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Five T'Ang Poets

4.31  ·  Rating Details ·  133 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
The selections from these five poets constitute some of the greatest lyric poetry ever written. Each poet is introduced by the translator, David Young, and represented by a selection that spans the poet's development and career.
Paperback, 184 pages
Published October 8th 1990 by Oberlin (first published November 28th 1980)
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Oct 27, 2009 Ben rated it really liked it
I sit with my wine jar
among flowers
blossoming trees

no one to drink with

well, there's the moon
-Li Po
Dayna Smith
Nov 12, 2011 Dayna Smith rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This is an excellent representation of five famous Chinese poets: Wang Wei, Li Po, Tu Fu, Li Ho, Li Shang-Yin. None of these poets specialize in haiku, this is real Chinese poetry beautifully translated. A wonderful introduction to these five great artists.
Oct 27, 2009 John rated it it was amazing
This re-iinspired a love of poetry in me. I cannot praise these poets too hightly!
Sep 04, 2011 Marc rated it really liked it
Solid intro. Great heart.
Miles McCoy
Nov 15, 2011 Miles McCoy rated it it was amazing
Some of the most eloquent, moving, and beautiful poetry I've ever read.
Jan 15, 2010 Creighton rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Another bookful of cool wet moonlight.
Sep 01, 2008 Dave rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Krystal
Every now and then one discovers something entirely new to himself that resonates, e.g., a work of music, an author, etc. This book of ancient Chinese poetry was such a find for me.

The poems of Wang Wei, Li Po, and Tu Fu, in particular, resonated with my love of nature. I think they were particularly poignant in view of the fact that I am currently reading an anthrology of American environmental writings; Wang Wei, although writing around 700 C.E. would have fit into this anthology well. He mig
Barnaby Thieme
May 03, 2015 Barnaby Thieme rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, china
An assortment of poems from the T'ang dynasty, including verse from Tu Fu and Li Ho, two of the most celebrated poets in Chinese history. These translations are among the most beautiful and deeply-felt translations from Chinese that I've ever read, and this slender volume makes a superb introduction or digression into one of the great golden ages of literature the world has known. Very highly recommended.
David Sam
Jul 01, 2010 David Sam rated it it was amazing
Poetry is that which cannot be translated, especially when going from Chinese to English. Still, Young does a fine job of suggesting the poetry of the originals and this is well worth reading, especially if you like Imagist poetry.
Jan 17, 2013 Eric rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Very fine translations.
Caitlin White
Sep 19, 2012 Caitlin White rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
stunning. a savior of a book.
Jan 13, 2017 Allison rated it liked it
I should preface my review by admitting I'm not at all familiar with other translations of these poets. That being said, in general, I found myself in-want reading through Young's translations of these Chinese poets. Ancient Chinese poetry is rather new to me, and for that reason, I really appreciated Young's pretty in-depth introduction to each poet, and to the collection as a whole. Admittedly a very difficult feat, often the translations felt lacking, bent toward a more contemporary diction ( ...more
Will Cowen
Mar 09, 2017 Will Cowen rated it really liked it
Unfortunately the author ends with the weaker poets, in my estimation, or perhaps they are excellent in the Chinese but not really accessible in translation. Of course, this is very subjective, and for others this might be a very appropriate or exciting way to end this volume. For me it was a bit of a let down.
Jun 23, 2015 GiGi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Really enjoyable collection. The poems on their own are powerful, touching, and hauntingly beautiful. As an added bonus, the author's introductions allow for greater understanding and offer a lot of helpful insight into each poet's work.
Nov 30, 2012 Carol marked it as to-read
I registered a book at!
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Wang Wei (simplified Chinese: 王维; traditional Chinese: 王維; pinyin: Wáng Wéi; 699–759) and also known by other names such as Wang Youcheng, was a Tang dynasty Chinese poet, musician, painter, and statesman. He was one of the most famous men of arts and letters of his time. Many of his poems are preserved, and twenty-nine were included in the highly influential 18th century anthology Three Hundred T ...more
More about Wang Wei...

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“Time of meeting,
time of parting,
winds fade and
flowers wait.

Time drug until we met,
even more in parting,
Spring winds fade,
but the flowers are waiting.”
More quotes…