Unmatched in scope and literary quality, The Anchor Book of Chinese Poetry spans three thousand years, bringing together more than six hundred poems by more than one hundred thirty poets, in translations–many new and exclusive to the book–by an array of distinguished translators.
Here is the grand sweep of Chinese poetry, from the Book of Songs–ancient folk songs said to have been collected by Confucius himself–and Laozi’s Dao De Jing to the vividly pictorial verse of Wang Wei, the romanticism of Li Po, the technical brilliance of Tu Fu, and all the way up to the twentieth-century poetry of Mao Zedong and the post—Cultural Revolution verse of the Misty poets. Encompassing the spiritual, philosophical, political, mystical, and erotic strains that have emerged over millennia, this broadly representative selection also includes a preface on the art of translation, a general introduction to Chinese poetic form, biographical headnotes for each of the poets, and concise essays on the dynasties that structure the book. A landmark anthology, The Anchor Book of Chinese Poetry captures with impressive range and depth the essence of China’s illustrious poetic tradition.
This small book accounts for most of Chinese poetry, from the 12th century B.C.E. to the present. Some 40 pages are devoted to an excellent description of Chinese prosody, although some discussion of ancient meter will be lost on those who do not know Chinese. Helpful indexes and tables give the alternate spellings in different transliteration systems (Tu Fu is Du Fu; Mao Tse-tung is Mao Zedong). The chronologically sequenced translations begin with the Zhou dynasty (1122-256 B.C.E.) and continue through the present, with each dynasty and poet introduced with historical background and biographies. More than 1000 poems by 125 poets are included. Many of the poems are translated by editors Barnstone (creative writing & American literature, Whittier Coll.) and Ping (Coll. of Wooster), with others by well-known translators such as Mabel Lee and Burton Watson, as well as earlier translators Willis Barnstone and Arthur Waley. This monumental work should be in all public and academic libraries.-Kitty Chen Dean, Nassau Coll., Garden City, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.