or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available

 
Tell the Publisher!
Id like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Li Po and Tu Fu - Poems [Paperback]

Li Po , Tu Fu , Shui Chien-Tung , Arthur Cooper
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 11.99
Price: 9.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
You Save: 2.40 (20%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 14 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it Sunday, 24 Aug.? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details

Book Description

26 April 1973
Li Po (AD 701-62) and Tu Fu (AD 712-70) were devoted friends who are traditionally considered to be among China's greatest poets. Li Po, a legendary carouser, was an itinerant poet whose writing, often dream poems or spirit-journeys, soars to sublime heights in its descriptions of natural scenes and powerful emotions. His sheer escapism and joy is balanced by Tu Fu, who expresses the Confucian virtues of humanity and humility in more autobiographical works that are imbued with great compassion and earthy reality, and shot through with humour. Together these two poets of the T'ang dynasty complement each other so well that they often came to be spoken of as one - 'Li-Tu' - who covers the whole spectrum of human life, experience and feeling.

Frequently Bought Together

Li Po and Tu Fu - Poems + Classical Chinese Poetry: An Anthology + The Selected Poems of Li Po (Poetica 31)
Price For All Three: 30.55

Buy the selected items together


Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; 1 edition (26 April 1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140442723
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140442724
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.2 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 157,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Where the dogs bark by roaring waters, Whose spray darkens the petals' colours, Deep in the woods deer at times are seen; The valley noon: one can hear no bell, But wild bamboos cut across bright clouds, Flying cascades hang from jasper peaks; No one here knows which way you have gone: Two, now three pines I have leant against! Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

4 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Li Po and Tu Fu 9 Sep 2001
By A Customer
This seems to me one of the most helpful and stimulating books of poetry in translation that I have read.
The book has a very detailed 100-page introduction, almost amzingly good, that covers a large amount of historical and biographical ground; and introduces some of the formal charatceristics of Chinese poetry.
I can't comment on the fidelity of the translations to the Chinese, but they certainly read well in English. They at least give me the sense that this is poetry of importance. Li Po and Tu Fu are translated in equal amounts, and most poems are followed by a commenary (sometimes extending to two pages in length). I have found these very useful. Chinese poetry seems so different to English that I have felt unable to understand it at all when the words alone are translated (as, for example, in the old Penguin book of Chinese Verse): all that I am able to get out of these is a sense of picturesqueness. The literary background (and biographical, in Tu Fu's case) has added to my understanding and enjoyment of the poems.
I had been introduced to Chinese poetry (perhaps like many English poetry readers) by Ezra Pound's volume 'Cathay' (included in full in his Collected Shorter Poems and his Selected Poems, published by Faber), in which he poemizes translations made by Ernest Fellanosa. Two of the poems of Tu Fu's Pound includes in Cathay (what he titles as 'Jewelled Stairs Grievance' and 'The River Merchant's Wife: a Letter') are included, in Cooper's translation, here.
This book also contains reproducions of the texts of certain of the poems in the Chinese, written in different calligraphic styles.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Legendary poets of China 21 Aug 2003
By Pieter Uys HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Li Po (AD 701 - 762) and Tu Fu (AD 712 - 770) are regarded as the two greatest Chinese poets. Li Po was a spiritual poet whose verse deals with consciousness and the human mind, whilst Tu Fu was a chronicler of the everyday life.

The book includes a thorough introduction encompassing the pronunciation of Chinese words and names, notes on the Chinese calligraphy and the introduction proper which provides information on the poets and their times, plus the backgrounds to T'ang Poetry pertaining to the Book of Odes, the Ch'u Tz'u, the ballads and the principles of Chinese syllabic metre, the approach to translation, the tones and the `Chinese Sonnet.'

The poems are elucidated with explanatory notes and with reference to Ezra Pound's translations in his book Cathay. In this regard, I found here another translation of Li Po's poem The Ballad Of Ch'ang-Kan (The Sailor's Wife) the first part of which was translated as The River Merchant's Wife: A Letter, by Pound.

I was very pleased to find the second part of this beautiful poem here. Although there is no unanimity amongst scholars that it really is by Li Po, it perfectly completes the first part and Cooper's notes here are very illuminating, especially as regards place names on the Yangtze River.

This excellent book concludes with a list of titles and an index of first lines, including poems by other poets like Liang Wu-ti, Wang Wei and Li Shang-yin that are discussed in the introduction.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Li Po And Tu Fu - Cooper Translation. 25 Nov 2010
Li Po (701-762) and Tu Fu (712-770), lived during the great Tang Dynasty (618-907), a time that saw Chinese Buddhism - particularly the Ch'an Sect, experience a golden age. Ch'an is of course, the essence of Indian Buddhism, (that is, the reliance upon meditation to achieve enlightenment), over-laid with Chinese Daoism and Confucianism. A reader casting a keen eye over Cooper's translation will discern something in the poetry of these two creatives, that is akin to the Ch'an dialogues. Both these poets are often discussed together, but they met only twice in their lives, once in 744, and again in 745. Thiese meetings are known from the poems they wrote about one another.

