Laughing Lost in the Mountains

Laughing Lost in the Mountains

Poems of Wang Wei

Book - 1991
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Baker & Taylor
A selection of poems by an eighth-century Chinese poet includes extensive notes on the life of the poet and his style of writing

University Press of New England
Fine contemporary translations of one of the great poets of the T'ang dynasty.

Blackwell North Amer
The largest selection from the work of Wang Wei (circa 699-761), one of the finest poets in China's long literary history, is offered here in accessible and definitive translations. Wang Wei is among the three most important Chinese poets (with Li Po and Tu Fu) and wrote during the Tang Dynasty, the pinnacle of Chinese literary achievement. Though widely known to Western readers, his work has never before been presented in such a comprehensive volume in English. The 171 poems here may be read with pleasure by the general reader and scholar alike, for the distinguished translators succeed in making the pieces work poetically in modern English while still retaining their ecstasy of stillness and quiet lucidity. A critical introduction provides helpful background and compares Wang Wei to mystical poets in other cultures; extensive endnotes permit deeper appreciation of the works.
Wang Wei was a talented musician, painter, and poet who served in various official posts throughout his life, at times suffering banishment and even imprisonment as he came in or out of favor. During frequent retreats to his country estate on the Wang River, he sought the "reality of disengagement and the study of nonbeing and illumination," write the Barnstones. A devout Buddhist, he wrote "poems of eremitic seclusion" in which the empty mountain, rain, clouds, and other aspects of nature form a literary landscape painting rich with meaning. The poet is "invisibly present and intensely personal" in poems on grief, friendship, loneliness, reverie, exile, and aging. Without being theological, he evokes key notions of Buddhism and Taoism in these exquisitely rendered translations that shimmer with beauty and quietude.

Publisher: Hanover, N.H. : University Press of New England, c1991
ISBN: 9780874515633
Branch Call Number: 895.113 WAN
Characteristics: lxx, 174 p. : ill. ; 24 cm


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