Women Poets of China

Women Poets of China

Women Poets of China

Women Poets of China

Synopsis

This book (originally published in 1972 by The Seabury Press as) is the first representative collection of the poetry of Chinese women to appear in English. Unlike Japan with its long tradition of women writers, poetry by women did not become fashionable in China until the Ch'ing dynasty (1644-1911), although poems from earlier centuries that do in fact survive will quickly dispel any stereotyped views. Included here are samplings from the legendary earliest poetry of courtesans, palace women, and Tao priestesses to works by contemporary Chinese women living in both the East and West. Appendixes include notes on the poems, an introductory essay on Chinese women and literature, a table of historical periods, and a bibliography.

Excerpt

I have moved to this home of Immortals.
Wild shrubs bloom everywhere.
In the front garden, trees
Spread their branches for clothes racks.
I sit on a mat and float wine cups
In the cool spring.
Beyond the window railing
A hidden path leads away
Into the dense bamboo grove.
In a gauze dress
I read among my disordered
Piles of books.
I take a leisurely ride
In the painted boat,
And chant poems to the moon.
I drift at ease, for I know
The soft wind will blow me home.

YÜ HSÜAN-CHI

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