Cooper builds a narrative that involves equating the poetry of Li Po with Daoism (Cooper uses 'Tao' throughout), and 'yin' energy, whilst Tu Fu is equated with Confucianism and 'yang' energy. Cooper justifies this categorisation by explaining that the poems of Li Po often makes use of the imagery of the reflected light of the moon, whilst Tu Fu chose the Pheonix as his symbol, which represents the 'south' direction, brigtness and warmth, etc. As a consequence, Cooper informs us that the poems of Li Po have an 'escapist' quality to them, whilst those of Tu Fu show the humanity and humility expected from a Confucian scholar. Cooper does warn however, that the modern Chinese Communist regime tends to overly criticse Li Po, and attempts to drive a wedge between the two poets, even though both poets were obviously good friends who appreciated one another's creativity.

Cooper translates 26 poems each for Li Po and Tu Fu. This is a small number for each poet, as Li Po left about 1000 poems, and Tu Fu left around 1400.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring piece of scholarship 31 Mar 2010
A Kid's Review
This classic book will introduce you to all the complex elements that informed the work of these two fine 8th Century poets. The introduction is simply brilliant and the notes to each poem are generous and complete. The author's love of these two poets shines forth on every page. Such deeply informed enthusiasm is very contagious. There aren't a huge number of poems here, though, so perhaps a good idea to augment this book with another set of translations, (unless you are capable of deciphering the originals!)
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars China's greatest poets 17 Jun 2003
By Pieter Uys - Published on Amazon.com
Li Po (AD 701 - 762) and Tu Fu (AD 712 - 770) are regarded as the two greatest Chinese poets. Li Po was a spiritual poet whose verse deals with consciousness and the human mind, whilst Tu Fu was a chronicler of the everyday life. The book includes a thorough introduction encompassing the pronunciation of Chinese words and names, notes on the Chinese calligraphy and the introduction proper which provides information on the poets and their times, plus backgrounds to T'ang Poetry and the principles of Chinese syllabic metre. The poems are elucidated with explanatory notes and with reference to Ezra Pound's translations in his book Cathay. In this regard, I found here another translation of Li Po's poem The Ballad Of Ch'ang-Kan (The Sailor's Wife) the first part of which was translated as The River Merchant's Wife: A Letter, by Pound. This is a beautiful poem and I was very pleased to find the second part here. Although there is no unanimity amongst scholars that it really is by Li Po, it perfectly completes the first part and Cooper's notes here are very illuminating, especially as regards place names on the Yangtse river. This excellent book concludes with a list of titles and an index of first lines, including poems by other poets in the introduction.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique and valuable introduction for beginners. 20 Jun 2001
By tepi - Published on Amazon.com
LI PO AND TU FU : Poems Selected and Translated with an Introduction and Notes by Arthur Cooper. Chinese Calligraphy by Shui Chien-tung. (Penguin Classics). 249 pp. Penguin 1973, and Reissued.
This is a valuable book in many ways. Besides giving a selection of enjoyable translations of China's two greatest poets - Li Po (+ 701-762, 25 poems) and Tu Fu (+ 712-770, 18 poems), it also includes a remarkably full and informative Introduction of almost 100 pages which not only serves to introduce beginners to the subject of Chinese poetry, and to the work of Li Po and Tu Fu in particular, but which could also be read with profit by others.
Each of the 43 poems is followed by an explanatory comment, which can range in length from paragraph to essay form. The book also includes a Guide to the Pronunciation of Chinese Words and Names, and, since twelve of the poems are accompanied by the Chinese text in the striking calligraphy of Shui Chien-tung, a Note on Chinese Calligraphy has been provided by the artist for the benefit of those who may not be familiar with the nature and history of this fascinating art form.
Shui Chien-tung has "adopted a manner influenced by Chinese bronze inscriptions [and] has also followed various styles of writing to suit the different poems" (pp.13-14). The result is a clear style which in most cases will cause no problems for anyone who may be studying Chinese characters, since the structure of even the more complex characters can easily be discerned.
Here, as an example of Cooper's style (with my obliques added to indicate line breaks), is the first of two 'sonnets' of Tu Fu's 'At an Evening Picnic, with Young Bucks and Beauties' :
"Sunset's the time to take the boat out / When a light breeze raises slow ripples, / Bamboo-hidden is the picnic place / And lotus-fresh in the evening cool; // But while the bucks are mixing iced drinks / And beauties snow a lotus salad, / A slip of cloud comes black overhead : / Before it rains my sonnet must end !" (p.163)
Cooper's reading nicely evokes the lighthearted amusements of spoiled and wealthy youth, out on the cool water with a party of singing girls for an evening of companionship and pleasure after the heat of the day.
Cooper's anthology has an excellent Introduction, is of manageable size, well-translated, helpfully annotated, uniquely illustrated with Shui Chien-tung's calligraphy, and has other useful features. It would make a good introduction for anyone new to Chinese poetry, and it can also be read with interest by anyone wishing to extend their knowledge of Li Po and Tu Fu.
Those who, after reading it, would like to explore further and learn about some of China's other great writers, might take a look at the excellent anthology by Cyril Birch, another book I can strongly recommend:
ANTHOLOGY OF CHINESE LITERATURE : From early times to the fourteenth century. Compiled and edited by Cyril Birch. Associate editor Donald Keene. 492 pp. New York : Grove Press, 1965, and Reissued.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Poetry! 17 May 2007
By G. Messersmith - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Li Po and Tu Fu are traditionally regarded by the Chinese as their two greatest poets. Together their poetry has a "balance of nature". Sometimes they are referred to as one poet, "Li-Tu".

