Poems of the Masters is 473 pages of Chinese poetry from 618-1278. The translator’s preface states that the Sung and T’ang Dynasties are considered the Golden Age of Chinese poetry. These poems have been read by Chinese students for centuries. There are about one hundred poets and 224 poems included in this thick book. Poems of the Masters is divided into four parts, and also  includes a translators preface, postscript, timeline, about the translator, index of authors, and index of titles. Each poem is given two pages which includes the poem translated into English, original poem in Mandarin Chinese, and Red Pine’s very detailed notes that greatly assist the reader with understanding the poet as well as the poem. The poems are timeless, but the notes by Red Pines are also very enjoyable to read. Another top shelf book by Red Pine, that is for anyone who is interested in poetry or Chinese history.


Below are three example poems from the book:



Bamboo Retreat

Sitting alone amid dense bamboo
strumming my lute and whistling
deep in the forest no one else knows
until the bright moon looks down



Climbing White Stork Tower

The midday sun slips behind mountains
the Yellow River turns for the sea
trying to see for a thousand miles
I climb one more story



Reflections While Reading-I

A small square pond an uncovered mirror
where sunlight and clouds linger and leave
I asked how it stays so clear
it said spring water keeps flowing in


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Poems of the Masters: China’s Classic Anthology of T’ang and Sung Dynasty Verse (Mandarin Chinese and English Edition)