Book Review-Mountain Home The Wilderness Poetry Of Ancient China Translated By David Hinton

Mountain Home The Wilderness Poetry Of Ancient China is a smorgasbord of ancient Chinese rivers and mountains poetry. The book is 295 pages and covers Chinese wilderness poetry from the 5th Century all the way until the 13th Century.  Pull up a chair, and read the list of poets represented: T’ao Chien, Hsieh Ling Yun, Meng Hao-Jan,Wang Wei, Li Po, Tu Fu, Wei Ying-Wu, Cold Mountain, Liu Tsung-yuan, Po Chu-I, Chia Tao, Tu Mu, Mei Yao-Ch’en, Su Tung-P’O, Lu Yu, Fan Ch’eng-Ta, and Yang Wan-Li.

The book includes a map of Ancient China, an introduction, the poems that are organised from the dates 365-1206, notes, key terms, finding list, and further selected readings. The introduction section covers Ancient Chinese poetry’s spiritual closeness with nature. The poets and the wilderness are existing together naturally (Tzu-jan “self ablaze”) or spontaneous. In the poems section of the book, the author/ translator includes very detailed information about each Chinese poet before including poems by the poet. There is one poem per page. According to my count, there are 187 total poems in the book. I could be off plus or minus a couple. The poems are historic masterpieces and the translations into English are easy to read and will sweep you away into the wilderness of China. Top shelf and an excellent addition to your library if you are into poetry, the outdoors, Taoism, Ch’an (Zen), or want a relaxing book to read.

 

Below are three example poems from the book:

 

Mourning Meng Chiao 

By Chia Tao (779-843)

Orchids have lost their fragrance. Cranes no longer call.
Mourning has faded into autumn skies,and the moon’s

brilliance gone dark.Ever since Master Chiao died,
I’ve wandered my grief away in cloud-swept mountains.

 

On A Boat Crossing Hsieh Lake

By Yang Wan-li (1127-1206)

I pour out a cup or two of emerald wine inside the cabin.
The door swings closed,then back open onto exquisite

ranged mountains: ten thousand wrinkles unseen by anyone,
and every ridge hand-picked by the late sun’s slant light.

 

Reverence-Pavilion Mountain, Sitting Alone

By Li Po (701-762)

The birds have vanished into deep skies.
A last cloud drifts away, all idleness.

Inexhaustible,this mountain and I
gaze at each other,it alone remaining.

 

To order the book on Amazon.com click below:


Mountain Home: The Wilderness Poetry of Ancient China

 

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