This book has a wonderful introduction which tells of each man, his life and together of their friendship. What we know is that they lived during the Tang Dynasty which is considered the 'golden age' of China in which the arts flourished. According to the introduction we do not have an exact date and place of Li Po's birth but it is estimated to be 701 somewhere near the frontier of the Soviet Union. What I love best about Li Po's poetry is his great imagination and imagery. I believe he was a "Romantic" poet. Li Po's view of the world is not set in reality but how he imagines it to be which makes his poetry beautiful. Some of my favorite poems by Li Po: "Drinking Alone with the Moon" about drinking his wine among the flowers and talking to the moon. The moon encourages him and becomes his friend - very lovely poem. Also "Old Poem" is very fanciful and rich - "Did Chaung Chou dream / he was the butterfly, / Or the butterfly / that it was Chaung Chou?" One that I read again and again is entitled "A song of Adieu to the Queen of the Skies, After a Dream Voyage to Her". This is a mystical poem talking of seafarers who tell of the Fairy Isles. The language is simply gorgeous.

Tu Fu's nature is different than Li Po's but he is equally as talented. According to the introducton, "Tu Fu as a man is contrasted with Li Po in almost every conceivable way." Many consider him to be the greater of the two poets. His poems are autobiographical and historical. Several of his poems are ballads to great people and others deal with loneliness and seclusion but they are beautiful and moving to read.

Although the two poets were very different, they knew and respected one another and it is just a matter of personal taste as to which one you might prefer. Either way this is a beautiful book with a rather long but interesting introduction and it is well worth it for the English translations of these poems.

Here's a poem by Li Po saying farewell to a friend:

Blue mountains lie beyond the north wall;

Round the city's eastern side flows the white water.

Here we part, friend, once forever.

You go ten thousand miles, drifting away

Like an unrooted water-grass.

Oh, the floating clouds and the thoughts of a wanderer!

Oh, the sunset and the longing of an old friend!

We ride away from each other, waving our hands,

While our horses neigh softly, softly . . . . "
20 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good beginner book on Classical Chinese poetry 26 Nov 1996
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Arthur Cooper includes an introduction to get the reader up to speed on Chinese literary history and the development of Chinese Kanji.
The translation of poems loose most of the musical qualities and doesn't sufficiently create a sense of poem. In Cooper's introduction he discusses some of these problems, but having read other tanslation of Li Po, it is an adequate translation.
One of the strengths of this edition is that it has the chinese version on the opposite page, so it does try to bridge the gap.
The book is intended as an introduction to Chinese poetry and provides enough information for those who want to know the history and expose themselves to Li Po and Tu Fu
0 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Outdated, time to retire this old horse, or produce a new edition... 25 Jun 2009
By John J. Carr, Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This book is dated somewhere around 1971. It still uses Wade Giles, which is a major drawback for students trying to match up anything with the pinyin currently in use.

I've just received the book from Amazon, and I will give it the benefit of the doubt due to the explanation of Chinese poetic forms other reviewers have praised. But keep in mind that this book has the absolute bare minimum of Chinese characters, and virtually no usable reproductions of the the original poems in Chinese characters (hanzi), or romanization. In other words, it is a book dedicated almost exclusively to translations of the poems, not the poems themselves. While translation is a praiseworthy and thankless task, there are enough students around today trying to struggle with these poems using the Chinese, in addition to a translation, that it is worth it for some reproduction of the originals to be included. Beware, there is a bit less here than meets the eye.

Anyway, as Confucious might have said, had he been born in Rome, "Caveat emptor."
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category


Feedback