One Hundred More Poems From The Chinese
Theater by Kenneth Rexroth
Kenneth Rexroth’s translations of Chinese verse include “poems of love, reverie and meditation in the midst of nature.” As in his earlier One Hundred Poems from the Chinese, he adds even a few more “for good measure and good luck.” Love and the Turning Year includes a selection from the Yueh Fu––folk songs from the Six Dynasties Period (fourth-fifth centuries A.D.). Most of the songs are simple, erotic lyrics. Some are attributed to legendary courtesans, while others may have been sung at harvest festivals or marriage celebrations. In addition to the folk songs, Rexroth offers a wide sampling of Chinese verse: works by 60 different poets, from the third century to our own time. Rexroth always translated Chinese poetry––as he said––”solely to please myself.” And he created, with remarkable success, English versions which stand as poems in their own right.