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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 ...
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 Fu
This evening in Fu-chou my wife
From Ch'ang-an I pity my children
who cannot yet remember or understand.
Her hair is damp in the fragrant mist.
Her arms are cold in the clear light.
When will we lean beside the window
and the moon shine on our dried tears?
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,
but who did the body of the malicious cat become?
Black clouds and covering snow are alike.
It took thirty years for clouds to disperse, snow to melt.
The Last Day
Water sobs and sobs in the bamboo pipe gutter.
Green tongues of banana leaves lick at the windowpanes.
The four sur
|Drinking Wine (I)||13|
|Drinking Wine (II)||14|
|Drinking Wine (III)||15|
|Returning to Fields and Gardens (I)||16|
|Returning to Fields and Gardens (II)||17|
|Song of Liang-chou||18|
|Sending Off Mr. Yuan||24|
|Drinking Alone with the Moon||25|
|Song of Ch'ang-kan||26|
|To the Tune of "Clear Happiness"||30|
|Return to Chiang Village||31|
|Night at the Tower||33|
|Thoughts on a Night Journey||35|
|A Question Addressed to Mr. Liu||36|
|Snow on the River||37|
|Song of the Collator's Sword in the Spring Bureau||40|
|Anchored at Ch'in-huai River||43|
|Easing My Heart||44|
|The Brocade Zither||45|
|The Lo-yu Tombs||48|
|On a Rainy Night, Lines to Be Sent North||49|
|To the Tune of "Meeting Happiness"||50|
|To the Tune of "Joy in the Oriole's Flight"||51|
|To the Tune of "Intoxicated in the Shadows of Flowers"||53|
|To the Tune of "Telling My Most Intimate Feelings"||54|
|To the Tune of "Plum Blossoms in the Breeze": Evening Bell at a Misty Temple||55|
|To the Tune of "Sailing at Night" (I)||56|
|To the Tune of "Sailing at Night" (II)||57|
|To the Tune of "Sky-clear Sand": Autumn Thoughts||58|
|Inscribed on a Painting||59|
|From a Painting of a Cat||62|
|Inscription for a Painting||63|
|Bright Light and Cloud Shadows||64|
|The Last Day||72|
|The Plum Hint||74|
|On the Willow Bank||76|
|Notes to Poems||81|
|About the Translator||89|