Wen Ting-Yun is a lyricist of the late Tang Dynasty, He led the development of Song and Wudai lyrics, was later revered as the originator of Huajian.
Reading Wen Ting-Yun`s lyrics, we can find that most of Wen`s words are lists of images. These images give a strong impression of the senses while giving rich associations and make readers feel the rich emotional world in the work. Why it is possible to have such an effect is because Wen Ting-Yun use a lot of conceptual metaphors. And these conceptual metaphors which allow readers a wealth of association enrich emotional world of lyrics and these are an important means to build the emotional content of the lyrical poems.
The conceptual metaphor theory is proposed by Lakoff and Johnson, which argues that metaphor is not only a general language phenomenon, but also a way of recognizing society and the world, that is, using an experience of one cognitive domain to understand an experience of another cognitive domain. Some characteristics of the source domain are projected to the target domain, which is partially understood by the former. This paper uses the conceptual metaphor theory to analyze 66 poems of Wen Ting-Yun collected by HouZuozhang`s “HuajianJi”. And the conceptual metaphors which has an important effect on the construction of emotional content of Wen Ting-Yun`s poems, are selected and analyzed.
Through the analysis, we can find the main axis of conceptual metaphor of Wen Ting-Yun `s poems, that is to say women are poet himself. Under this big conceptual metaphor, there are some small conceptual metaphors which together build the emotional content of Wen Ting-Yun`s poems. So we can find four basic conceptual metaphors that the natural scenery is the human emotion, plants are people, the curtain is separated and blocked, the dream is despair.
Based on this, the poet has expanded and innovated the basic conceptual metaphor through these four methods of expanding the corresponding relationship, elaborating description, composing multiple metaphors and questioning the conventional metaphor, and constructed the poetic metaphor, so that the work gains literary value.
The conceptual metaphor of the poet makes the inner feelings and abstract concepts visualized and embodied, which helps the reader to understand the deeper implication of the poet in his works, and the tension between the source domain and the target domain enables the reader to produce rich association, and enhance the artistic appeal of the work, so that make the work more interesting and readable.