Poems of the Masters: China's Classic Anthology of T'Ang and Sung Dynasty Verse

For the past eight centuries Poems of the Masters has been China's most studied and memorized collection of verse. This edition contains, for the first time in English, the complete text prepared by renowned translator Red Pine. Over one hundred poets are represented in this 474 page bilingual edition, including many of China’s celebrated poets: Li Pai, Wang Wei, Tu Fu, Wang Po, and Ou-yang Hsiu.

Red Pine (the pen name of writer and independent scholar Bill Porter) has included with the original text extensive biographical and critical notes, an enlightening preface, and a map and timeline of the Tang/Song period.

Of course, many excellent editions of classical Chinese poetry have been published, and readers should consider multiple translations to discover which translator's sensibilities engage them.

Another wonderful anthology is Sam Hamill's Crossing the Yellow River (BOA Editions, 2000). The core of this three hundred poem collection contain China's great eighth century poets, Li Po, Wang Wei, and Tu Fu and these classics are surrounded by a generous selection of poems dating from the first century BCE to the sixteenth century CE.