Sound and Sense – A Musical Look at Chinese Poetry in 1916


  • Zeb Raft University of Alberta



This essay examines two contributions related to “Chinese poetry” from Eunice Tietjens, an early editor of and contributor to the Chicago-based magazine Poetry. In the first, Tietjens uses western musical notation to transcribe the “tunes” of two Chinese scholars chanting a short poem. The second is a group of Tietjens’s own poetic sketches of the China she witnessed on her 1916 visit. Taken together, these projects provide a useful commentary on the translation of Chinese poetry in the early 20th century.


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Author Biography

Zeb Raft, University of Alberta

Zeb Raft teaches pre-modern Chinese literature at the University of Alberta. His interests are in the poetry, poetics, and the culture of poetry in pre-modern China, and one of his active projects involves a database catalog of translations of Chinese poetry into English.