Du Fu Du Fu: A Life in Poetry

ISBN 13: 9780375711602

Du Fu: A Life in Poetry

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9780375711602: Du Fu: A Life in Poetry

Du Fu (712–770) is one of the undisputed geniuses of Chinese poetry—still universally admired and read thirteen centuries after his death. Now David Young, author of Black Lab, and well known as a translator of Chinese poets, gives us a sparkling new translation of Du Fu’s verse, arranged to give us a tour of the life, each “chapter” of poems preceded by an introductory paragraph that situates us in place, time, and circumstance. What emerges is a portrait of a modest yet great artist, an ordinary man moving and adjusting as he must in troubled times, while creating a startling, timeless body of work.

Du Fu wrote poems that engaged his contemporaries and widened the path of the lyric poet. As his society—one of the world’s great civilizations—slipped from a golden age into chaos, he wrote of the uncertain course of empire, the misfortunes and pleasures of his own family, the hard lives of ordinary people, the changing seasons, and the lives of creatures who shared his environment. As the poet chases chickens around the yard, observes tear streaks on his wife’s cheek, or receives a gift of some shallots from a neighbor, Young’s rendering brings Du Fu’s voice naturally and elegantly to life.

I sing what comes to me
in ways both old and modern

my only audience right now—
nearby bushes and trees

elegant houses stand
in an elegant row, too many

if my heart turns to ashes
then that’s all right with me . . .

from “Meandering River”

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About the Author:

David Young has written ten books of poetry, including Black Lab (2006), At the White Window (2000), and The Planet on the Desk: Selected and New Poems (1991). He has also translated the poems of Petrarch and Eugenio Montale. A past winner of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships and a Pushcart Prize, he is the Longman Professor Emeritus of English and Creative Writing at Oberlin College, and the editor of the Field Poetry Series at Oberlin College Press. He lives in Oberlin, Ohio.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

17. REMEMBERING LI BAI ON A SPRING DAYI know no poetry to equal hishis mind must be uniquefreshness of Yu XinBao Zhao’s delicacyas I watch the trees leaf outhere, north of the Weihe’s probably gazing at sunsetthere, east of the Yangziwhen can we sharea pot of wine againtalk on and on about poetryuntil it’s nearly daybreak?21. FRIENDSHIPA flick of the handand it’s rain or stormwherever I lookchange and ficklenessthe old ideal of friendshipas loyalty and permanencehas turned into dirtunder our feet.23–24. A SUMMER OUTINGIHow nice to board the bargeas the sun meets the horizonthe breeze picks upthe water rippleswe sail past grovesof thick bambooand anchor in the coolof water liliesthe young men mixsome icy drinksthe girls are slicinglotus rootsbut the clouds right overheadgrow blackrain makes me rushmy poem.IIThe shower wets the bencheswe were sitting onthe wind blows hardand rocks the boatthe southern girls’red skirts drenchedthe northern beautiesseem to have ruined their makeupthe mooring linesaws and cuts the willowthe barge’s curtains are soakedfrom breaking wavesour going homewill be wet and chillyas if we were having autumnright in the heart of summer.

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, India, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Du Fu (712-770) is one of the undisputed geniuses of Chinese poetry--still universally admired and read thirteen centuries after his death. Now David Young, author of Black Lab, and well known as a translator of Chinese poets, gives us a sparkling new translation of Du Fu s verse, arranged to give us a tour of the life, each chapter of poems preceded by an introductory paragraph that situates us in place, time, and circumstance. What emerges is a portrait of a modest yet great artist, an ordinary man moving and adjusting as he must in troubled times, while creating a startling, timeless body of work. Du Fu wrote poems that engaged his contemporaries and widened the path of the lyric poet. As his society--one of the world s great civilizations--slipped from a golden age into chaos, he wrote of the uncertain course of empire, the misfortunes and pleasures of his own family, the hard lives of ordinary people, the changing seasons, and the lives of creatures who shared his environment. As the poet chases chickens around the yard, observes tear streaks on his wife s cheek, or receives a gift of some shallots from a neighbor, Young s rendering brings Du Fu s voice naturally and elegantly to life. I sing what comes to me in ways both old and modern my only audience right now-- nearby bushes and trees elegant houses stand in an elegant row, too many if my heart turns to ashes then that s all right with me . . . from Meandering River. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780375711602

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, India, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Du Fu (712-770) is one of the undisputed geniuses of Chinese poetry--still universally admired and read thirteen centuries after his death. Now David Young, author of Black Lab, and well known as a translator of Chinese poets, gives us a sparkling new translation of Du Fu s verse, arranged to give us a tour of the life, each chapter of poems preceded by an introductory paragraph that situates us in place, time, and circumstance. What emerges is a portrait of a modest yet great artist, an ordinary man moving and adjusting as he must in troubled times, while creating a startling, timeless body of work. Du Fu wrote poems that engaged his contemporaries and widened the path of the lyric poet. As his society--one of the world s great civilizations--slipped from a golden age into chaos, he wrote of the uncertain course of empire, the misfortunes and pleasures of his own family, the hard lives of ordinary people, the changing seasons, and the lives of creatures who shared his environment. As the poet chases chickens around the yard, observes tear streaks on his wife s cheek, or receives a gift of some shallots from a neighbor, Young s rendering brings Du Fu s voice naturally and elegantly to life. I sing what comes to me in ways both old and modern my only audience right now-- nearby bushes and trees elegant houses stand in an elegant row, too many if my heart turns to ashes then that s all right with me . . . from Meandering River. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780375711602

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, India, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Du Fu (712-770) is one of the undisputed geniuses of Chinese poetry--still universally admired and read thirteen centuries after his death. Now David Young, author of Black Lab, and well known as a translator of Chinese poets, gives us a sparkling new translation of Du Fu s verse, arranged to give us a tour of the life, each chapter of poems preceded by an introductory paragraph that situates us in place, time, and circumstance. What emerges is a portrait of a modest yet great artist, an ordinary man moving and adjusting as he must in troubled times, while creating a startling, timeless body of work. Du Fu wrote poems that engaged his contemporaries and widened the path of the lyric poet. As his society--one of the world s great civilizations--slipped from a golden age into chaos, he wrote of the uncertain course of empire, the misfortunes and pleasures of his own family, the hard lives of ordinary people, the changing seasons, and the lives of creatures who shared his environment. As the poet chases chickens around the yard, observes tear streaks on his wife s cheek, or receives a gift of some shallots from a neighbor, Young s rendering brings Du Fu s voice naturally and elegantly to life. I sing what comes to me in ways both old and modern my only audience right now-- nearby bushes and trees elegant houses stand in an elegant row, too many if my heart turns to ashes then that s all right with me . . . from Meandering River. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780375711602

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