Shin Heum(申欽)’s 『Cheongchangyeondam(晴窓軟談)』 inherited the tradition of the compilation of poetic criticism books of the preceding period and was carried out in the trend of the lively compilation of poetic criticism collections at that time. It was also likely that his participation in the compilation of 『Haedong Shibuseon』 under the order of Seonjo was related to the compilation of 『Cheongchangyeondam』.
The books that Shin Heum used in the compilation of 『Cheongchangyeondam』 were 『Yongjae Essay(容齋隨筆)』, 『Siin-ogseol(詩人玉屑)』, 『Munheontong-go(文獻通考)』, 『West Lake Sightseeing(西湖遊覽志)』 and 『Sandangsago(山堂肆考)』, 『Dangshi pumhwi(唐詩品彙)』 and 『Dangshis seubyou(唐詩拾遺)』. However, he did not reveal the fact that he used them as references.
『Cheongchangyeondam The first(上)』, in total 40 sections, commented on 45 poets from the Tang Dynasty and their works. And, 『Cheongchangyeondam The second(中)』, in total 42 sections, made comments on 43 Chinese poets and their works. In 『Cheongchangyeondam The third(下)』, in total 70 sections, it commented on 6 Chinese poets and 59 Korean poets, a total of 65 poets and their poems. Among them, except for the overlapping figures, 56 poets from the Tang Dynasty, 4 poets from the Southern and Northern Dynasties, 18 poets from the Song Dynasty, 3 poets from the Yuan Dynasty, 7 poets from the Ming Dynasty, 4 poets from Goryeo and 55 poets from Joseon, a total of 147 poets were subject of criticism. And in all the first(上), second(中), and third(下), Shin Heum’s weighty theory were placed in the right place.
The criticism made in 『Cheongchangyeondam』 covers the theory of poetry, works, writers, style, and text. In particular, the 『Cheongchangyeondam The third(下)』 is mainly composed of Joseon poets’ poetic criticism, and it is said that the abundant knowledge that Shin Heum collected during his long tenure in important position were used as a material.
As a result of analyzing the 『Cheongchangyeondam』, the values are as follows.
1. It introduced and commented on various writers and works of China and Korea.
2. It attempted to bind and comment on poems under the same theme.
3. It raised the level of criticism in Sino-Korean literature by presenting a weighty theory of poems.
4. It summarized and arranged the situation and trends of Joseon Dynasty’s poetical circles.
5. It preserved lost works.
6. It made it possible to know the original form of the work.
7. The lively poetic criticism made it possible to understand the literary environment of Joseon Dynasty.
On the other hand, 『Cheongchangyeondam』 also contains the following problems.
1. The arrangement of the object of criticism is distracting.
2. Some sections have to be readjusted through the process of separation and integration.
3. The category of criticism are entangled.
4. While it contains a large number of works and anecdotes of people who are close to him, the poets and works that must be put in are omitted.
5. A forgery is included.
6. There are numerous errors in the wording, including the name of the reference, the name of the writer, and the name of the work.
The problems of 『Cheongchangyeondam』 are the same in other poetic criticism books. Therefore, the experience and methods of the formal copy work to solve the problems shown in 『Cheongchangyeondam』 could be applied to the formal copy work of other poetic criticism books.