New York: Columbia University Press, 2000. First Printing. Trade Paperback. Used - Good/Very Good. Ex-private library (French Centre for Research on Contemporary China). Stamp to fore edge and to title page. Text block clean and unmarked. Binding tight and square. No creases to spine. Selected bibliography. 13 x 23 cm. 172 pp. Item #13575
Translated by Burton Watson
The T'ang dynasty was the great age of Chinese poetry, and Po Chü-i (772–846) was one of that era's most prolific major poets. His appealing style, marked by deliberate simplicity, won him wide popularity among the Chinese public at large and made him a favorite with readers in Korea and Japan as well. From Po Chü-i's well-preserved corpus—personally compiled and arranged by the poet himself in an edition of seventy-five chapters—the esteemed translator Burton Watson has chosen 128 poems and one short prose piece that exemplify the earthy grace and deceptive simplicity of this master poet.
For Po Chü-i, writing poetry was a way to expose the ills of society and an autobiographical medium to record daily activities, as well as a source of deep personal delight and satisfaction—constituting, along with wine and song, one of the chief joys of existence. Whether exposing the gluttony of arrogant palace attendants during a famine; describing the delights of drunkenly chanting new poems under the autumn moon; depicting the peaceful equanimity that comes with old age; or marveling at cool Zen repose during a heat wave... these masterfully translated poems shine with a precisely crafted artlessness that conveys the subtle delights of Chinese poetry.