John Timothy Wixted

Chinese and Japanese Languages and Literatures

John Timothy Wixted

 Zhong Rong 鍾嶸 (469-518)

and His Shipin 詩品 (Poetry Gradings)

Note the following three webpages also dedicated to Chinese literary criticism:

Chinese Literary Criticim – Gen'l. 中國文學批評, Tang-Song Literary Criticism 唐宋代文學批評, 

and Yuan Haowen 元好問  (1190-1257)



      “Shi pin 詩品 (Poetry Gradings),” in Early Medieval Chinese Texts: A Bibliographical Guide, Cynthia L. Chennault, Keith N. Knapp, Alan J. Berkowitz, and Albert E. Dien, eds. (Berkeley: Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 2015), pp. 275-288. 

Early Medieval Chinese Texts, Shipin


      “The Nature of Evaluation in the Shih-p’in (Gradings of Poets) by Chung Hung (A.D. 469-518),” in Theo­ries of the Arts in China, ed. Susan Bush and Chris­tian Murck (Princeton: Prince­ton University Press, 1983), pp. 225-264.  [Shih-p’in = Shipin; Chung Hung = Zhong Rong]

The Nature of Evaluation in the Shipin 

Article on the Shipin's influence on the major statements of Japanese literary theory:

      “The Kokinshū Prefaces: Another Perspective.” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 43.1 (June 1983): 215-238. 古今集の序, 905-917.

For pdf’s of the article, its abridged version, and a Spanish-language translation of the latter, see the Classical Japanese webpage.

Treatment of the influence of the Shipin on later Chinese literary criticism:

      Poems on Poetry: Literary Criticism by Yuan Haowen (1190-1257(1982; rev. ed. Melbourne and Basel: Quirin Press, 2019). xxxi,410,1 pp.

Includes translation of Zhong Rong’s evaluations of eight poets treated in the Shipin. Traces the Shipin’s influence on evaluation of them in (A) criticism during the intervening Tang and Song period, (B) Yuan Haowen’s poems on poetry, and (C) later literary thought. The eight Shipin poets treated are Liu Zhen 劉楨 (d. 217), Cao Zhi 曹植 (192-232), Ruan Ji 阮籍 (210-263), Zhang Hua 張華 (232-300), Pan Yue 潘岳 (247-300), Lu Ji 陸機 (261-303), Liu Kun 劉琨 (270-317), and Tao Qian 陶潛 (365-427).

For more information, including selections from the book, see the Yuan Haowen 元好問 webpage.

Translation of eighty percent of the Shipin:

      “Appendix A: A Translation of the Classification of Poets (Shih-p’in 詩品) by Chung Hung 鍾嶸 (469-518),” in “The Literary Criticism of Yüan Hao-wen (1190–1257).” D.Phil. diss., Oxford University, 1976, 2 vols., 2:462-491. 

Translation of the three prefaces and the thirty-three entries (on fifty-one “upper grade” 上品 and “middle grade” 中品 poets/poetry). Revised versions of many of the passages appear in other published material cited on this webpage.


      “Zhong Rong 鍾嶸: From Shih-pin (Poetry Gradings),” in Women Writers of Traditional China: An Anthology of Poetry and Criticism, ed. Kang-i Sun Chang and Haun Saussy (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999), pp. 719-720.

Translation of Zhong Rong’s evaluations of the following women writers: Ban Jieyu 班媫妤 (ca. 48-ca. 6 B.C.), Xu Shu 徐淑 (fl. 147), Bao Linghui 鮑令暉 (5th cent.), and Han Lanying 韓蘭英 (5th cent.).

Women Poets Evaluated in the Shipin

Book review of a book (on a poet treated in the Shipin):

     Nicholas Morrow Williams, Imitations of the Self: Jiang Yan and Chinese Poetics (Leiden: Brill [2015]), Journal of Oriental Studies 50.2 (2020), pp. 117-121. 江淹, 444505.

Wixted on Williams, Imitations of the Self

Book review of a book (on a poet treated in the Shipin):      A.R. Davis, T’ao Yüan-ming (AD 365-427): His Works and Their Meaning (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984; 2 vols.), in Journal of Oriental Studies (Hong Kong) 23 (1985), pp. 101-103. 陶淵明

Research summary:

        A narrative of the author’s research interest in Zhong Rong and his Shipin, as found on pp. 84-85 and 104-106 of “One Westerner’s Research on Chinese and Japanese Languages and Literatures,” Asian Research Trends (The Toyo Bunko), New Series 4 (2009), pp. 77-113. The full text can be found on the General webpage.

Summary of research interest in Zhong Rong and the Shipin 

Research resource:

      Note "Index H" to Japanese Scholars of China: A Bibliographic Handbook (for full citation, see the Japanese Sinology webpage), which  lists scholars by field of study (about whom more bibliographic information is supplied in the body of the handbook). Those active in the study of Six Dynasties history and literature are listed on pp. 416-417, 442-443, 445-446, and 450-451 (as well as Chinese literary theory and poetics, p. 448).

John Timothy Wixted