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Finding Them Gone: Visiting China's Poets of the Past
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Finding Them Gone: Visiting China's Poets of the Past

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  36 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
"A travel writer with a cult following."—The New York Times

"There are very few westerners who could successfully cover so much territory in China, but Porter pulls it off. Finding Them Gone uniquely draws upon his parallel careers as a translator and a travel writer in ways that his previous books have not. A lifetime devoted to understanding Chinese culture and spiritual
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Paperback, 398 pages
Published January 26th 2016 by Copper Canyon Press (first published November 10th 2015)
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Adrielle Stapleton
Jul 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-harder-2017
This book was hard work for me. For the 2017 Read Harder challenge I was looking for an anthology of poetry in translation that was not about love. I picked this book because it offered a selection of Chinese poems with some comments about each author's historical or geographical context.

What I liked about the book was getting a sampling of Chinese poetry. I learned that poetry was a skill required of aspiring bureaucrats, and many bureacrats were banished to far off provinces. So, they wrote o
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Christopher Taylor
Feb 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is a hybrid – travel and translation and biography – as Bill Porter takes the reader on a trip around China – by train, taxi, bus and foot – visiting sites linked to famous Chinese poets. The narrative is sprinkled with biographical fragments (his and theirs), descriptions of landscapes and cityscapes and incidental encounters, offerings of bourbon and translations of poetry.

The book is long and the number of poets named and honoured is perhaps too many – more about less might have be
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Doug
Aug 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Cheers to Bill Porter for such pilgrimages -- traveling around China, visting poets' graves and memorial halls, hermitages and quarters of cities where they once lived. He converses with the locals who often know of the poet he is looking for, leading to a delightful comment along the lines of 'Image going around Camden and asking the people where Whitman is buried'.

He mixes poems with travelogue, and his translations to English are not clunkers, noting aside that a friend taught him that when t
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