One Hundred Poems from the Chinese

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New Directions Publishing, 1956 - Literary Criticism - 159 pages
3 Reviews
The lyric poetry of Tu Fu ranks with the greatest in all world literature. Across the centuries—Tu Fu lived in the T'ang Dynasty (731-770)—his poems come through to us with an immediacy that is breathtaking in Kenneth Rexroth's English versions. They are as simple as they are profound, as delicate as they are beautiful.

Thirty-five poems by Tu Fu make up the first part of this volume. The translator then moves on to the Sung Dynasty (10th-12th centuries) to give us a number of poets of that period, much of whose work was not previously available in English. Mei Yao Ch'en, Su Tung P'o, Lu Yu, Chu Hsi, Hsu Chao, and the poetesses Li Ch'iang Chao and Chu Shu Chen. There is a general introduction, biographical and explanatory notes on the poets and poems, and a bibliography of other translations of Chinese poetry.
 

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User Review  - antiquary - LibraryThing

Rexroth of course is a well-known poet in his own right. This book gives his versions of poems by distinguiahed Chinese writers like Tu Fu and Su T'ung Po and Lu Yu, but also includes less well-known ... Read full review

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Reading this book is like getting punched in the face from a thousand years ago. 100 times.

Contents

By the Winding Raver I
13
A Restless Night in Camp
23
An Excuse for Not Returning a Visit
37
In the Evening I walk by the River
51
The Red Cliff
65
The Purple Peach Tree
78
The Southern Room Over the River
83
Alone in the Night
96
Idleness
109
Get Up at Dawn m
111
THE POETESS CHU SHU CHEN
127
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About the author (1956)

Poet-essayist Kenneth Rexroth (1905-1982) was a high-school dropout, disillusioned ex-Communist, pacifist, anarchist, rock-climber, critic and translator, mentor, Catholic-Buddhist spiritualist and a prominent figure of San Francisco's Beat scene. He is regarded as a central figure of the San Francisco Renaissance and is among the first American poets to explore traditional Japanese forms such as the haiku.

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