Chinese poetry is an important piece of Chinese culture. Modern Chinese dramas and movies use poetry to show character growth and foreshadow. 

Even Korean dramas, like “Squid Game,” sometimes refer to Chinese poets. 

So, let’s see some examples of Chinese poetry you may run into in modern media!

Chinese Game Shows

A popular game show in China, “Chinese Poetry Conference” (中国诗词大会), tests competitors’ memories on reciting classical Chinese poetry. 

You may be awestruck by their memory. It is quite an impressive feat! 

Additionally, the game show has a round that is time constricted. This makes it super stressful for the contestants. 

During this round the contestants are given a Chinese character and must recite poetry that has that character in it. This portion of the show makes it wildly popular because of its difficulty.

Contestants are chosen based on a written test before the first episode. So if you feel like you have a chance at winning, get out your Chinese poetry collections and start memorizing!

Chinese Dramas

Poetry is one of the centerpieces of Chinese culture, so it is not at all shocking to see poetry in Chinese dramas. Characters usually recite poetry when there is a turning point in the series or during major character development. 

The well known drama “Meteor Garden” (流星花园, Liúxīng Huāyuán) showcases many classics during the main character’s journey to become a superstar chef. These poems are read out by her mentor while she learns the ways of a master chef. 

The poems describe the main character’s progress.

Poem 1:

如切如磋如琢如磨

Rú qiè rú cuō rú zuó rú mó

Like a gem cut and filed, carved and polished

Poem 2:

如临深渊,如履薄冰

Rú lín shēnyuān, rú lǚ bó bīng

As though on the brink of an abyss, as though treading on thin ice

These first two poems are pretty simple to understand in the context of character development, but the third requires a little more prior knowledge.

Poem 3:

逃之夭夭,灼灼其华

Táo zhī yāoyāo, zhuózhuó qí huá

The peach tree is slender and sturdy.

The last poem is from the ancient collection “Classic of Poetry” or “Shijing” (诗经) and is a metaphor about female fertility. Classic Chinese culture, though thousands of years old, is still influential in modern China.

So next time you watch a drama, make sure you have your Chinese poetry collections out and ready! 

Other Media: Squid Game and Du Fu (杜甫)

The new popular K-drama “Squid Game” is also influenced by Chinese poetry. In the last episode, Du Fu’s “Welcome Rain on a Spring Night” (春夜喜雨, Chūn yè xǐyǔ) is briefly mentioned. 

Of course (SPOILER ALERT) this poem alludes to the end of the squid game.  The poem follows:                               

好雨知時節  

Hǎo yǔ zhī shí jié

Good rain knows when to fall 



Chinese poetry has been influential for millenia, and we can expect to see even more in the future!

Know any other TV shows that use Chinese poetry? Leave it down in the comments!


What's Your Reaction?

confused confused
0
confused
fail fail
0
fail
fun fun
2
fun
geeky geeky
0
geeky
hate hate
0
hate
lol lol
0
lol
love love
11
love
omg omg
3
omg
win win
0
win

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Collin Absher

Choose A Format
Personality quiz
Series of questions that intends to reveal something about the personality
Trivia quiz
Series of questions with right and wrong answers that intends to check knowledge
Poll
Voting to make decisions or determine opinions
Story
Formatted Text with Embeds and Visuals
List
The Classic Internet Listicles
Countdown
The Classic Internet Countdowns
Open List
Submit your own item and vote up for the best submission
Ranked List
Upvote or downvote to decide the best list item
Meme
Upload your own images to make custom memes
Video
Youtube, Vimeo or Vine Embeds
Audio
Soundcloud or Mixcloud Embeds
Image
Photo or GIF
Gif
GIF format