Photo: whitecat singapore (flickr)
“Ahead, uphill, hear the tiger’s roar.
These times, the traveler’s heart
Is a flag a hundred feet high in the wind.”
– Meng Chiao
Today, I’m reading poetry by Meng Chiao, from Poems of the Late T’ang, edited and translated by A. C. Graham, published by New York Review Books Classics.
Classical Chinese poetry reached its pinnacle during the T’ang Dynasty (618-907 AD), and the poets of the late T’ang are known for combining formal innovation and raw emotional intensity. Meng Chiao, know as the “cold poet,” wrote of the remote high mountains and a retreat from civilization.
A. C. Graham, the translator of today’s poems, was born in 1919 and taught in the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. He was a well-known translator of Chinese philosophy and literature. He died in 1991.
In this podcast I read the poems: “Sadness of the Gorges” (Third of ten), “An Excursion to the Dragon Pool Temple on Chung-nan,” “Stopping on a Journey at the East Water Pavilion at Lo-ch’eng,” “Wandering on Mount Chung-nan,” “Complaint of a Neglected Wife,” and “Impromptu.”