Quan Song Ci (The Whole Collection of Song Poetry)
The ci(词, lyric) is very different from the shi(诗, poem) type. Today the term ci simply means "word". While the older Tang Dynasty shi lyric can be read without minding the underlying melodies - even if there existed some underlying melodies - ci poetry must be seen as written songs. Most of the poems do not even have their own title, but they are named after an original melody. Composers and writers used this melody to write a new poem that could be sung to the original famous melody or tune pattern (cipai, 词牌), a technique called contrafactury. This is the reason why we often see the same title for a ci poem, like Die lian hua(蝶恋花, Butterflies love blossoms), Man ting fang(满庭芳, Scent fills the hall), or Yu meiren(虞美人, Lady Yu). There are more than 800 tune patterns.
Ci lyric emerged during the Tang Dynasty in response to the popularity of foreign musical tunes imported from Inner Asia. Already the outer shape of the ci lyric is clearly different to the shi lyric: the verses have different length. The early ci writers of the 9th century wanted to meet the needs of singing girls in the entertainment quarters in the lower Yangtse area. The most famous ci poets of Tang Dynasty are Wen Tingyun(温庭筠) and the last king of Southern Tang, Li Yu(李煜). The great time of ci lyric was the Song Dynasty. Under the the influence of the great writer Su Shi, the ci poem began to free itself from its musical background and became primarily a literary creation. The poet does not know the underlying melody of the poem. During Song Dynasty, two different styles of ci poetry developed, the haofang(豪放, heroic abandon), and the wanyue(婉约, delicate restraint). Like shi poetry was still in use during the Song Dynasty (see an example of a Lu You shi), ci lyric again became very popular during the Qing Dynasty. Even the communist chairman Mao Zedong is considered to be a great ci poet.
The "Three Hundred Song Poems" (Song ci san bai shou, 宋词三百首) anthology was compiled by the "Jiangcun ci club" Shangjiang Cunmin(上彊村民) under the guidance of Zhu Zumou(1859-1931) 朱祖谋. Except the examples below, there are some famous Song poets, like Wang Yucheng(王禹成, 954-1101), Liu Yong(柳永, 980-1053), Yan Shu(晏殊, 991-1055), Mei Yaochen(梅尧臣, 1002-1060), Shao Yong(邵雍, 1011-1077), Wang Anshi(王安石, 1021-1086), Huang Tingjian(黄庭坚, 1045-1105), Qin Guan(秦观, 1049-1100), Chao Buzhi(晁补之, 1053-1110), Chen Shidao(陈师道, 1053-1102), Ye Mengde(叶梦得, 1077-1148), Li Qingzhao(李清照, 1084-1155), Yang Wanli(杨万里, 1127-1206), Chen Liang(陈亮, 1143-1194), Jiang Kui(姜夔, 1155-1221), Shi Dazu(史达祖, 1163-1220). Of course, every official engaged in writing ci poems as authorship of poems belonged to the basic knowledge of the upper class.
Li Yu: to the tune "Lady Yu"
Ouyang Xiu: to the tune "Plucking mulberry leafs"