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Classical Chinese Poetry: An Anthology

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Classical Chinese Poetry: An Anthology Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

With this groundbreaking collection, translated and edited by the renowned poet and translator David Hinton, a new generation will be introduced to the work that riveted Ezra Pound and transformed modern poetry. The Chinese poetic tradition is the largest and longest continuous tradition in world literature, and this rich and far-reaching anthology of nearly five hundred poems provides a comprehensive account of its first three millennia (1500 BCE to 1200 CE), the period during which virtually all its landmark developments took place. Unlike earlier anthologies of Chinese poetry, Hintons book focuses on a relatively small number of poets, providing selections that are large enough to re-create each as a fully realized and unique voice. New introductions to each poet's work provide a readable history, told for the first time as a series of poetic innovations forged by a series of master poeets. From the classic texts of Chinese philosophy to intensely personal lyrics, from love poems to startling and strange perspectives on nature, Hinton has collected an entire world of beauty and insight. And in his eye-opening translations, these ancient poems feel remarkably fresh and contemporary, presenting a literature both radically new and entirely resonant.
The Chinese poetic tradition is the largest and longest continuous tradition in world literature, and this rich and far-reaching anthology of nearly five hundred poems provides a comprehensive account of its first three millennia (1500 BCE to 1200 CE), the period during which virtually all its landmark developments took place. Unlike earlier anthologies of Chinese poetry, Hintons book focuses on a relatively small number of poets, providing selections that are large enough to re-create each as a fully realized and unique voice.
"Three thousand years of poetry, from the first oral folk songs to the elegant simplicity of the mature written tradition. Chinese poetry, writes Hinton in his introduction, is graphic and physical, 'an act of meditation,' 'a perfectly empty mind mirroring the actual.' In this collection Hinton chose major poets from all walks of life as it was lived outside of the monastery by courtesans, shamans, peasants and farmers. 'Seventh moon, Fire star ebbs away, / and ninth, we share our warm robes, / By the eleventh moon, chill winds howl, / and by the twelfth, it's bitter cold, killing / cold, rough-quilt robes a blessing'from 'Seventh Moon,' part of "The Book of Songs," poems from the 12th to the 6th centuries BC, compiled by Confucius."Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times

"David Hinton has translated the poetry of Wang Wei, Lao Tzu, Meng Chiao, and a host of other major classical Chinese poets . . . [Classical Chinese Poetry] represents 3,000 years of Chinese work, tracing its journey from an oral tradition practiced by singing bar girls and peasants to a written endeavor done only by the elite who worked for the Chinese government. The poems may be distant from American life in terms of origin and culture, but the details within them remain relevant to people reading the work today."Vanessa E. Jones, The Boston Globe

"If you know someone who likes poetry, go out now and get David Hinton's Classical Chinese Poetry: An Anthology . . . David Hinton has been translating Chinese poetry for more than a decade. His new anthology gives us, for the first, best time, the sweep of this tradition in excellent English poetry. As Hinton writes, this may be the longest unbroken literary tradition that exists, starting around at least 1400 B.C. and still going. We know Chinese poetry through the efforts of Pound, who helped supercharge modern poetry. It should be said, thoughsomeone has to say itthat Pound's renderings of Chinese verse were idiosyncratic and, in some respects, misleading. Hinton's are neither. His triumph, across hundreds of poems, is to suggest the range of this work, its many different voices . . . All are as fresh as if they were written now."John Timpane, The Philadelphia Inquirer

"In the way of the pioneer translators of Chinese poetry during the past centuryof Arthur Waley, Burton Watson, Willis BarnstoneDavid Hinton has heard and lured into English a new manner of hearing the great poets of that long glory of China's classical age. His achievement is another echo of the original, and a gift to our language."W.S. Merwin

 
"David Hinton is simply the best translator of Chinese poetry presently working in English . . . Hinton reads deeply and with great sensitivity to nuance."J.P. Seaton, University of North Carolina
 
"[Hinton's] sense of the philosophical weight of poetry is unique to himself. Waley's Bloomsbury countertenor is now a distant voice, and so is Watson's mid-century Gebrauchsmusik. Fortunately we now have Hinton, speaking to us with a peculiarly contemporary edginess, unpredictability, and compactness."David Lattimore, Brown University
 
"David Hinton's translations, while remaining faithful to the meaning and spirit of the original, are consistently imaginative in language and effective as English poetry, and he has shown a remarkable skill in capturing the particular style and voice of the different poets he has tackled."Burton Watson, Columbia University

