Saturday, August 13, 2016

Review: Finding Them Gone: Visiting China's Poets of the Past

Finding Them Gone: Visiting China's Poets of the Past Finding Them Gone: Visiting China's Poets of the Past by Red Pine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cheers to Bill Porter for such pilgrimages -- traveling around China, visting poets' graves and memorial halls, hermitages and quarters of cities where they once lived. He converses with the locals who often know of the poet he is looking for, leading to a delightful comment along the lines of 'Image going around Camden and asking the people where Whitman is buried'.

He mixes poems with travelogue, and his translations to English are not clunkers, noting aside that a friend taught him that when translating a poem, you should make a poem as well.

This introduces me to poets I have never heard of, such as the remarkable Xin Qiji. Porter's translation of his poem set to the tune 'Ugly Slave' is the best I've read, in comparison to those of Kenneth Rexroth and Lin Yutang.


View all my reviews