Like Water or Clouds

Like Water or Clouds

by A. S. Kline

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Overview

Classical Chinese culture was inextricably linked to the three distinct but complementary approaches to life and thought enshrined in Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. Though each later developed the rituals and trappings of a religion, all three began as exemplary ways of living in a world without personal deity. The three greatest Chinese Classical poets, Li Po (Li Bai), Wang Wei, and Tu Fu (Du Fu) lived under the T'ang dynasty during the 8th century AD, and each aligns with one of the three ways of life. Li Po exemplifies Taoist spontaneity and vivacity, Wang Wei was attuned to the Buddhist apprehension of impermanence and the need to eliminate undue clinging to being, while Tu Fu followed Confucius in his engagement with society, his sense of responsibility, and his humanistic tendency.

'Like Water or Clouds' presents a brief history of the T'ang dynasty, interwoven with biographies of the three poets, new translations of many of their major poems, and an explanation and discussion of the three ways of life. The indebtedness of all three poets to the view of the natural world represented by Taoism, China's indigenous mode and most pervasive cultural expression, is a constant theme, one most beautifully captured in the wealth of painting of natural subjects during the T'ang and later dynasties.

The present work is offered not merely as a description of Classical China's greatest poetic age, and the profound contemplation of life found there, but as an initial approach for the modern reader to ways of thought which continue to provide inspiration as to how we might live and approach life in a scientific age, and in an intentionless universe.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940159060037
Publisher: Poetry in Translation
Publication date: 03/28/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Anthony Kline lives in England. He graduated in Mathematics from the University of Manchester, and was Chief Information Officer (Systems Director) of a large UK Company, before dedicating himself to his literary work and interests. He was born in 1947. His work consists of translations of poetry; critical works, biographical history with poetry as a central theme; and his own original poetry. He has translated into English from Latin, Ancient Greek, Classical Chinese and the European languages. He also maintains a deep interest in developments in Mathematics and the Sciences.

He continues to write predominantly for the Internet, making all works available in download format, with an added focus on the rapidly developing area of electronic books. His most extensive works are complete translations of Ovid's Metamorphoses and Dante's Divine Comedy.

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