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The Selected Poems of Po Chü-i (New Directions Paperbook) Paperback – June 17, 1999

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Editorial Reviews


After Lunch
After Quiet Joys At South Garden, Which P'ei Tu Sent
After The Rebellion, At Liu-kou Monastery
All The Mountain Guests Started Up Incense-burner Peak Together,
Another Poem For The Wall Of My Thatch Hut
Asking The Rock That Holds Up My Ch'in
At Flowering-brightness Monastery In Yung-ch'ung District
At Home Giving Up Home
At The Pond, A Farewell
At The Pond, An Idle Chant
At Western-clarity Monastery In The Season Of Blooming Peonies
Autumn Butterflies
Autumn Pool
Autumn Rain, A Night Of Sleep
Autumn Thoughts, Sent Far Away
Bamboo Mountain's Eastern Pond
Beside The Pond, Under Bamboo
Blossoms For A Monk's Courtyard
Boundless And Free
A Ch'in At Night
Ch'in Song In Clear Night
Climbing Among Ancient Tombs East Of The Village
Climbing Mountains In Dream
Cold Night
Cold Night In The Courtyard
Cold Pavilion: An Invitation
Cool Autumn, Idle Dozing
Dreaming Of Long Ago
Dwelling In Idleness
Early Autumn
Early Cicadas
Early Cicadas
Early Morning, Combing My Hair Out
Early Morning, Taking Cloud-mother Powder
Early Spring
East Tower Bamboo
Enjoying Pine And Bamboo
Evening Rain
Eyes Going Dark
Facing Rocks I Placed In Yi-chu Stream To Break Up The Current Near
Facing Wine
Facing Wine On A Winter's Night, Sent To Huang-fu Shih
Farewell To My Day Lilies And Cassia
Farewell To The Recluse Wang
Figures For A Monk
First Month, Third Day: An Idle Stroll
Flower No Flower
For The Beach Gulls
Foxglove Farmers
The Grain Tax
Grown-old Song, Sent To Liu Yu-hsi
A Guest Doesn't Come
Hard Times
Home Ground
Hsiang-yang Travels, Thinking Of Meng Hao-jan
Idle Night
Idle Song
Idle Song
Idle Song
In Answer To A Letter Sent By Liu Yu-hsi On An Autumn Day
In Reply To Autumn Night, No Sleep, Sent By Liu Yu-hsi
In Sickness, Mourning Golden-bells
In The Mountains
In The Mountains, Asking The Moon
Inviting Liu Shih-chiu
Late Autumn, Dwelling In Idleness
A Late-night Farewell To Meng Kung-ts'ao
Li The Mountain Recluse Stays The Night On Our Boat
Living Idly In The Hsin-ch'ang District, I Invite Yang-ju-shih's
Long Lines Sent To Ling Hu-ch'u Before He Comes To Visit My Tumbledown
Lu-tao District, Dwelling In Spring
Meeting An Old Friend
Mourning A-ts'ui
Mourning Peach Blossoms In The Palace Gardens At Night, I Think Of
My First Visit To Incense-mountain Monastery, Facing The Moon
My Old Home
My Thatch Hut Newly Built Below Incense-burner Peak, I Chant My
My Thatched Mountain Hut Just Finished Ch'i-sited Below Incense-burner
New Year's Eve
New Yueh-fu: 22. Hundred-fire Mirror
New Yueh-fu: 24. Twin Vermillion Gates
New Yueh-fu: 29. Crimson-weave Carpet
New Yueh-fu: 30. An Old Man Of Tu-ling
New Yueh-fu: 32. An Old Charcoal Seller
New Yueh-fu: 46. A Dragon In The Dark Lake
New Yueh-fu: 9. The Old Man From Hsin-feng With A Broken Arm
Night In The City, Listening To Li The Mountain Recluse Play Three
Night In The Palace With Ch'ien Hui
Night Of The Cold Food Festival
Nightfall At South Pond
The North Window: Bamboo And Rock
Off-hand Chant
Off-hand Poem Written During The Seclusion Fast
An Old Su-chou Prefect
Old, And A Fever
On Climbing The Tower At T'ien-kuan Monastery With Huang-fu Shu Early
On Ling-ying Tower, Looking North
On My Daughter's First Birthday
On Shang Mountain Road
On The Boat, Reading Yuan Chen's Poems
On West Tower
Overnight At Bamboo Pavilion
Overnight At Bamboo Tower
Overnight At East-forest Monastery
Overnight At Jung-yang
Overnight In The Upper Courtyard Of Ling-yen Monastery
Overnight With Ch'an Master Shen Chao
The Pa River
Peony Blossoms: Sent To The Sage Monk Cheng I
Planting East Slope
Poems In Sickness: 1. Wind Sickness Strikes
Poems In Sickness: 2. Lying In Bed
Poems In Sickness: 4. Quatrains In Sickness
Poems In Sickness: 9. Farewell To A Sung Mountain Traveler
The Pond West Of My Office
Pond Window
Quiet Dwelling During The Seclusion Fast
Reading Ch'an Sutras
Reading Chuang Tzu
Reply In The Same Rhyme To A Quatrain Sent By Ch'ien Hui
Reply To Yuan Chen
Rising Late
Rising Late
A Servant Girl Is Missing
Setting A Migrant Goose Free
Sick And Old, Same As Ever: A Poem To Figure It All Out
A Sigh For Myself
A Sigh For Myself
Sitting Alone In My Little Thatched Pavilion After Illness, An
Sitting At Night
Sitting Idle At The North Window
Sixth Month, Third Day: Listening To Cicadas At Night
Songs Of Ch'in-chou: 10. Buying Flowers
Songs Of Ch'in-chou: 7. Light And Sleek
The Sound Of Pines
Still Sick, I Get Up
Suffering Heat, Enjoying Cold
Thinking Of Ts'ui Hsuan-liang
To Get Over A Spring Heartfelt And Long, Written During The Seclusion
Traveling Moon
Two Stones
Up Early
Village Night
Village Snow, Sitting At Night
Visiting The Recluse Cheng
Wandering At Cloud-dwelling Monastery
Waves Sifting Sand: 1
Waves Sifting Sand: 2
Waves Sifting Sand: 3
Waves Sifting Sand: 5
The West Wind
Wine Stops By For The Night
Winter Night
Winter Sun On My Back
Wondering About Mind: Presented To Friends Who've Grown Old
Written In Spring On A Wall At Flowering-brightness Monastery
Written On A Pine Beside The Stream At Yi-ai Monastery
Written On A Wall At Jade-spring Monastery
Written On Sung Mountain's Eastern Cliffs In Early Spring
Year's End, Facing Wine At South Creek, A Farewell To Wang Who's
Yen-tzu Tower
-- Table of Poems from Poem Finder®

