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Song Yu (Chinese: 宋玉Wade-Giles: Sung Yü, fl. 3rd century BCE) was a well-known Chinese poet in the State of Chu. He is commonly said to be a nephew of Qu Yuan, but no reliable biographical information is available (He is also said to be a student of Qu Yuan). Several poems in the Chu Ci are attributed to him.



Born in a poor family, he held posts as Attendant of Letters in the court, but never realised his amibition. After Qu Yuan's death, he became the major writers of Cifu (a literary form, sentimental or descriptive composition, often rhymed, especially in the Han Dynasty and Cao Wei).


According to the section of Literature and Art in Book of Han, Song has altogether written 16 pieces of work, but only 14 of them have been handed down, such as Jiu Bian (九辩, "Nine Arguments") and Dengtuzi Haocefu (登徒子好色赋). What is more, it is doubted if, with the exception of Jiu Bian, these works are written by Song at all. Nevertheless, as a writer of cifu, Song is a great successor to Qu Yuan and he has also developed his original style. His name has long been put together with Qu Yuan as "Qu-Song".


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