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Jueju Definition

A Jueju is a type of poem from China that consists of a matched pair of couplets. Each line has either five syllables or seven syllables. The first kind is called a wujue while the second kind is called a qijue because wu and qi translate to "five" and "seven." Since a Jueju consists of no more than either 20 or 28 characters, such poems tend to make extensive use of symbolic language to communicate a great deal of information with a small amount of text. Furthermore, the process of creating a Jueju is complicated by the need to ensure the alternating of level and oblique tones in each line, which can be confusing to those who are unfamiliar with the tonal nature of the spoken Chinese language. As a result of this complexity, Jueju has been well-regarded by Chinese critics since ancient times, which is why many famous Chinese poems are written using this structure. In particular, the Tang Dynasty was famous for Jueju, which often used small occurrences to expound on grand matters. 

Jueju poems are always quatrains; or, more specifically, a matched pair of couplets, with each line consisting of five or seven syllables. The five-syllable form is called wujue; and the seven-syllable form qijue 

Jueju Poem Example

River blue bird exceed white
Hill green flower about to ignite
This spring see again have
What day be return year
The river's blue, the bird a perfect white,
The mountain green with flowers about to blaze.
I've watched the spring pass away again,
When will I be able to return?


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