"The oldest poems translated in David Hinton's magnificent anthology Classical Chinese Poetry date to the fifteenth century B.C.E., long before the Bible was written . . . A scholar-translator such as David Hinton, whose new anthology forms the capstone to a long and productive career, certainly knows infinitely more about Chinese language, culture, and literature than Pound ever did. In addition to his many volumes of translations of individual poetsincluding Li Po, Tu Fu, and Wang Wei, the three greatest poets of the T'ang DynastyHinton has brought into English the classics of Chinese philosophy . . . No doubt our own time of troubles, our own ugly and vicious world, which separates the world of Cathay from the world of Classical Chinese Poetry, is the reason why the Chinese poets seem to speak to us more intimately now when they speak of suffering and disillusionment rather than of beauty and perfectionor even, in David Hinton's magisterial book, of enlightenment."Adam Kirsch, The New Republic

"Poets periodically refresh tired conventions by studying the art of another culture, then absorbing it into their own. Elizabethan lyricists borrowed French devices, as did some of the early Modernists, and later John Ashbury. Exposure to East European and South American poetry helped English and U.S. poets of the mid-20th century reinvent themselves. When the Sinologist Arthur Waley began publishing translations of Chinese verse in the 1920s, the short-lived Anglo-American 'Imagist' movement seized on its concentrated images. In almost every subsequent generation, various schools of Western poets have latched on to Li Po, composing sparse lines evoking wet leaves, chirping crickets and distant mountains. David Hinton's Classical Chinese Poetry: An Anthology now provides a reintroduction to this often borrowed tradition . . . Hinton has performed a dual service. His volume reminds us of much that has entered into our own literary tradition while exposing us to many concepts alien to Western thought. It also emphasizes a universal principle: The greatest influence on verse is other verse. Relationships among poets advance the art, delighting our imaginations even as

Synopsis:

With this groundbreaking collection, translated and edited by the renowned poet and translator David Hinton, a new generation will be introduced to the work that riveted Ezra Pound and transformed modern poetry. The Chinese poetic tradition is the largest and longest continuous tradition in world literature, and this rich and far-reaching anthology of nearly five hundred poems provides a comprehensive account of its first three millennia (1500 BCE to 1200 CE), the period during which virtually all its landmark developments took place. Unlike earlier anthologies of Chinese poetry, Hintons book focuses on a relatively small number of poets, providing selections that are large enough to re-create each as a fully realized and unique voice. New introductions to each poet's work provide a readable history, told for the first time as a series of poetic innovations forged by a series of master poeets. From the classic texts of Chinese philosophy to intensely personal lyrics, from love poems to startling and strange perspectives on nature, Hinton has collected an entire world of beauty and insight. And in his eye-opening translations, these ancient poems feel remarkably fresh and contemporary, presenting a literature both radically new and entirely resonant.

About the Author

David Hintons translations of classical Chinese poetry have earned him a Guggenheim fellowship, numerous NEA and NEH fellowships, and both of the major awards given for poetry translation in the United States, the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award, from the Academy of American Poets, and the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, from the PEN American Center. He is also the first translator in over a century to translate the four seminal works of Chinese philosophy: the Tao Te Ching, Chuang Tzu, Analects, and Mencius. He lives in Vermont.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374531904
Author:
Hinton, David
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Subject:
Asian
Subject:
Anthologies (multiple authors)
Subject:
Asian - General
Subject:
Anthologies-Miscellaneous International Poetry
Subject:
Asian - Chinese
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20100231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Includes 5 Maps, Notes, Further Reading,
Pages:
512
Dimensions:
8.2 x 5.6 x 1.3 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Miscellaneous International Poetry
Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Poetry
Fiction and Poetry » Classics » Chinese
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » Anthologies
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
Religion » Eastern Religions » Chinese Religion and Literature

Classical Chinese Poetry: An Anthology New Trade Paper
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Product details 512 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374531904 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
With this groundbreaking collection, translated and edited by the renowned poet and translator David Hinton, a new generation will be introduced to the work that riveted Ezra Pound and transformed modern poetry. The Chinese poetic tradition is the largest and longest continuous tradition in world literature, and this rich and far-reaching anthology of nearly five hundred poems provides a comprehensive account of its first three millennia (1500 BCE to 1200 CE), the period during which virtually all its landmark developments took place. Unlike earlier anthologies of Chinese poetry, Hintons book focuses on a relatively small number of poets, providing selections that are large enough to re-create each as a fully realized and unique voice. New introductions to each poet's work provide a readable history, told for the first time as a series of poetic innovations forged by a series of master poeets. From the classic texts of Chinese philosophy to intensely personal lyrics, from love poems to startling and strange perspectives on nature, Hinton has collected an entire world of beauty and insight. And in his eye-opening translations, these ancient poems feel remarkably fresh and contemporary, presenting a literature both radically new and entirely resonant.
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