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Gnomic Poem

The gnomic poem is an important form of expression in Tibetan literature, and it is greatly affected by the Tibetan Buddhism in terms of contents and purposes. The gnomic poem is called as Lexie in the Tibetan language that means the Fine Words. The main goal of gnomic poem is to spread the philosophy of conducts. Authors of gnomic poems always employed this form to present the moral standard and the learning spirit in social life and the proper attitude in getting along with others. As to the style of writing, every paragraph of gnomic poem includes 4 lines, every line includes 7 words, two sentences are used metaphorically, and the other two sentences are used to describe facts. An outstanding feature of the gnomic poem lies in the adoption of rich metaphors and methods of reasoning to present the theme and thus make the poem seem more philosophic. All metaphors used by gnomic poem are those that people are familiar with. In addition to the natural phenomena that are common in daily life, gnomic poem uses many literary quotations and proverbs, which led to its great popularity among the common people. Many of the gnomic poems are widely adopted and can be recited by people.

The most famous gnomic poems in Tibet include the Sakya Proverbs, Gedan Proverbs, Shuishu Proverbs, etc. All of the authors of these works were either religious scholars or leaders of sects of Tibetan Buddhism.

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