Women Poets Of China
Fiction by Kenneth Rexroth
This book (originally published in 1972 by The Seabury Press as The Orchid Boat) is the first representative collection of the poetry of Chinese women to appear in English. Unlike Japan with its long tradition of women writers, poetry by women did not become fashionable in China until the Ch’ing dynasty (1644-1911), although poems from earlier centuries that do in fact survive will quickly dispel any stereotyped views. Included here are samplings from the legendary earliest poetry of courtesans, palace women, and Tao priestesses to works by contemporary Chinese women living in both the East and West. Appendixes include notes on the poems, an introductory essay on Chinese women and literature, a table of historical periods, and a bibliography.