Selected Poems of Su Tung-P'o

Su Tung-P’o, Burton Watson, trans.

One of the greatest poets of the Buddhist tradition, Su Tung-P’o (1037-1101) has been a model and source of inspiration for a millennium of Chinese and Japanese poets, and today his voice continues to influence and inspire. He wrote from direct, verifiable experience. Publishers Weekly celebrated this collection in a starred review, calling it “an extraordinary book of poems.”

ISBN: 9781556590641

Format: Paperback

About the Author

Su Tung-p’o was born in 1037 in Mei-shan, a town situated at the foot of Mount O-mei in present-day Szechwan Province. He was educated by his parents and at the neighborhood private school run by a Taoist priest. Su experimented with nearly every form in traditional Chinese literature. He wrote rapidly and, unlike his contemporaries, did not often go back to polish and rewrite. Some 2400 of his poems have been preserved, and many of them were printed and published …

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About the Translator

Burton Watson is among the most revered translators of classical Chinese and Japanese poetry. Born in 1925 in New Rochelle, New York, he served for three years in the Navy during World War II, before beginning Chinese studies at Columbia University, where he eventually became a professor of Chinese. Among his dozens of translations of major works of Japanese and Chinese history, poetry, and philosophy, his Chuang Tzu is an acknowledged classic. He has edited The Columbia Book of Chinese …

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“An extraordinary book of poems… Less aesthetically rigid than earlier Chinese poets, he sought inspiration both in issues of philosophical complexity and matters of everyday life. This expansiveness, combined with a sophisticated sense of image and metaphor, created a body of work that is strikingly modern.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Burton Watson is one of the most accomplished translators of Chinese literature in this century… Anyone interested in acquiring a taste for Sung-dynasty poetry and its greatest practitioner will want to read this volume.” —Choice

The Selected Poems of Su Tung-p’o are stunning evocations of exquisite moments of melancholy glimpsed in the midst of the din of daily life.” —New York Observer