In our own time the "wilderness" has emerged as a source of spiritual renewal, both as idea and in actual practice. But Hsieh Ling-yün (385-433 C. E.) was there before us.
During the last decade of his life, living as a recluse high in the mountains of southeast China, he initiated a tradition of "rivers-and-mountains" (shan-shui) poetry that stretches across the millennia in China, a tradition that represents the earliest and most extensive literary engagement with "the wild" in human history. These poems were hugely popular in Hsieh's own time and established him as one of the most innovative and influential poets in the history of Chinese poetry as well as a founder of Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism. Once again David Hinton, a recipient of fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts and The National Endowment for the Humanities and the winner of a Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from The Academy of American Poets, has produced a fluid and supple translation that does full justice to the rivers-and-mountains of Hsieh Ling-yün's inspiration.
About the Author
DAVID HINTON’s original Selected Poems of Tu Fu was the first full-length verse translation of Tu Fu published in America. The author also of singular books of essays and poetry, Hinton has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, numerous N.E.A. and N.E.H fellowships, both major awards given for poetry translation in the United States, and a lifetime achievement award by The American Academy of Arts and Letters.
[Hinton's] translations...are consistently imaginative in language and effective as English poetry. — Burton Watson