The Late Poems of Wang An-Shih
By Wang An-Shih
Translated from the Chinese by David Hinton
David Hinton has long been accepted as one of the premier translators of ancient Chinese texts. He has translated not only collections of the essential poets Li Po, Tu Fu, Wang Wei, Po Chü-i and others, but also given us new interpretations of the I Ching, the Analects, and the Tao Te Ching. In this new translation, Hinton brings us the less well-known Sung poet Wang An-shih, an eccentric figure and brilliant poet.
I can’t see anything of this autumn day,
its last few scraps of yellow in treetops.
Out with my goosefoot staff, I think of
serene fields, but looking find no light.
Hinton captures the Chan Buddhist background of the poet and the freely roaming nature of his later life in finely-wrought language and vivid images. This is an important collection rendered beautifully into English.