A poet should directly express his thoughts and sentiments when he is inspired. This is a concept for writing poems proposed by poetry critic Zhong Rong of the Southern Dynasties in his work “The Critique of Poetry” as a reaction to the excessive use of allusions and quotes from earlier works. Inspired by naturalist ideas of Daoism and by his own reading of the fine works of earlier poets, he developed a new form of poetic creation which he named “direct quest.” By this, he meant directly describing matters that one senses and learns about, directly expressing one’s inner feelings, and creating aesthetic images in which the sensibilities match up with current realities. The theory of natural disposition and intelligence used in Ming- and Qing-dynasty poetics was influenced by this idea.
A comprehensive survey of the best-known works of ancient and current poets shows that most of the poets did not borrow favored lines or literary allusions from their predecessors, but directly sought inspirations from their personal experiences. (Zhong Rong: Preface to “The Critique of Poetry”)
Since I want to use my own words to express my feelings, how can I let myself be bound by the content and forms of ancient writings? (Huang Zunxian: Five Poems on Random Thoughts)