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The Book of Songs (China History, Philosophy, Economics) Paperback – 14 May 2011

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; Reprint edition (14 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415612659
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415612654
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.1 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,365,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Waley's translation of the Shi Jing is finally presented here in the order of the original text. It reads wonderfully, both as a artistic work in itself and as a academic aid. Joseph Allen's commentary, added notes and translations are very valuable additions, which are well-research and succinctly written. Also, the foreword by Stephen Owen is an excellent overview to the place of this work in the Chinese classics. I can recommend this book not only to the general public, but also to the student of the ShiJing (of which I am one!)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The poems in this book are rather specialised but as an introduction to a different world view they can't be faulted. Most of them are very short, which means one can progress through several ideas and points of view in a short session of reading. The translations are easy to read and I found the introductory notes made them accessible. Anyone who likes reading a variety of poetry would enjoy these.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best version of The Book of Songs 5 May 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent book. This is not just a reprint of Waley's earlier version. It restores the original order of the verses (Waley reorganized the order according to his personal preference), and the editor, Stephen Owen, has translated and included some dozen of the poems that Waley deleted from the collection. Beautiful layout, and crystal-clear translations, plus a valuable study of the history and content of this collection of some 300 poems from ancient China. In my view, the best translation of this important collection of early Chinese verse.
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to Chinese literature 13 Mar. 2016
By Thomas A. Dengler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I stumbled upon the Book of Songs in a James Michener library in PA. It was an incredible experience for reading and learning song structure, like varying similar stanzas and repeating verses. It was my introduction to Chinese literature also. The Book of Songs is Waley's selection of popular songs throughout Chinese history. You might also enjoy Lao Tzu, the philosopher, and Li Po, the wandering poet. These little songs rival the great Japanese haiku in terms of human condition content and in emotional expressions of love and loss. There are no cliches though. The love songs are stamped with the mark of real love affairs and experiences. The book is probably PG rated, mostly G rated. I give it only 4 stars, as the book is not quite comprehensive enough, although it does include new song translations added after Waley passed on.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a beautiful book both to hold and to read 27 Oct. 2014
By R. A. Gaskill - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading modern and contemporary poetry, it's a pleasure to taste the clarity and feeling of verse written prior to the era of Confucius. This is a beautiful book both to hold and to read. The new format orders the poems by geography and dynasty, as in the original Chinese version, which I find much more informative than ordering the poems by theme. Waley's notes are a great help in understanding the historical and literary context of the poems. The Book of Songs is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the possibilities and breadth of poetry.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 27 Nov. 2014
By Glenn Raff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A terrific investment
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book - amazing translations 3 May 2013
By Paul in Guangzhou - Published on Amazon.com
How do you give a star rating to a book that has influenced a major culture in such an astounding way? The Book of Songs is similar, in some ways, to the Bible -- a wide variety of texts edited together, used as scripture by many generations, influencing the language and thoughts of hundreds of generations. This edition is wonderful, due to the excellent translations and the intelligent re-ordering of the poems into their original order. Before you read "Dream of the Red Chamber" or any other more recent Chinese classics, read this.
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