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Poems of the Masters: China's Classic Anthology of T'ang and Sung Dynasty Verse

4.3  ·  Rating Details ·  117 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Bilingual: Chinese/English

Poetry is China’s greatest art, and for the past eight centuries Poems of the Masters has been that country’s most studied and memorized collection of verse. For the first time ever in English, here is the complete text, with an introduction and extensive notes by renowned translator, Red Pine. Over one hundred poets are represented in this biling
Paperback, 480 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Copper Canyon Press
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Short bio for each poet and the poems' more obscure allusions are explained. I will be memorizing some of these.

Some I liked.

Meng Hao-jan (689 - 740)

Sleeping in spring oblivious of dawn
everywhere I hear birds
after the wind and rain last night
I wonder how many petals fell

Li Pai (701–762)

Before my bed the light is so bright
it looks like a layer of frost
lifting my head I gaze at the moon
lying back down I think of home

My white hair extends three miles
the sorrow of parting made it this l
Mar 19, 2016 Letitia is currently reading it
As part of our Chinese curriculum in school we studied (and memorised) a handful of Tang Shi. Some I understood (like 《悯农》), others I now realise I never truly got (like 《春晓》).

Most importantly, I never knew anything about the poets behind the poems, so I find it so valuable that Red Pine has thoughtfully provided background context on events going on in the poets' lives at the time of writing (for example, that 孟浩然 lived a leisurely life that didn't require him to wake before dawn).

Looking forwa
Jun 28, 2014 John rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Red Pine is a masterful translator, one I trust completely. In this attractive volume, each translated poem is displayed opposite the Chinese original, along with background information on the poet and some commentary — much needed, as the poems are often very allusive, and a reader like me, who is not steeped in Chinese poetic conventions, will miss a lot without the commentary's help.

As in other Red Pine translations (His Cold Mountain Poems is my favorite), I appreciate having the Chinese ori
Jul 06, 2015 Nicholas rated it liked it
This anthology of Chinese poetry includes selections from the Tang and Sung dynasties. It is extremely helpful to have a brief overview and background in Chinese poetry from the Tang dynasty when attempting to read The Tale of Genji.
Anne, Unfinished Woman
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May 16, 2013 Featherbooks rated it really liked it
Shelves: china
Red Pine spoke here Sunday night and I enjoyed his description of translation as starting out at a dance and not quite being able to hear the music or find your partner at first and then slowly to began dancing. Lovely.
Mar 28, 2010 George rated it it was amazing
Red Pine is one of our most masterful translators of Chinese poets and hermit monks.
Sep 04, 2011 Marc rated it really liked it
A chinese classic. Brief commentary for every poem.
Another fine set of translations by Red Pine.
Dr. Carl Ludwig Dorsch
Mar 08, 2008 Dr. Carl Ludwig Dorsch rated it really liked it
Shelves: verse

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