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Mountain Home

The Wilderness Poetry of Ancient China

Li Po, Tu Fu and Wang Wei

Translated by David Hinton

Imprint: Anvil Press Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (320 pages)
(Pub. Nov 2007)
Out of Stock
  • Description
  • Authors
  • Awards
  • China’s tradition of rivers-and-mountains poetry is the earliest and most extensive literary engagement with the idea of wilderness. David Hinton traces the tradition in his concise introductions to the nineteen poets featured here, who included virtually all of ancient China’s greatest poets, from the 5th century AD to the Sung Dynasty (13th century AD). His selection treats a remarkable range of topics: comic domestic scenes, social protest, travelogue, reclusive sages, and mountain landscapes shaped into forms of enlightenment. Throughout, these poems articulate the experience of living as an organic part of the natural world and its processes; they feel truly contemporary.

    Li Po
    Li Po (701–762) wrote over 1,000 poems. He left home at 19 to live with a Taoist hermit. After some wanderings, a marriage and a brief spell as a T’ang court poet, he returned to a life of Taoist study and poetry. He was later imprisoned when a prince, in whose ... read more
    Tu Fu
    Tu Fu (712–770) hoped to become a career civil servant but failed the examinations. He met Li Po in 744, an influential friendship for him although the poets met again only once. He held some official positions but the whole country was disrupted by the An Lushan Rebellion of 755, and ... read more
    Wang Wei
    Wang Wei (699–759) took first place in the civil service examinations in 721. His many gifts included calligraphy, music and painting: some of his paintings have survived in copies. His wife died when he was 30 and he divided his time between his Ch’ang-an estate and government service. After his mother’s ... read more
    David Hinton
    David Hinton studied Chinese at Cornell University. His many translations of ancient Chinese poetry have earned wide acclaim for creating compelling English poetry that conveys the texture and density of the originals. He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as numerous fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts ... read more
    Awards won by Wang Wei Winner, 2007 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation (The Selected Poems of Wang Wei)
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