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Mountain Home: The Wilderness Poetry of Ancient China

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4.41  ·  Rating details ·  104 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
The earliest and most extensive literary engagement with wilderness in human history, Mountain Home is vital poetry that feels utterly contemporary. China's tradition of "rivers-and-mountains" poetry stretches across millennia. This is a plain-spoken poetry of immediate day-to-day experience, and yet seems most akin to China's grand landscape paintings. Although its wisdom ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 17th 2005 by New Directions (first published 2002)
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Patricia
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Not a book that I have finished, but a life book . . .
Hinton's introduction is helpful on key ideas and conveying a sense of what reading in the original must be like.

Tu Fu is my favorite this time through.

Facing Night
Outside a lone city, our river village rests
among confusions of tumbling streams.

Deep mounts hurry brief winter light
here. Tall trees calming bottomless wind,

cranes glide in to mist-silvered shadows,
and hens nestle into thatch roofs. Tonight,

lamplight scattered across ch'in and bo
...more
Jennifer
Aug 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gems
Although I am a voracious reader, I never have been drawn to poetry. It has always felt like too much work and in the end irrelevant to me. But having heard a podcast with David Hinton about this collection and having read many of the poems in this book, I see a new possibility, a poetry that is of the every day, of nature, of thoughts and concerns that I too share. I sometimes stare out the window and wonder what the clouds see or what the birds are laughing about or how the moon can still take ...more
Eadweard
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Meng Chiao's "Laments of the Gorges" has to be one of the best and most bizarre/surrealistic chinese poems ever written.





Content:

BEGINNINGS (5th Century C.E.)
Tao Ch’ien (365–427)
Hsieh Ling-yun (385–433)

T'ANG DYNASTY (618–907)
Meng Hao-jan (689–740)
Wang Wei (701–761)
Li Po (701–762)
Tu Fu (712–770)
Wei Ying-wu (c. 737–792)
Han Shan (c. 7th–9th centuries)
Meng Chiao (751–814)
Liu Tsung-yuan (773–819)
Po Chu-i (772–846)
Chia Tao (779–843)
Tu Mu (803–853)

SUNG DYNASTY (960–1279)
Mei Yao-ch’en (1002–1060)
Wang An
...more
Jim Coughenour
Oct 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chinesepoetry
In the past, I've been slow to warm to Hinton, preferring earlier masters of translation like Burton Watson, David Young and A. C. Graham. I'm especially fond of Kenneth Rexroth's mid-20th-century translations.

After a few months with Hinton, I've fallen under his spell. Chinese poetry, which I can only read in translation, is the closest thing I have to a sacred text – it's what I turn to when I'm down, or when I want to be taken to a completely different geography of mind. This is a rich collec
...more
Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore
Sep 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Finally, for me, translations of Chinese poetry that really bring it alive, though Red Pine's are also amazing and truly heart-cutting and brain brightening. But these translations bring out aspects of depth and imaginal light that I hadn't felt and noted before... Translations of our time, for sure. It's perfect for reading here and there, like stepping a gushing river or a sweet burbling stream on stones or small bridges.
Edward Rathke
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
How much you enjoy these poems will probably reflect more on you than the poetry itself. Simply put: a thousand years of wilderness poetry with either strike you or it won't.

If poems about nature do nothing for you, don't worry, but don't read this. If you enjoy poems about the moon, mountains, and rivers, then pick this up. If you like one of these poems, you'll probably like all of them. But, at the same time, you may grow tired of rivers and mountains.

Appreciation of these poems will vary wil
...more
Jason
Jun 24, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I was in my 20's and lived in Berkeley with a bunch of friends, we started reading ancient Chinese poetry, especially Li Po and Tu Fu. A lot of their poems are about visits with old friends, drinking wine, and looking at the moon -- timeless stuff.

I definitely recommend David Hinton's collections of Li Po and Tu Fu, but this broader collection (like a lot of anthologies) is somewhat hit or miss. Many of these poets are amazing and I found myself dog-earring dozens of pages with poems I lov
...more
John Pappas
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
David Hinton's newly translated collection of classical Chinese poets is revelatory. Spare, limpid poems framed with comprehensive biographical, aesthetic, philosophical, cultural and historical notes that are not only well-presented, but actually fun to read. Still, the real star here is Hinton's preternatural ability to translate these thousand year old poems, preserving their beauty and clarity.
Peter
Jul 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
An excellent collection of mountain and river poetry of China from the fourth through 13th century. The brief biographies and introduction to the book are very good. Since the translations are done by one person the vocabulary tends to be a bit repetitive, inevitable perhaps. See also "The White Pony" also an anthology to compare translations and biographies. As I have no Chinese language I am completely dependent on others translations such as the many available of 'Cold Mountain' etc.
Arthur Rosenfeld
Oct 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If I could only keep ten books, this one would be one of them.
Trishuwa Trishuwa
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
By my bed. For those of us, and I am such a person, who love the earth, mountains, rivers, the wild it speaks to the heart.
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“Dharma companions filling mountains, a sangha forms of itself: chanting, sitting ch’an stillness. Looking out from distant city walls, people see only white clouds.” 0 likes
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