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Cold Mountain Poems: Zen Poems of Han Shan, Shih Te, and Wang Fan-chih
     

Cold Mountain Poems: Zen Poems of Han Shan, Shih Te, and Wang Fan-chih

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by Han Shan, J. P. Seaton
 

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The incomparable poetry of Han Shan (Cold Mountain) and his sidekick Shih Te, the rebel poets who became icons of Chinese poetry and Zen, has long captured the imagination of poetry lovers and Zen aficionados. Popularized in the West by Beat Generation writers Gary Snyder and Jack Kerouac, these legendary T’ang era (618–907) figures are portrayed as the

Overview

The incomparable poetry of Han Shan (Cold Mountain) and his sidekick Shih Te, the rebel poets who became icons of Chinese poetry and Zen, has long captured the imagination of poetry lovers and Zen aficionados. Popularized in the West by Beat Generation writers Gary Snyder and Jack Kerouac, these legendary T’ang era (618–907) figures are portrayed as the laughing, ragged pair who left their poetry on stones, trees, farmhouses, and the walls of the monasteries they visited. Their poetry expressed in the simplest verse but in a completely new tone, the voice of ordinary people.

Here premier translator J. P. Seaton takes a fresh look at these captivating poets, along with Wang Fan-chih, another "outsider" poet who lived a couple centuries later and who captured the poverty and gritty day-to-day reality of the common people of his time. Seaton’s comprehensive introduction and notes throughout give a fascinating context to this vibrant collection.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780834821873
Publisher:
Shambhala
Publication date:
07/21/2009
Series:
Shambhala Library
Sold by:
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
1,175,351
File size:
304 KB

Read an Excerpt


From Part One: Cold Mountain

XXXVII
Some folks point to the sharp-tanged spring-tree
and claim it’s the fragrant, sacred sandalwood . . .
As grains of sand are the multitudes
who’ve sought the way like this.
They’ve tried to lead the Way so too.
How many, though, of any of these
have ever reached nirvana?
They throw out the gold and haul away the straw.
But fooling other folks, they’ve fooled themselves.
On a pathway made of sand,
it’s hard to make a mud ball.
—Han Shan

From Part Two: The Foundling's Poems

III
I’ve always been Shih Te, the Foundling.
It’s not some accidental title.
Yet I’m not without a family.
Han Shan’s my brother.
Two men with hearts a lot alike.
No need for vulgar love.
If you want to know how old we are . . .
like the Yellow River, that’s unclear.
—Shih Te

From Part Three: Cold City Streets

XVII
When I move, the city walls move too.
When I nap, I’m sure, the walls stand firm.
But when I die, the walls will all come tumbling
down.
And all you folks will be in danger.
—Wang Fan-chih

Meet the Author

J. P. Seaton is Professor of Chinese at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is the translator of numerous books including The Poetry of Zen and The Shambhala Anthology of Chinese Poetry; his translations have been widely anthologized in such books as The Norton Anthology of World Poetry and The Vintage Book of Contemporary World Poetry.

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Cold Mountain Poems: Zen Poems of Han Shan, Shih-Te, and Wang Fan-Chih 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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