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The Mountain Poems of Meng Hao-Jan First Edition Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0972869232
ISBN-10: 0972869239
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Hinton’s music is subtle, modulated, and does not slacken with either contemporary or classic. He has listened to the individual tone of each poet, and his craft is equal to his perception. . . . He continues to enlarge our literary horizon. And the ‘range of pleasure’ his translations afford ‘as sight, sound, and intellection,’ proves them true poems. Poems that breathe another culture into our English. —The Academy of American Poets

These are poems of great serenity, great satisfaction, great joy. The Mountain Poems of Meng Hao-Jan can be read in an evening, revisited for a lifetime. Find time for it. —Kansas City Star

About the Author

Meng Hao-jan (689-740 C.E.) is generally considered to be one of China’s most important poets, but before now, there has never been an edition of his work in English. Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism was coming to maturity and becoming widely practiced among the intelligentsia of China. Ch’an not only clarified the spiritual ecology of early Taoist thought, it also emphasized the old Taoist idea that deep understanding lies beyond words. In poetry, this gave rise to a much more distilled language, especially in its concise imagism, which opened new inner depths, non-verbal insights, and outright enigma. It was in the work of Meng Hao-jan that this poetic revolution began, a revolution that marked the beginning of Chinese poetry’s first great flowering. He opened the poetic ground that would be cultivated so productively by the great poets that followed, and he was revered by those poets as their esteemed elder, first master of the short imagistic landscape poem.
Translator: David Hinton’s many translations of ancient Chinese poetry have earned wide acclaim for creating compelling contemporary poetry. He is also the first translator in more than a century to translate the four original masterworks of Chinese philosophy: Tao Te Ching, Chuang Tzu, Analects, Mencius. He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as numerous fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1997 he received the Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 81 pages
  • Publisher: Archipelago; First Edition edition (January 5, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972869239
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972869232
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,152,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful collection of beautiful landscape poetry. Most of it is accessible although some is a little obscure. i think David Hinton has done a very good job of translating these poems. These Chinese poems were written in the 8th century A.D. and they are inspired..
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This book is great, spellbinding. I would particularly recommend this to anyone who lives in a city and daydreams about being out hiking. The poet's words instantly transported me to the mountains. The poems are presented simply and speak for themselves. If you have any interest in poetry or writing about the beauty of nature, or questions of human existence, get this book right away. I intend to check out the translator's other collections as well - I had no idea this kind of poetry existed!
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Meng Hao-jan (689-740 C.E.) is one of China's greatest poets during the illustrious T'ang Dynasty. A man who was deeply influenced by Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism and provides unique insights encapsulated by succinct language. Now expertly and deftly translated into English for the first time by David Hinton, the poetry of this esteemed elder in the pantheon of China's greatest poets is readily available and accessible to a grateful and appreciative American readership. Adrift at Wu-ling: Wu-ling's river thinned out, my long-ago/boat glides on into peach-blossom forests//where headwaters harbored such quiet/mystery: immortal families so deep away.//Water meanders, blurs into blue cliffs,/darkens green beneath a crossing cloud.//I sit listening. Idle gibbons cry out, mind/sudden clarity far beyond a world of dust.
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The insights and zen in these poems is very subtle and deep and anybody interested in the inner soul would get a great experience out of this book. The more study you have done the more you would get out of this. If you have no previous zen experience this is a lovely book of nature, kindness, sadness and friends.

The translation which, I assume by his background, is well done, leaves one guessing as he finishes sentences at the start of a new line and uses unusual phrases to substitute for the chinese poetry.

I am delighted to have this book in my collection and it will be one I will pick up and read over and over.
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Wonderful
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