I always loved to walk the woods and mountains,
Pleased myself, lost in fields and marshes.
Now I go out with nephews, nieces,
In the wilds, parting hazel branches,
Back and forth through the mounds and hollows,
All around us signs of ancient peoples,
Remnants of their broken hearths and well-heads,
Mulberry and bamboo groves neglected.
Stop and ask the simple woodsman,
Where have all these people gone now?.
Turning he looks quietly and tells me,
Nothing’s left of them, they’re finished.
One world. Though the lives we lead are different,
In courts of power or labouring in the market,
These I know are more than empty words:
Our life’s a play of light and shade,
Returning at last to the Void.
'Selected Poems of T'Ao Ch'Ien'
by David Hinton (Editor)
T'ao Ch'ien, (365 - 427, C.E.), one of the most revered poets in classical Chinese literature, is presented in a lucid translation with an introduction. "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."
David Hinton's translations of classical Chinese poetry have earned him wide acclaim for creating compelling contemporary poems that convey the texture and density of the originals. He is the editor of numerous anthologies of Chinese poetry and the first in over a century to translate the four seminal masterworks of Chinese philosophy: "Tao Te Ching", "Chuang Tzu", "Analects", and" Mencius." He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Landon Translation Award, the PEN Translation Award, and most recently the Thornton Wilder Award for Translation from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.