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Poems of the Masters
Bill Porter (aka Red Pine)
$22.00 paperback
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Poems of the Masters
China's Classic Anthology of T'ang and Sung Dynasty Verse
Bill Porter (aka Red Pine)

Poems of the Masters: China's Classic Anthology of T'ang and Sung Dynasty Verse, appears in a bilingual edition by noted translator Red Pine (aka Bill Porter).

Poetry is China's greatest art, and Poems of the Masters is one of the classics of Chinese literature. For eight centuries, this anthology of T'ang- and Sung-dynasty poetry has been a part of every student's education. Translated in its entirety for the first time into English, this bilingual edition includes the most-quoted poems in the Chinese language by the giants of the tradition—Tu Fu, Li Pai, and Wang Wei—as well as poems by writers little known in the West.
As in his previous Chinese translations, Red Pine's concise, direct treatment of the poetry, his celebrated scholarship and extensive notes allow the English reader to experience one of the world's great books.

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2004 Finalist for PEN Center USA Literary Award in Translation

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For Poems of the Masters, Bill Porter (aka Red Pine)

"In a time embarrassingly rich in versified private musing, a book like this might be overlooked as a mere historical or cultural artifact. But when looking for instruction on how to read poets as different as Gary Snyder and Li-Young Lee, this valuable text will help us appreciate the richness of poetic imagination and experience."—Book Magazine, five-star review

"[Poems of the Masters] includes the Chinese originals, along with commentaries on imagery, various social conventions, historical background—all absolutely essential to a full appreciation of the texts... the best way to approach them is to pick one out and let it drop like a pebble into the well of your mind and hear how it resonates."—The Philadelphia Inquirer

"I yell to a woodcutter across the stream. This is the last line of a poem in which the 8th century Taoist recluse Wang Wei describes patterns of cloud and light in the mountains. Just so, the poems in this remarkable anthology speak to us—across an immense distance of time and space—of loneliness, beauty, the consequences of political action, the stillness of autumn. Red Pine's wonderful translations and the clarity of his accompanying notes make these poems accessible and intimate to all of us. In another poem about watching clouds, Tu Fu concludes, I’ve always been drawn to the past/but this time my heart trembled. This anthology will evoke the same response in any reader. Red Pine and the good people at Copper Canyon deserve a place in the Taoist paradise for bringing us this beautiful book."—nomination for Booksense Recommends by Karl Pohrt, Shaman Drum Bookshop (Ann Arbor, MI)

"The precise, distilled words of the poets are wonderfully complemented by the knowledgeable, companionable tone of the commentaries that run throughout."—Elliott Bay Booknotes

"For those not familiar with the depth and beauty of Chinese poetry, Poems of the Masters will serve as a welcome introduction conducted by a knowledgeable guide... Here is a rare chance to steep yourself in a classic work that has finally been completely translated."—John Bradley

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