David Hinton's translation...as a whole is 'crisp.'...a welcome addition to the corpus of English translations of Chinese poetry. -- Liu Wan, Chinese Literature, December 2003

About the Author

Po Chü-i occupied several important government posts. He wrote over 3,000 poems―brief, topical verses expressed in very simple, clear language. His poetry figures prominently in The Tale of Genji, the tenth century Japanese novel by Murasaki Shikibu. Po’s work gained wide popularity throughout East Asia. He continued to write despite partial paralysis and enjoyed great fame during his lifetime.

David Hinton's many translations of classical Chinese poetry and philosophy have earned wide acclaim for creating compelling contemporary texts that convey the actual texture and density of the originals. He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as numerous fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1997, he received the Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets. He lives in East Calais, Vermont.

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Product Details

  • Series: New Directions Paperbook
  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions; 1st edition (June 17, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811214125
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811214124
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #893,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
A Servant Girl Is Missing
From the low walls of our small courtyard to the notice-board outside our district gate,
I've searched and searched, ashamed our love proved meager, wishing I could do it all over.
But a caged bird can't bear a master for long, and the branch means nothing to a blossom
freed on the wind. Where can she be tonight? Only the moon's understanding light knows.
This was written in the 9th century C.E. by the famous Chinese Tang dynasty poet Po Chu-I. Po's beautiful lines are Taoist and Ch'an (Zen) Buddhist in influence, but something about them sings transcendent and is not easily categorized. Consider how much is contained in this poem: worry, a confession of wrongdoing, an admission of love, something about nature and the need for human freedom, and a tiny fragment of intuitive (mystic) insight when he adds: "Only the moon's understanding light knows." Whew! How did he do it, all carefully wrapped in deceptively simple rhyming couplets in the Chinese? I'm awed by this work, as I am by Po's modern English translator, David Hinton. This book is recently available in trade paperback by New Directions Publishing. Any of these Chinese poets (Hinton translates Meng Chiao and my favorite, T'ao Ch'ien, too, as well as others) will radically change your view of life, for theirs was a powerful and elegant civilization when Rome was still fighting off its hordes. These are beautiful, poignant, often sad, but very wise reflections about existence, metaphysics, and how to live a rich life.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have to commend David Hinton's ability to change translation styles to match the style of the poets he translates. Po Chu-i's poetry is very simple and straightforward, and in response, Hinton sticks very close to the original Chinese in his translation. This works very well most of the time, but at times it is taken too far, and the gammar can seem awkward taken in English. Nevertheless, the essentially beauty of the poetry shines through, and the selection is well chosen. I would have preferred that the original Chinese be included, but this omission is unlikely to bother most readers. All in all, the collection is a credit both to poet and translator. I highly recommend it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Robert Wise on June 22, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the very finest translation of Chinese poems I have seen. I have over one hundred books of translations of Chinese poets.
Hinton is able to catch the feel of a Zen religous life by a famous civil servant of the late Tang Dynasty. He captures the bitter sweet character of the life many Chinese poets chose where they were two totally different people -- mystics and civil servants. We can find few people in world history on which to model our lifes with more real depth than Po Chi I, Su Tung Po, and Wang Wei.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Publicagent on November 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
David Hinton's translations are superb. I have gotten to the point where I want to read all of his translations of the ancient Chinese poets. His translations certainly have a distinct masculine/modern voice, but at the same time, the voice of the poet shines through. It also seems evident that he knows what he's doing because the poetry is a little slow in the beginning, but by the middle, (they are chronological I believe) each poem has the capacity to stun. The very best of Chinese poetry comes through in this translation. I feel like I am transported to another place and time, and at the same time, I feel something shift inside of me. Po Chu-I was a sage. He often released himself from his thoughts and fully immersed himself in the present moment. The present moment is continually captured in this text. It's one of the best that I have read. The poems are timeless, beautiful and spiritually relevant. I feel calmer and more aware after each read...
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By . on May 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
I read him just about every day. He's so seemingly simple, but at times there's another layer of meaning that's just visible beneath his words. Most of his verses create such vivid moments and scenery from his life. They look back through the long years at a time and place that's gone forever.
There's a certain sadness that prevails through his pieces - Information the publisher includes on Po Chu-I's life really helps give it form, make it understandable.
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