Widmaier Verlag Hamburg

StudMon volume


The book provides a commentary on one of the best known poems from the Middle Kingdom, The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant, from c. 1840 BC. An introduction covers issues of composition and reception in the Middle Kingdom; language and imagery; naturalism, artifice and immediacy; cultural themes; and later and modern receptions. The commentary includes the text in transliteration and translation with a line by line commentary discussing points of philology, lexicography, style, intertext, context, meaning and possible emotional and aesthetic impact. The volume is intended to assist anyone wishing to read the poem in its original language, and is laid out with text and commentary on the same page to enable an integrated experience of reading, following the precedent of other academic commentaries on classic works of world literature. Figures are included to help embed the poem in its material culture and landscape. An index of words is also provided. The book complements the existing text edition of the poem and the new photographic publications of the main manuscripts by the author.



  • 1 Composition and reception in the Middle Kindgom
  • 2 Language and imagery
  • 3 Naturalism, artifice and immediacy
  • 4 Some themes and effects
  • 5 Later and modern receptions
  • 6 The present commentary

The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant: Text, translation and commentary


Index of words
Abbreviations and references