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Translation of Su Hui's Star Gauge:

Classical Chinese Poetry: An Anthology


With this groundbreaking collection, a new generation will be introduced to the work that transformed modern poetry. The Chinese poetic tradition is the largest and longest continuous tradition in world literature, and this rich and far-reaching anthology of nearly five hundred poems provides a comprehensive account of its first three millennia (1500 B.C.E. to 1200 C.E.), the period during which virtually all of its landmark developments took place. Unlike earlier anthologies of Chinese poetry, Hinton’s book focuses on a relatively small number of poets, the tradition’s great innovators, providing selections that are large enough to re-create each one as a fully realized and unique voice. And the introductions to these poets provide a very readable history, told for the first time as a series of poetic innovations forged by a series of master poets. From the classic, deeply poetic texts of Chinese philosophy to intensely personal lyrics, from love poems to startling and strange perspectives on the natural world, Hinton has collected an entire world of beauty and insight. And in his eye-opening translations, these ancient poems feel remarkably fresh and contemporary, presenting a literary tradition both radically new and entirely resonant.

                       — from the book jacket

. . . the most virtuosic set of translations to appear in a generation . . .  Hinton’s Classical Chinese Poetry is such an accomplishment that one almost wants to say it has exhausted the subject.


            (Threepenny Review)

Nothing yet in English has approached the range and scope of David Hinton’s phenomenal 500-page tome. His meticulously arranged sweep through three millennia of Chinese poetry is nothing less than a publishing miracle.


            (The Barnes and Noble Review)

. . . the impressiveness of the anthology lies in its breadth and scope and in the learned consistency of the translations. . . . Classical Chinese Poetry: An Anthology captures the stylistic nuances between individual poets, so their work stands side by side without seeming homogenized. . . . With David Hinton as our guide, Classical Chinese Poetry: An Anthology comes across as something akin to a magical artifact, full of potential energies and untapped motes of poetic inspiration. Anyone, especially poets looking outside the western canon for transformative verse and fresh inspiration, should include this book in their library.


            (The Brooklyn Rail)

Magnificent . . . majesterial.


            (The New Republic)



Farrar, Straus & Giroux


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