A breathtaking introduction to Chinese multidirectional poems, told through the story of Su Hui, the greatest writer of these poems who embroidered a silk with 840 characters--equaling as many as 12,000 multidirectional poems--for her distant husband. For nearly two thousand years, the condensed language of classical Chinese has offered the possibility of writing poems thaA breathtaking introduction to Chinese multidirectional poems, told through the story of Su Hui, the greatest writer of these poems who embroidered a silk with 840 characters--equaling as many as 12,000 multidirectional poems--for her distant husband. For nearly two thousand years, the condensed language of classical Chinese has offered the possibility of writing poems that may be read both forward and backward, producing entirely different creations. The genre was known as the -flight of wild geese, - and the poems were often symbolically or literally sent to a distant lover, in the hope that he or she, like the migrating birds, would return. Its greatest practitioner, and the focus of this critical anthology, is Su Hui, a woman who, in the fourth century, embroidered a silk for her distant husband consisting of a grid of 840 characters. No one has ever fully explored all of its possibilities, but it is estimated that the poem--and the poems within the poem--may be read as many as twelve thousand ways. Su Hui herself said, -As it lingers aimlessly, twisting and turning, it takes on a pattern of its own. No one but my beloved can be sure of comprehending it.- With examples ranging from the third to the nineteenth centuries, Michele Metail brings the scholarship of a Sinologist and the playfulness of an avant-gardist to this unique collection of perhaps the most ancient of experimental poems....
|Title||:||Wild Geese Returning: Chinese Reversible Poems|
|Number of Pages||:||312 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Wild Geese Returning: Chinese Reversible Poems Reviews
This space reserved for the outpouring of love and appreciation I will one day write with regards to this work and its translation. THANK you Ms. Métail and THANK you Ms. Gladding and THANK you to the dear friend who sent me this book in the mail Buy this! Read it! Loan your copy to a friend!
An intriguing collection and discussion of a genre of "Reversible" poems--but Michèle Métail illuminates many many more ways to read these poems than simply backwards and forwards. "Sky looks to the clarity of the river, the river looks to the mountain (p 188, Yang Wanli)Poetry in translation are works of art by many hands. Fifteen hundred years ago or more, Su Hui wrote the quintessential reversible poem, through the centuries, many poets emulated or alluded to her story, then Michèle Métail studied and translated her poem into French, and them Jody Gladding translated Michèle Métail's translation into English. The long chain of poetry echoes across the centuries. Almost every rendition of the poems had a line that stunned me and was particularly evocative. Her are a few: "In the distant closeness of the sky..." (p 130, Qian Weizhi)"Peach and pear tree do not speak but they summon souls" (p 138, Sun Mingfu)"Heaven and earth can see one another without end" (p 140, Sun Mingfu)"Regrets are deep, written in vain a short letter on red paper (p 164, Su Dongpo)I've begun to use these lines as prompts for my own writing.
Does one ever "finish" a book of poetry? I certainly do not. But I've gotten to a point where I can talk about this astonishing book. There were, and still are, Chinese poets who constructed their poems to be read in different directions, or even in a circular fashion. The meaning of the poem morphs into something else entirely with the same words - sometimes similar, sometimes not. Some poems have so many permutations that it would be impossible to read them all in a human life span! I had never heard of this and was fascinated and moved by the poems within.