Poetic expressions such as figures of speech and association were closely related to Chinese poetic thinking. For instance, Liu Xie’s “rise of emotions and later attachment to scenery” and Jao Zan’s “combination of scenery and the inner heart” reflected relations between inner feelings and scenery. Indeed, relationships between “things” and “me” touched upon figures of speech and association in poetic thinking. Scholars in Ming and Qing Dynasties discussed figures of speech and association from the perspective of feelings and scenery, regarding the combination of figures of speech and association as the key to putting scenery and the inner heart together, and attempting to bridge connections between figures of speech and association, and feelings and scenery.
Qing shihua summarized the theories of Chinese traditional poetry, with an introduction to change in poetic concepts in each dynasty and views on contemporary poetic aesthetics. This paper aimed to explore the following issues based on Qing shihua: 1. How did the concepts of figures of speech and association evolve? 2. How did the poetry theorists in Qing Dynasty look at figures of speech and association from the viewpoint of poetry content and creation techniques? 3. How did figures of speech and association influence poets’ creation? 4. What are the aesthetic characteristics from the perspective of figures of speech and association?