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Traveling today I

found a river

somewhere inside

me, wondered


how far it

wanders there


and how much

sky it

mirrors. All day

long, wind and desert


light, I

followed that river's

distances . . . 



Weaving mind and landscape together in meditations on sky and wind, ridgeline and horizon, existence and self, Desert marks David Hinton’s first collection of original poetry in over a decade. Hinton's poetic art shines brilliantly through his widely-acclaimed Chinese translations, and here it speaks for itself in a very contemporary way as he turns his attention to the transcendent landscape of the American West. Updating the philosophical insights of ancient China that Hinton has explored so deeply, these poems bring the wonder and ancient mystery of desert landscape to light. Hinton demonstrated in his Wilds of Poetry anthology how those ancient Chinese insights shaped the innovative American poetry of our time, and here he extends that tradition in poems that are spare and spacious, as vast and open as the desert itself.

                 — from the book jacket




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