Just a few years after the overthrow of China's last imperial dynasty, the Qing dynasty loyalist Chen Botao 陳伯陶 (1855–1930) assembled scholars at the Terrace of the Song Emperors 宋王臺 (Song Wang Tai, or Sung Wong Toi) in Hong Kong Kowloon to compose and recite poetry as a tribute to the adherents of the Song dynasty 宋 (960–1279) that sought refuge in Kowloon more than six centuries before. The poetic odes to Sung Wong Toi, compiled in the 1917 collection Song tai qiu chang 宋臺秋唱 (Autumn Chants on the Terrace of the Song Emperors), construct a dialectical tension between Kowloon as a place of exile in Chinese history and the lyrical symbolism of its representation in the compilation's classical poetry. More than merely a commemoration to a long-lost past, Chen's efforts instigated a collective response from loyalist scholars that created a literary space in early republican-era Hong Kong for them to express their commitment to the fallen dynasty and at the same time defined the historical and cultural significance of place and history in Hong Kong Kowloon. In the context of the British colonial administration, these scholars' historical narratives and lyrical poetics effectively nurtured a discourse on loyalism in Hong Kong literature.

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