Dao Zi 's Art and Review

Rong Jian, Chen Jiushuang, Peter J. Liu

According to Martin Heidegger, “poetry is the adoption of the divine scale”. This is also Dao Zi’s basic approach to art. In Hölderlin’s poems, what Heidegger experienced most deeply was the essence of poetry: to illuminate. It is through insightful illumination that things can be ‘opened up’, to enlighten the human soul, to enlighten the human mind to the true meaning of fields, towns, and homes, and to cast a light into the dark abyss. What would the abyss be like without the clarity of poetry? Poetry is therefore a direct revelation of divinity. As Plato posits, its inherent fullness of devotion and holiness is a treat for the gods. Thus, is Dao Zi the Hölderlin of the Chinese arts? Or is he the successor to Qu Yuan, Li Bai, and Su Shi? From the day they were written, the interpretation of his poems has always been such that they are filled with the deepest thoughts of humanity, interwoven with sentiments for the earth, affection for mothers and motherhood, enchantments in the darkness, and adoration for the eternity of life. These form a poet’s responsibilities as given to them the divine, a duty to provide this spiritual illumination and maintain and continuously purify a world of truth.

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