The silk dragon: translations from the Chinese
Arthur Sze has rare qualifications when it comes to translating Chinese: he is an award-winning poet who was raised in both languages. A second-generation Chinese-American, Sze has gathered over 70 poems by poets who have had a profound effect on Chinese culture, American poetics and Sze's own maturation as an artist. Also included is an informative insightful essay on the methods and processes involved in translating ideogrammic poetry.
by Tu Fucan only look out alone at the moon.
From Ch'ang-an I pity my children
who cannot yet remember or understand.
Her hair is damp in the fragrant mist.
Sze's anthology features poets who have become literary icons to generations of Chinese readers and scholars. Included are the poems of the great, rarely translated female poet Li Ching Chao alongside the remorseful exile poems of Su Tung-p'o. This book will prove a necessary and insightful addition to the library of any reader of poetry in translation.
The poets include:
Arthur Sze is the author of six previous books of poetry, including The Redshifting Web and Archipelago. He has received the Asian American Literary Award for his poetry and translation, a prestigious Lannan Literary Award, and was recently a finalist for the Leonore Marshall Poetry Prize. He teaches at the Institute of American Indian Arts.
from A Painting of a Cat
Nan Ch'uan wanted to be reborn as a water buffalo,
The Last Day
Water sobs and sobs in the bamboo pipe gutter.
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SILK DRAGONUser Review - Book Verdict
In this small, select collection of poems, Sze, author of six previous books of poetry and professor of creative writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts in New Mexico, has made accessible to Western readers the works of 18 Chinese poets previously translated into English sparsely, if at all. Among the most valuable aspects of this sensitively crafted collection is the introduction, in which Sze describes, in fascinating detail, his translation process, from the word clusters he creates for each Chinese ideogram to the finished poem. The Silk Dragon (Sze's metaphor for poetry) begins with the timeless poems of T'ao Ch'ien ("Evening dew moistens my clothes;/ but so what if my clothes are wet / I choose not to avoid anything that comes") and moves on to such masters of poetry as Wang Wei, Li Po, and Shen Chou, to name just a few. Toward the end, the reader is introduced to the contemporary poetry of Yen Chen, whose distinctive "party" voice nonetheless reflects his heritage: "The traveling bells ring quick/ like beans jumping in the frying pan." Recommended. Judy Clarence, California State Univ. Lib., Hayward ...
Review: Silk Dragon: Translations from the ChineseUser Review - Joannie - Goodreads
3.5 stars. I really liked how the translator went through a detailed process of how he did each translation: however, I just didn't find them that convincing at times. He sacrifices the flow of the ... Read full review
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