The Late Poems of Wang An-Shih

The Late Poems of Wang An-Shih

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A selection of poems by the ancient Chinese poet and statesman Wang Ah-Shih, translated by David Hinton.

Wang An-shih (1021-1086 C.E.) was a remarkable figure—not only one of the great Sung Dynasty poets, but also the most influential and controversial statesman of his time. Although Wang had little interest in the grandeur of high office and political power, he took the responsibility of serving the people seriously. He rose to become prime minister, and in this position he instituted a controversial system of radically egalitarian social reforms to improve the lives of China’s peasants. Once those reforms were securely in place, Wang retired to a reclusive life of artistic and spiritual self-cultivation.

It was after his retirement, practicing Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism and wandering the mountains around his home, that Wang An-shih wrote the poems that made his reputation. Short and plainspoken, these late poems contain profound multitudes–the passing of time, rivers and mountains, silence and Buddhist emptiness. They won him wide acclaim in China and beyond across the centuries. And in Hinton's breathtaking translations, Wang feels like a major contemporary poet with deep ecological insight and a questioning spirit.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780811222631
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 03/17/2015
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 600,877
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Wang An-Shih was a Chinese economist, statesman, chancellor and poet of the Song Dynasty.

DAVID HINTON’s original Selected Poems of Tu Fu was the first full-length verse translation of Tu Fu published in America. The author also of singular books of essays and poetry, Hinton has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, numerous N.E.A. and N.E.H fellowships, both major awards given for poetry translation in the United States, and a lifetime achievement award by The American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Table of Contents

Introduction xiii

Middle years 3

Sent to a Monk 3

Written on a Wall at the Monastery Where I've Stayed… 4

Sitting Still on a Spring Day 4

Visiting River-Serene 5

Written on a Wall at Samadhi-Forest Monastery 5

Steady-Shield Monastery 6

Thinking of a Dream 7

Wandering Bell Mountain 7

Written on a Window at Samadhi-Forest Monastery 8

I rollick 8

Here, Now 9

Autumn Night 10

Who's infusing 11

Here at Bell Mountain 11

Accord All-Gather Comes Through Snow to Visit 12

Following thoughts 12

Here at River-Serene 13

East Ridge 13

Wandering Out with a Full Moon to Eightfold-Integrity River 14

In My Words-Bright Library at Samadhi-Forest Monastery 15

East River 15

Self-Portrait 16

Self-Portrait 16

Death of My Horse 17

In bamboo forest 17

A Lone Kindred-Tree 18

Sent to Candor-Sky 19

At Manifest-Tao Spring 19

Across a thousand 20

Flourish Time-worn and I Wander Beguiled and Never Meet 20

Dream 21

Inviting Integrity-Met to Visit 21

Returning Home from Bell Mountain at Dusk, Sent to a Monk 22

Talking with Manifest Sky-Ascent 23

Early Autumn 23

At the Shrine-Tower of Ch'an Master Lumen-Serene 24

Pondering My Host at Orchid-Gift Creek 24

Following the Rhymes of Pattern-Unraveled's Poem … 25

Golden-Tomb City 26

Song for Grain 26

At the Palace Gardens in River-Serene, Sent to Origin-Across 27

In Jest on Bell Mountain, Given to adept Gather-Grain 28

River 28

Five willows 29

Sent to Jewel-Awake 29

Sent to Assistant Magistrate Guide-Bell 30

Sent to Abbot Whole-Quiet 30

Thinking of Golden-Tomb City Long Ago 31

Parting in River-Serene 33

On a Farewell Journey to Send off Mend-Source … 33

Climbing Up to Treasure-Master's Grave-Shrine 34

Drifting South Creek 35

Again at South-Creek Tower, Written on a Wall 35

On a moonlit island bridge 36

Written on Master Lake-Shadow's Wall 36

Napping at noon 37

Written on a Wall at Balance-Peace Post-Station 37

Spring Rain 38

Looking at a Painting of Lumen Island 38

Above the Yangtze 39

Leaving the City 39

After Clouds Limitless by a Monk at Nirvana-Radiant … 40

There's a Huge Pine Beside the Road, and People Think … 41

Sun west and low 41

Off-Hand Poem 42

Spirit creatures 42

Radiance-Hut 43

Life at Samadhi-Forest Monastery 44

Written on Eightfold-Integrity River 44

Farewell to Gaze-Arrive 45

With my goosefoot staff 45

Suddenly 46

Above the Yangtze 46

Wandering at Delight-Mind Pavilion … 47

Anchored on Abandon River 48

A Spring Day 48

Just to Say 49

After Elder-Ease's Poem Buddha-Wind Ch'in 49

Listening to Floodwater Past Midnight 50

On Tower Heights 50

Following Apricot-Blossom Rhymes 51

Spring Skies Clear 51

Sent to Abbot Whole-Repose 52

A Country Walk 53

Pure-Apparent Monastery 53

Cricket Weaving-Song 54

On this side, flood-strewn 54

Ninth Month, Yi Year of the Snake, on Climbing … 55

River Rain 56

Written on a Wall at Source-Aware Monastery's … 56

At Broken-Tomb Shores 57

Farewell to Candor-Achieve 58

Winter-Solstice Sacrifice 58

The Ancient Pine 59

Late Spring 60

In Jest, Sent to Abbot Empty-White 60

At Dragon-Spring Monastery's Stone Well 61

At the Shrine-Hut on Eightfold-Integrity River 62

Wandering Bell Mountain 62

Autumn Wind 63

Farewell at the River Tower 64

Bell Mountain 64

Meeting an Old Friend a Splendor-Hoard Monastery 65

A Moonlit Night in Mid-Autumn, Sent to Broad-Origin … 66

South of Town, Leaving 66

This Spirit-Vulture Mountain 67

Farewell to a Monk Leaving for Heaven-Terrace Mountain 67

Parting in River-Serene 68

Following Prosper Bright-Gather's Rhymes 68

Following the Rhymes of Abbot Elder-Guide's Poem … 69

Thoughts on Bell Mountain 70

Plum Blossoms Along the Canal 70

Skies Clearing 71

Hair white 71

Thoughts Sent on My Way Home from River-Serene … 72

Following the Rhymes of a Poem Sent by Encompass-Anew 73

A Friend in Mourning Visits River-Serene 73

Recognizing Myself 74

The Ancient Monastery 75

Sent to the Painter, Sage-Cloud, in River-Serene 75

Summer Night on a Boat, Chill in the Air 76

On mountain slopes 77

At the Mouth of Lumen River 77

Drifting Grain-Thresh River 78

Old now, tangled 78

Written on a Wall at Half-Mountain Monastery 79

Poking Fun at My White Hair 80

White Hair's Answer 80

Above the River 81

On the Terrace, for Mind-Source 83

Gazing North 83

I can't see anything of this autumn day 84

Reading History 85

Chants 86

Thoughts as I Lie Alone 87

Cut Flowers 88

Notes 89

Finding List 98

Sources 105

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