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The Mountain Poems of Meng Hao-jan

by

Translated from by

Published: February 2004

$9.99$11.20

ISBN: 9780972869232 eISBN: 9781935744092
    ebook (pdf)

    ebook (ePub)

    Paperback

Hinton’s music is subtle, modulated, and does not slacken with either contemporary or classic. He has listened to the individual tone of each poet, and his craft is equal to his perception…He continues to enlarge our literary horizon. And the ‘range of pleasure’ his translations afford ‘as sight, sound, and intellection,’ proves them true poems. Poems that breathe another culture into our English.
The Academy of American Poets

Book Description

The first full flowering of Chinese poetry occurred in the illustrious T’ang Dynasty, and at the beginning of this renaissance stands Meng Hao-jan (689-740 C.E.), esteemed elder to a long line of China’s greatest poets. Deeply influenced by Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism, Meng was the first to make poetry from the Ch’an insight that deep understanding lies beyond words. The result was a strikingly distilled language that opened new inner depths, non-verbal insights, and outright enigma. This made Meng Hao-jan China’s first master of the short imagistic landscape poem that came to typify ancient Chinese poetry. As a lifelong intimacy with mountains dominates Meng’s work, such innovative poetics made him a preeminent figure in the wilderness (literally rivers-and-mountains) tradition, which is at the very heart of Chinese poetry.

 

This is the first English translation devoted to the work of Meng Hao-jan. Meng’s poetic descendents revered the wisdom he cultivated as a mountain recluse, and now we too can witness the sagacity they considered almost indistinguishable from that of rivers and mountains themselves.

Hinton’s music is subtle, modulated, and does not slacken with either contemporary or classic. He has listened to the individual tone of each poet, and his craft is equal to his perception...He continues to enlarge our literary horizon. And the 'range of pleasure' his translations afford 'as sight, sound, and intellection,' proves them true poems. Poems that breathe another culture into our English.

The Academy of American Poets


These are poems of great serenity, great satisfaction, great joy. The Mountain Poems of Meng Hao-Jan can be read in an evening, revisited for a lifetime. Find time for it.

Kansas City Star


Our friend Chiping wrote out the last poem of the book, “Spring Dawn,” for us, with a pronunciation guide. The original Chinese has only twenty characters and is strictly rhymed at the ends of the lines. Thanks, Chiping!

 

Spring Dawn
by Meng Hao-jan

 

Meng Hao-jan Poem - SPRING DAWN2

 

 

Read a poem Wang Wei wrote in honor of Meng Hao-jan:

Mourning Meng Hao-jan

 

My dear friend nowhere in sight,
this Han River keeps flowing east.

Now, if I look for old masters here,
I find empty rivers and mountains.

 

 

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