Chinese classical poetry, or Shici, is a carrier of the extensive Chinese culture, telling undying romance from the ancient times to present days. Huili School Hangzhou's annual poetry week this year came at a time when everything is imbued with vitality after the beautiful Spring Equinox. During the week, students were intoxicated by the lingering charm from the melodious music and picturesque landscapes that Shici presented. They also learned to understand the wax and wane of life through the learning of Shici.
Grade 9: To learn and create
Grade 9 students focused on Songci, or Ci from the Song Dynasty, which is characterised by the heroic sentiments it expresses. In learning Memories of the Past at Red Cliff by Su Shi, students moved one of the chants to paper that goes “乱石穿空，惊涛拍岸” (jugged rocks tower in the air, and swashing waves beat on the shore), and explicitly explained the abrupt contrast between how the brave and bright General Zhou Yu (from the Three Kingdoms period featured in the Ci) was at the prime of his time and how the poet himself was living in adversity. They even composed their own Ci in tune Watch the Tidal Bore as a welcome gift to the forthcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou, 2022. This learning journey has allowed students to relate with ancient Shici, and is also provide an opportunity for teachers to observe the best educational practice, where they can propose new projects while preserving the essence from the past.
Grade 8: Poems and songs
From the day of their birth, Shi and songs are inseparable like twins. Every poem is a song in The Book of Songs (the oldest existing collection of classic Chinese poetry), which itself is classified into three parts, namely, Feng, Ya, and Song, according to their distinct musical features. During the poetry week, grade 8 students presented both aesthetic charm and strength in the collection through creative singing in unison, or even rap. Poems like The Reed, Crying Ospreys and The Blue Collar were brought to life through singing at Huili School Hangzhou.
Grade 7: Read to convey emotion
Reading poetry aloud can serve as an emotional outlet, as poems are a release of something deep inside. During the poetry week, grade 7 students paid homage to the great poetic genius, Li Bai, by reading his poems aloud. They also composed a poem named I Can See with correct rhythm to pay tribute to heroes in harms’ way in fighting the pandemic and safeguarding the country, moving listeners’ hearts.