New Directions Anthology of Classical Chinese Poetryby Eliot Weinberger, Ezra Pound (Translator), William Carlos Williams (Translator)
A rich compendium of translations, The New Directions Anthology of Classical Chinese Poetry is the first collection to look at Chinese poetry through its enormous influence on American poetry. Weinberger begins with Ezra Pound's Cathay (1915), and includes/i>
A groundbreaking anthology of classical Chinese translations by giants of Modern American poetry.
A rich compendium of translations, The New Directions Anthology of Classical Chinese Poetry is the first collection to look at Chinese poetry through its enormous influence on American poetry. Weinberger begins with Ezra Pound's Cathay (1915), and includes translations by three other major U.S. poetsWilliam Carlos Williams, Kenneth Rexroth, Gary Snyderand an important poet-translator-scholar, David Hinton, all of whom have long been associated with New Directions.
Moreover, it is the first general anthology ever to consider the process of translation by presenting different versions of the same poem by various translators, as well as examples of the translators rewriting themselves. The collection, at once playful and instructive, serves as an excellent introduction to the art and tradition of Chinese poetry, gathering some 250 poems by nearly 40 poets. The anthology also includes previously uncollected translations by Pound; a selection of essays on Chinese poetry by all five translators, some never published before in book form; Lu Chi's famous "Rhymeprose on Literature" translated by Achilles Fang; biographical notes that are a collage of poems and comments by both the American translators and the Chinese poets themselves; and also Weinberger's excellent introduction that historically contextualizes the influence Chinese poetry has had on the work of American poets.
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This anthology of Chinese poetry from New Directions is excellent. The translators include Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, Kenneth Rexroth, Gary Snyder, and David Hinton. Pound and Williams were major shapers of twentieth century American poetry. Rexroth and Snyder were also significant and influential. David Hinton excels as a translator. The accompanying prose pieces illuminate the poems and their significance. Readers interested in Chinese poetry, American poetry, even poetry as such, as well as the process of translating, will profit from this collection. One fine feature is the inclusion of more than one translation of some poems. Being able to read multiple translations loosens the literalism of taking a single translation as "the" translation and opens up the meanings of the poem. I fully expect to wear this book out.