One Hundred More Poems from the Chinese: Love and the Turning Year
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Love and the Turning Year includes a selection from the Yueh Fu—folk songs from the Six Dynasties Period (fourth-fifth centuries A.D.). Most of the songs are simple, erotic lyrics. Some are attributed to legendary courtesans, while others may have been sung at harvest festivals or marriage celebrations. In addition to the folk songs, Rexroth offers a wide sampling of Chinese verse: works by 60 different poets, from the third century to our own time. Rexroth always translated Chinese poetry—as he said—“solely to please myself.” And he created, with remarkable success, English versions which stand as poems in their own right.
An had been prime minister and his grandfather a field marshal. At the fall of the Chin Dynasty he became an important official of the Liu Sung. Although his reputation is based upon his nature poetry, meditative elegiac verse describing mountain hermitages, monasteries, or lonely travel, of a type that would have a great influence on Tu Fu, he was actually the proprietor of an immense estate where his fantastic landscaping—at the expense of hundreds of forced laborers—made him enemies in all the
they are actually truly personal, written after the death of her husband. Her father was a friend of Su Tung P’o. She is China’s greatest poetess, of any period. Wut’ung trees—Sterculia plantanifolia—look like planes or sycamores. Nine-Nine—a day of picnics on hills, chrysanthemum viewing, and outdoor love-making—was originally both a harvest festival and the Autumn Feast of the Dead. “Orchid Boat”—her sex, or specifically her vulva. LI P’IN wrote in the latter half of the ninth century. One of
language and greater sophistication of poetic taste have led to contemporary revaluation. Today Li Shang Yin is considered the greatest T’ang poet after Po Chu I. LIU CH’ANG CH’ING lived in the eighth century. LIU YU HSI lived from 772 to 842. LU CHI (261-303). Author of a famous Ars Poetica, one of the first and best in the Orient. Lu Chi was a military adventurer and courtier who was executed in the Six Dynasty struggles for the throne of Chin. LU KUIE MENG lived in the ninth century. LU
London & New York, 1922. Good. The Temple and Other Poems, Arthur Waley, London & New York, 1923. Excellent. The Lost Flute, French of Franz Toussaint, translated by G. L. Joerissen, London, 1923. Fair. Lotus and Chrysanthemum, anthology, J. L. French, New York, 1927. None too good. Tu Fu, Florence Ayscough, London & Boston, 1929. Excellent. The Jade Mountain (300 Poems of T’ang), Witter Bynner, New York, 1929. Excellent, Bynner’s best verse. Images in Jade, Arthur Christy, New York, 1929.
prosaic, but invaluable and very sound. Fifty Songs from the Yüan, Richard Fu-sen Yang and Charles R. Metzger, London, 1967. An Introduction to Sung Poetry (Yoshikawa K?jir?), Burton Watson, Cambridge, Mass., 1967. Good; very square, modern Japanese taste. The Poetry of Li Shang-yin, James J. Y. Liu, Chicago, 1969. Poems, biography, and elaborate exegesis. Excellent. Cantonese Love Songs, Clementi, Oxford, no date. Very good; as a volume of texts, unique. Flower Shadows, Lee, New York, no