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The Collected Songs Of Cold Mountain

4.39  ·  Rating Details  ·  458 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Here, for the first time in English, are the collected songs of Cold Mountain. These superb translations by Red Pine capture the flavor and vernacular of the original Chinese which is presented en face. The noted Oriental scholar John Blofeld has contributed an introduction which not only places Cold Mountain in his proper milieu, but provides the reader with useful histor ...more
Published December 31st 1983 by Copper Canyon Press (first published 1983)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,133)
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Jan 22, 2011 Rodney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Bill Porter’s a terrific translator: direct, down-to-earth, and clearly in sympathy with the culture and attitude of his subject, one of the Tang “mountain men” who left the mandarin comforts of the capitals for a more austere and anonymous life in the wilds of southeast China. Porter’s own experience as a Columbia grad school dropout who cut out for a Buddhist monastery, then wound up in the wilds of northwest USAmerica, has to be part of the reason for his artfully plainspoken translations. Th ...more
Not my favorite chinese poet, he's a bit too preachy for me, too buddhist, some poems were pretty good though.

The notes by the translator are excellent, he explains some of the references and allusions that are featured in the poems (prepare for a lot of buddhist theology).
Mar 04, 2013 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zen, poetry

This is a beautiful book of Zen poetry by the legendary "Cold Mountain" a wandering Zen Poet from China. The book was translated by Red Pine, and he includes information about Hanshan and commentary on his poems. I wrote a full review at Epinions when I finished this book. It is one I like to re read often, I love Zen poetry.

Hanshan The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain

In 1958 Jack Kerouac dedicated his book "Dharma Bums" to Han-Shan (Cold Mountain), and in that same year Gary Snyder published his book of poems, "Cold Mountain." While the Chinese didn't find his poems that important, the early beats and others have, and so since then a few more translations of his poems have been published, and I am inundated with them.

While This was my first introduction to Cold Mountain's poems I found that I liked the Introduction by John Blofeld best, and after that the l
Mar 02, 2016 n rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I couldn't get through this. the translated poems were beyond dry. there was absolutely no attempt to retain any flow or rhythm or any imagery. this is going to be one of the collections I use as an example of why it's important to be good at writing prose if you plan to translate prose.

translation is more than just directly translating words. you need to try your best to translate the the existence of meter, the imagery, the metaphors, the between-the-lines messages, the emotions. translation w
Ivan Granger
Jun 02, 2012 Ivan Granger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, buddhism
Han Shan (Cold Mountain) is one of the great figures of Chinese Ch’an/Taoist poetry, playful, cantankerous, rich with insight. There are several other good English renderings of his work, including by Gary Snyder. But in my mind this collection by Red Pine is the authoritative English version. The whole collection is here, along with the poetry of Han Shan’s companions, Feng-kan and Shih-te.
Jan 08, 2009 Miles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
born 730 AD this guys wrote much of his poetry on rocks and trees. It's hard to find good translations of chinese poetry but this is one of them
very unpretentious
Didn't like these as much as I expected to. Repetitive and, well, a bit preachy.
Nov 17, 2014 Umut rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Cold Mountain Road is strange
no tracks of cart or horse
hard to recall which merging stream
or tell which piled-up ridge
a myriad plants weep with dew
the pines all sigh the same
here where the trail disappears
from asks shadow where to
Mar 25, 2008 Matimate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, 2008
Actually, I read the translation of this book in my native language. I was pointed to Shan Han from Jack Kerouac’s Dharma Bums. I was surprised how the poetry was clearly written without any spare words. The directness of the poetry was very refreshing and short poems urged reader to think about them and they brought the pictures of the country or events from which Shan Han took an inspiration. The hermit from eight century managed to overcome his shadow and made his words heard. Li Po a Tu Fu s ...more
bibliotekker Holman
A great collection of thoughtful translations of poems with explanatory footnotes set beside the original Chinese. I'll be revisiting these again. It is hard to really comment more until I've read them again
Danielle Hess
Dec 13, 2015 Danielle Hess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite poets.
Tae Won
I wanner Han Shan's teaching.
Jun 09, 2016 Iain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superb edition – elegantly presented, tactfully annotated, a pleasure to read. As for the poems, I can't do them justice here. From the prosaic realities of mountain life to the struggle to see one's true spiritual nature, these verses are by turns insightful, inspiring and even funny.
Jan 13, 2008 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Han-shan, or Cold Mountain, was an impoverished monk who lived in a cliff-side cave and wrote his poems on the rocks surrounding it. His companions, Big Stick and Pickup, were always testing Taoist and Buddhist limits. I especially enjoyed Han-shan's use of the 8-line traditional poem of 5 figures, which I know from my translations, with Nguyen Do, of the ancient Vietnamese poet Nguyen Trai, 1380-1442.
Randal Samstag
Oct 27, 2012 Randal Samstag rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of Bill Porter's early efforts in a stunning career of translating Buddhist classics and classics of Chinese poetry. Han Shan had been partially translated before by Burton Watson and Gary Snyder. Bill's effort here is superb. A special treat is the forward by the wonderful Buddhism scholar / wild man, John Blofeld.
Dec 31, 2013 Shinji007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, buddhism
There was way too much in-depth Buddhism in some of the poetry for me. It is not something I would just pick up for fun reading that is for sure.
Aug 22, 2007 Jenn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"People say cares never depart
a saying I thought was untrue
but yesterday what I drove off
entangles me today once more
the months depart but cares remain
and a new year means new cares
who would guess beneath the big hat
is someone plagued by old cares"

Jun 17, 2012 Frankie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Poetry is the only written word worth keeping; the rest should be shared and recycled among our lovers, brothers and sisters and children. Some of the my favorite lines from the stonewriting hermit...long may these words live and long may we live by.
May 03, 2010 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent collection, decent translation notes... it's fun to imagine these poems as they were originally written, on stones, on trees, in inaccessible valleys.
Feb 04, 2015 Artie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hot babes
Shelves: poetry, china
Best Chinese Buddhist/Daoist poetry around. The Red Pine translations are pretty sweet. He even throws in some Shih-Te and Feng Kang poems to boot.
Feb 08, 2009 Kristin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
what's more awesome than poetry written by a zen lunatic on the walls of caves? that's right... not much. hahaha... pick this up.
Hayfa AlNuwaiser
Apr 13, 2013 Hayfa AlNuwaiser rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
A beautiful story with a wonderful imagination and visualization, this is one of my book that I'm happy I read it
Matt Reese
Nov 29, 2012 Matt Reese rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Transported me away to an ancient time. Han Shan rules. The humor is perfect and strikes home in many ways.
Oct 19, 2007 Justin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cold Mountain makes the hermit life sexy. These poems rival anything by Li Po or Tu Fu.
Aug 01, 2007 Jenni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translations
Very cool. Has the original on the opposite page and excellent footnotes.
Secret Gril
Jun 08, 2016 Secret Gril rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

It is a good book , I highly recommend it
Jeff Davis
Oct 20, 2013 Jeff Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fine edition of the great Tang Dynasty Chinese poet.
Jul 01, 2009 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some may say reviewing a book of poems that was released almost ten years ago is being a bit behind the ball. It is. I wish I had found The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain, by translator Red Pine, years earlier. However, as is the case with poetry, and especially with translations, they aren’t going away quickly like the latest trendy novel. In this case, the wonderful poems of Chinese-born Cold Mountain, which have already been around for twelve hundred years , have aged like the finest of win ...more
Mohd Islam
Mohd Islam rated it it was amazing
Jul 24, 2016
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