2001.第29卷第1期(Vol. 29 No. 1).pp. 109–120



The Rhyming Pattern of Modern Chinese Poetry and the Use of

Cantonese in the Teaching of Recitation

楊鍾基、何杏楓(Chung-Kee YEUNG & Carole Hang-Fung HOYAN)




This paper focuses on the analysis of three modern poems included in the HKCEE syllabus ("Leaving Cambridge Again" Zaibie kangqiao 再別康橋 by Xu Zhimo 徐志摩, "Perhaps" Yexu 也許 by Wen Yiduo 聞一多 and "Listening to the qinzheng played by Chen Leishi" Ting Chen Leishi Qinzheng 聽陳蕾士的琴箏 by Huang Guobin 黃國彬), with the aim to explore the pros and cons of reciting modern Chinese poetry in Cantonese. Issues related to the use of Cantonese in the teaching of modern Chinese poetry are also addressed. It is the claim of this paper that: (1) the written language used in modern Chinese poetry is not equivalent to colloquial language, and the colloquial components of modern Chinese poetry are by no means confined to Putonghua. As a result, Putonghua should not be taken as the best media for the recitation of modern Chinese poetry. (2) Under the hypothesis of going in line with the Mother Tongue Policy, the use of both Putonghua and Cantonese in the teaching of modern Chinese poetry does not only help to increase the language sensitivity of the students, but also enhance their understanding of the phonetic characteristics of both Putonghua and Cantonese.