After North Song and South Song Dynasties, Ci poetry flourished once more between the late period of Wanli Emperor (1572-1620) in Ming Dynasty to around the 20th year of Kangxi Emperor (1662-1722) in Qing Dynasty. During this period, the evolution of style and metrics of Ci underwent three stages. 1. In the period between Ming and Qing Dynasties, the noumenon of Ci underwent a transition from recovering the standard of rhythm to the diversified patterns of style and form. In Ming Dynasty, ″Ci for Qu″ caused the indistinction of Ci and Qu and the non-existence of the tones standard of Ci. From the late period of Wanli Emperor (1572-1620) to Chongzhen Emperor (1627-1644), with the prevalence of Pictorial Tunes of Ci by Zhang Yan and Xiaoyu Tune: Tunes of Ci by Cheng Mingshan, the tones standard of the rhythm of Ci became more dominant, which taught Ci poets how to compose a poem to a given tune of Ci, which in turn standardized Ci poetry, and established a solid foundation for the reviving of Ci. 2. Representative Ci collection in Ming and Qing Dynasties such as Yisheng Chuji exemplified the content and the style of Ci, and the co-existence of the ″standard tones″ and the ″modified tones″ from the last years of Ming Dynasty to Shunzhi Emperor (1638-1661). In this period, Yunjian Ci School, which was based on the Ci poetry of Ming Dynasty, revived standard tones of Feng and Ya by entirely inheriting the restrained and graceful standard tones of South Tang and North Song Dynasties. On the contrary, Liuzhou School revived the poetic style of the ″modified tones″ by directly inheriting the modification which started from Su Shi and flourished in South Song Dynasty. Although the force of the standard tones was greater than that of the modified one, multiple patterns emerged and an era of prosperity was ushered in. 3. After the period of Kangxi Emperor (1662-1722), the various ″standard tones″ became the principles for the poets who adhered to the ″original simplicity approach.″ Meanwhile, various modified tones yielded unusually brilliant results and contrasted finely with standard tones. Roughly in 20th year of Kangxi Period, Ci poets created a large number of Ci works and Ci collections. It was a golden period of great prosperity of Ci-poetic Circles. In summary, from the last years of Wanli Emperor to the early years of Kangxi Emperor, Ci-poetic Circles grew from buds to full blossoms. However, this thriving period did not last long, and the curtain slowly fell after 20th year of Kangxi Period.
沈松勤. 从“蓓蕾初放”到“烂漫极矣”——明清之际词坛中兴历程[J]. 浙江大学学报(人文社会科学版), 2017, 3(2): 5-19.
Shen Songqin. On the Revival Course of Ci in Late Ming and Early Qing Dynasties. JOURNAL OF ZHEJIANG UNIVERSITY, 2017, 3(2): 5-19.