Sunday, March 22, 2009

A standout ...

... this is one of today's Inquirer reviews, but it deserves a post of its own: Voices of the past, in shimmering new translations.

David Hinton has been translating Chinese poetry for more than a decade. His new anthology gives us, for the first, best time, the sweep of this tradition in excellent English poetry. As Hinton writes, this may be the longest unbroken literary tradition that exists, starting around at least 1400 B.C. and still going. We know Chinese poetry through the efforts of Pound, who helped supercharge modern poetry. It should be said, though - someone has to say it - that Pound's renderings of Chinese verse were idiosyncratic and, in some respects, misleading.

Hinton's are neither

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