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The Rose of Time: New and Selected Poems (Bilingual Edition) (New Directions Paperbook) Paperback – January 27, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Bei Dao uses words as if he were fighting for his life with them.... [He] has found a way to speak to all of us.” — Jonathan Spence (The New York Times Book Review)

“Bei Dao’s writing provides ample evidence of the written word’s potential to effect political change.” — Andrew Ervin (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

“His poems are intense, elegant and impressionistic.” — Dwight Garner (The New York Times Arts Beat)

About the Author

Bei Dao, born in Beijing in 1949, has traveled and lectured around the world. He has received numerous international awards for his poetry, and is an honorary member of The American Academy of Arts and Letters. Bei Dao, now a U.S. citizen, is currently Professor of Humanities in the Center for East Asian Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Eliot Weinberger (b. NYC, 1949), is an essayist and translator. He won PEN’s first Gregory Kolovakos Award for promoting Hispanic literature in the US, and he is America’s first literary writer to receive Mexico’s Order of the Aztec Eagle. He lives in New York City.
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Product Details

  • Series: New Directions Paperbook (Book 1160)
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions; Bilingual Edition edition (January 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811218481
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811218481
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #430,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By N. Wong on February 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
(3.5 stars)

Bei Dao is one of the most influential living Chinese poets studied by readers from the West. In this edition of The Rose of Time, New Directions Press has kindly provided both the original and translated version of some of the significant works of the poet. Knowing both languages, I have to say the translators have basically done the job to keep the spirit. Yet readers may find the poems quite hard to follow and understand, though they are syntactically neat and clear. The problem of delivery lies in the leap of images present in the original Chinese version. Bei Dao, if I have to categorize, likes to play with images and most of the time his choices seem rather random and surrealistic (and surprisingly, the randomness contributes to the poetics of the works too). I am not sure about the reasons behind this stylistic matter and there is no point to argue so or in a review. But I very much believe that Bei Dao is using images to help him deliver his viewpoints on political or social incidents that he is not allowed to express directly. One of my favorites in this collection is:

Untitled (p.153)

looking back a few times in the poem
night birds singing together
you set smoke drifting free
toward a place where song vanishes

walking into tomorrow beneath an umbrella
you, a wanderer
set out from your own end
what can replace joy

the century's foxes
leap from abyss to abyss
you see how that glorious bridge
disappears at the sky's edge

morning touches
the secret thought of a walnut
above the passion of water
it's the loneliness of cloud walking
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By J from NY VINE VOICE on December 19, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bei Dao has always been my favorite Chinese poet. Since I picked up "The August Sleepwalker" in a bargain bin years ago, I knew I'd happened upon a collection reminiscent of Leopardi, other times Char, and always with the freedom of a Benjamin Peret.

"The Rose of Time" is a gift for anyone who appreciates his steely resolve to refuse censorship, fostered undoubtedly in his native country. The pop magic and sophisticated lyricism form a seamless tunic of sorts:

"Maggots attack the kernel
the kernel comes from dull valleys
from among dull crowds
the government finds its spokesman
cars and mice
have similar expressions

On the road in the sky
the armed forester examines
the sun which rumbles past
over the asphalt lake
he hears the sound of disaster
the untrammeled sound of a great conflagration"

"The Morning's Story"

Recommended for anyone who even just likes poetry.
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