T’ao Ch’ien (365–427 CE), one of the most revered poets in classical Chinese literature, is presented in a lucid translation with an introduction. The Selected Poems of T’ao Ch’ien brings into English some of the most important poetry in all of Chinese literature. As David Hinton writes in his Introduction, T’ao Ch’ien “stands at the head of the great Chinese poetic tradition like a revered grandfather: profoundly wise, self-possessed, quiet, comforting.” T’ao gained quasi-mythic status for his commitment to life as a recluse farmer, despite poverty and hardship, and his poetry mirrors that life. Its unassuming surface reveals a rich philosophical depth for which he became an honored figure in the Zen tradition.
“This little book of T’ao Ch’ien’s poetry, along with Hinton’s spare introduction sketching out the contours of the poet’s life, is a blessing.”—Shambhala Sun
“David Hinton’s translations are smooth, faithful yet lively renderings.”—The Harvard Review
“David Hinton is one of the most impressive of the younger translators of classical Chinese poetry… His renderings are varied and imaginative while remaining faithful to the spirit of the original.”—Burton Watson