poet/recluses is most easily found when laughter comes spontaneously
Like the making of each shot of a movie. . . Wang Wei’s images achieve cinematic distinction
Ambiguity in Chinese poetry
Ranging from general to specific, various ambiguities exist in classical Chinese poems.

The Shih Ching , usually translated as either The Book of Songs or the Classic of Poetry, is the first great collection of Chinese poetry. Tradition says that it was edited into its present form by the Sage of Sages, Confucius himself. In fact the book was assembled before, during, and after the life of Confucius. Its more than three hundred poems include fragments of works as old as the Shang Dynasty (traditional; dates 1766-1154 BCE) as well as “contemporary” poems from the Chou feudal states written or spoken by both aristocratic court figures and just plain “folks”. A great deal has been said about the origin of many, if not the majority of the poems as oral “folk” art, but it is clear from the artistry of the written language in which they have been handed down that, like the scribes who improved upon the originally oral poetry attributed to “Homer” in the West to create the Iliad and the Odyssey, the people who converted Chou folk songs and court verses into poetry in written Chinese characters clearly thought of themselves as (and were) artists. So the characters used to render simple and direct lyrical utterances of the illiterate peasant folk often honor them with carefully chosen written vocabulary: the heart and soul of folk art remains clearly present, but literary subtleties are introduced. The scribes who created the Shih Ching were poets, not tape recorders. They chose the best of what existed, and they honored it with their own art.

In its present form, the Shih Ching consists of three major sections, the Kuo Feng, or Odes of the States, comprising 160 of the 300 are generally but not always folk songs. The Ya (Elegant Verses) subdivided with no obvious criteria into greater and lesser, include poems 161-265, and the Sung or Temple Odes high ritual songs and bits of dynastic myth, include poems 266-305. The present selection is comes, all but a single longer poem on drinking and its positive and negative consequences from the “Lesser Elegants”, all come from the Kuo Feng Sections.

Knowledge of the Shih Ching poems was a necessity of diplomatic practice around the time of Confucius, when it was a common practice to deliver or at least support the delivery of diplomatic messages among the feudal domains (the “States or Guo of the Guo Feng) by oral presentation of relevant lines from the Classic. From the Han on many of the poems where imbued with very specific allegorical interpretations, but it is clear that later poets, who memorized the book word for word, used it as allusive material in their own poems at least as often for its plain “folk” messages as for its orthodoxly approved allegorical ones.