Cover image for Crossing the yellow river : three hundred poems from the Chinese
Title:
Crossing the yellow river : three hundred poems from the Chinese
Author:
Hamill, Sam.
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Rochester, NY : BOA Editions, 2000.
Physical Description:
280 pages ; 23 cm.
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9781880238974

9781880238981
Format :
Book

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PL2658.E3 C76 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

After years of passionate labor, Sam Hamill has translated both familiar and little known Chinese poems from three millennia (330 BC to the 16th century) to compile the most comprehensive collection of its kind. Crossing the Yellow River: Three Hundred Poems from the Chinese represents a lifetime's devotion to the classic originals, in the words of W. S. Merwin, begun when Hamill was introduced to classical Chinese by Kenneth Rexroth and the Beat poets of the late 1950s.Unlike earlier translators of Chinese and Japanese poetry, Hamill attempts to bring the poems into English with their directness and simplicity intact, at the same time attempting to remain true to the poet's orginal message. Hamill includes the rarely translated social poems of Tu Fu, the poems and songs of Tzu Yeh and Li Ch'ing-Chao, and lyrical selections from Li Po, Shih Ching, Wang Wei, Su Tung-p'o, and others. Hamill's introduction provides the most definitive overview to date of aesthetic impulses propelling Chinese poetry and reveals his own reasons for his lifetime's devotion. I sit at the feet of the great old masters of my tradition not only to be in a position to pass on their many wonderful gifts, Hamill says, but to pay homage while in the very act of nourishing, sustaining, and enhancing my own life.


Summary

After years of passionate labor, Sam Hamill has translated both familiar and little-known Chinese poems from three millennia (330 BC to the 16th century) to compile the most comprehensive collection of its kind. Crossing the Yellow River: Three Hundred Poems from the Chinese represents a lifetime's devotion to the classic originals, in the words of W. S. Merwin, begun when Hamill was introduced to classical Chinese by Kenneth Rexroth and the Beat poets of the late 1950s.
Unlike earlier translators of Chinese and Japanese poetry, Hamill attempts to bring the poems into English with their directness and simplicity intact, at the same time attempting to remain true to the poet's orginal message. Hamill includes the rarely-translated social poems of Tu Fu, the poems and songs of Tzu Yeh and Li Ch'ing-Chao, and lyrical selections from Li Po, Shih Ching, Wang Wei, Su Tung-p'o and others. Hamill's introduction provides the most definitive overview to date of aesthetic impulses propelling Chinese poetry and reveals his own reasons for his lifetime's devotion. I sit at the feet of the great old masters of my tradition not only to be in a position to pass on their many wonderful gifts, Hamill says, but to pay homage while in the very act of nourishing, sustaining and enhancing my own life.
Sam Hamill's celebrated translations include The Art of Writing: Lu Chi's Wen Fu; The Essential Chuang Tza; The Essential Basho; The Spring of My Life & Selected Haiku by Kobayashii Issa and Only Companion: Japanese Poems of Love & Longing. He is the author of a dozen volumes of original poety and three collections of essays. He is Founding Editor of Copper Canyon Press, director of the Port Townsend Writers' Conference and contributing editor at The American Poetry Review. He lives in Port Townsend, Washington.


Author Notes

Sam Hamill was raised on a farm in Utah and endured an early life of violence, drug abuse, and jail time. He was a teenage heroin addict when he discovered poetry. He studied under poet Kenneth Rexroth at the University of California, Santa Barbara. While a student, Hamill won a $500 award for producing the best university literary magazine in the country. With that money he co-founded the all-poetry Copper Canyon Press with Bill O'Daly and Tree Swenson. Hamill was editor for the press from 1972 until 2004.

Hamill was a poet and translator. His collections of poetry included Destination Zero: Poems 1970-1995, Gratitude, Dumb Luck, Almost Paradise: New and Selected Poems and Translations, Measured by Stone, and Habitation: Collected Poems. His translated works include Narrow Road to the Interior: And Other Writings by Matsuo Basho, The Poetry of Zen, and The Essential Chuang Tzu. He won two Washington Governor's Arts Awards, the Stanley Lindberg Lifetime Achievement Award for Editing, and the Washington Poets Association Lifetime Achievement Award. He died on April 14, 2018 at the age of 74.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Sam Hamill was raised on a farm in Utah and endured an early life of violence, drug abuse, and jail time. He was a teenage heroin addict when he discovered poetry. He studied under poet Kenneth Rexroth at the University of California, Santa Barbara. While a student, Hamill won a $500 award for producing the best university literary magazine in the country. With that money he co-founded the all-poetry Copper Canyon Press with Bill O'Daly and Tree Swenson. Hamill was editor for the press from 1972 until 2004.

Hamill was a poet and translator. His collections of poetry included Destination Zero: Poems 1970-1995, Gratitude, Dumb Luck, Almost Paradise: New and Selected Poems and Translations, Measured by Stone, and Habitation: Collected Poems. His translated works include Narrow Road to the Interior: And Other Writings by Matsuo Basho, The Poetry of Zen, and The Essential Chuang Tzu. He won two Washington Governor's Arts Awards, the Stanley Lindberg Lifetime Achievement Award for Editing, and the Washington Poets Association Lifetime Achievement Award. He died on April 14, 2018 at the age of 74.

(Bowker Author Biography)