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Chu Ci Chu Ci, or The Songs of the South, is another important poem collection which appeared 300 years after The Classic of Odes. It was finished by Liu Xiang in Western Han Dynasty (206 BC - 24), through collecting works of the noted poet Qu Yuan and his disciples. Chu Ci, as the book's name indicates, is derived from the songs of the southern state Chu during the Warring States Period (476 BC - 221 BC).
Qu Yuan, who furthered the development of the new poem style, is famed as a great patriotic poet and politician in the Chu state. Although talented, he was never appointed to positions of importance on account of his directness and the treachery of another official. He tried his best to ease the conjunctures of the state but failure led him to throw himself into the Miluo River with disappointment, sorrow and wrath. His story is reflected in the most well-known poem among the works is Li Sao.
This poetry book changed the simple and brief style of The Classic of Odes, and completely distinctive. It is magnificent in its length and rhetoric and ornate diction, and shows the writers' fertile imagination and effusive emotion. The ancient poetry really enlightened the poets that came after with its romanticism.