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There are several similarities and differences in the two works by Ouyang Xiu- an

account of Pavilion of the Drunken Old Man (Owen 613-614) written in prose and On the

Pavilion of the Drunken Old Man in Chu-zhou (Owen 685) written as a poem. The noticeable

similarities in his works include the theme whereby he chooses to express his appreciation for

nature in both works. Ouyang Xiu vividly describes the delights of nature that characterize the

mountains, the wide range of birds, and the soothing sounds made by streams as the trickle

across the landscape. In the poem, Xiu applauds the calming effect of the water flow, claiming it

is more appreciable than the sound of harps and flutes. In the prose, Xiu reveals that he delights

in the composition of the landscape- and again dismisses the value of instrument music.

Another similarity in the two works by Xius affinity is their plots. The prose and the

poem both describe his journey to the mountains while drunk and leaving it to the winds to sober

him up again. He praises the influence of wine on his ability to appreciate nature. In the poem, he

recalls that he always takes his glass of wine to the stream and falls drunk. In the prose, Xiu

espouses that his love for nature does not entirely spring from being drunk but the condition

surely improves it (Owen 613). The plots of these works revolve around the mountains in Chu-

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The tone of the two works by Ouyang Xiu is also similar. He employs the tone of

approval through which he lauds the amazing nature of the environment around him. His tone is

also informal whereby he uses a combination of a variety of words to express his admiration for

his natural surroundings e.g. the first line of the eight stanza reads, Hill flowers waste their

practiced smiles (Owen 685). This statement is an informal statement aimed at capturing the

allure of the flowers. He candidly narrates his delights and pleasures with nature and paints a

vivid image of the scenery. For instance, the prose describes the glee of the birds at the departure

of the governor and his convoy (Owen 614). This statement cannot be considered to be formal as

it is not possible to determine the actual feeling of creatures such as birds as they are constantly

chirping regardless of whether the governor is in the mountains or not.

There is a lot of similarity in the use of imagery on the two works. Xiu uses this element

to capture the attention of the audience and help them visualize the scenery. For instance, the

piece of prose contains expressions such as wildflowers spring up and give off secret

fragrances. Such a statement leaves a lasting impression on the reader and helps to imagine the

scenery or the actual circumstances under which the persona finds himself or herself in. In the

third stanza of the poem, Xiu describes the manner in which the pavilion brook is laid across the

mountainous landscape by using the phrase how this pavilions brook makes its way through

tangles of peaks (Owen 685). The statement triggers the creation of an image in the readers


The point of view from which the works are written differs. The poem is written from the

first person perspective whereas the prose is written in the third person perspective. The poet

uses the article I to explain his escapades among the mountainous stretches of land in Chu-

zhou. For instance, Owen (685) writes in the first line of the seventh stanza, of course I find
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flutes and harps lovely. In the prose, the writer uses the article he as in and when he had

gotten a little drunk to refer to himself and only reveals that he is referring to himself at the

end by saying that he is the governor of Lu-Ling.

Works Cited
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Owen, Stephen. "and trans. 1996." An Anthology of Chinese Literature: Beginnings to 1911.