Three Hundred Tang Poems – Peter Harris

Rating: ★★
25/02/19 

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11641467The poem quoted above was written by Du Fu, one of the greatest Chinese poets along with Li Bai; my favorite, Wang Wei, and my new favorite, Li Shangyin.
This fine collection from the Tang Dynasty (618–907) was bought and meant to be read while being on vacation, a time to relax. Considering my inability to do so, I read most of these gorgeous poems during much tougher times than sitting by a sun-drenched lake in almost complete silence.
These verses have been described as a treasury of wit, beauty, and wisdom; that is exactly what this book contains. From its exquisite book cover to the last non-rhyming line. In this edition, the poems are given by poet in alphabetical order and then arranged by type. There are also some notes at the back with explanations that should have been next to each poem to avoid some mild annoyance.

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Beauty is expressed in many ways. Thoughts of home under the bright moon, hundreds of boats passing by the mountains, countless cups of ale regretting the inevitable. Wars won, friends lost and lovers resentful of the distance. There is a lot of parting in these verses. Wistful longings for the old days and bittersweet reveries that, at times, very few times, were interrupted by reality. By a much-awaited reunion.

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* Credit: Book cover via Goodreads


2 thoughts on “Three Hundred Tang Poems – Peter Harris

  1. Exquisite! Thank you for this sublime offering; here gale-force winds are raging as the Spring tries to push Winter into retreat. Your words and these plaintive poems added a special dimension to the depression passing overhead. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The gentle quietness and poignancy at the face of the ephemeral. Such a gift to see beauty despite the transient nature of things, the inexorable passage of time. I’m glad you enjoyed these little gems. I’m holding on to summer but that too must end – preparing for the lovely colors of autumn now. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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