Chinese Poems is a short collection of poetry translated into English by Charles Budd. Now republished by Forgotten Books, this collection provides the reader with the opportunity to enjoy some of China's finest and most lyrical poems.
Following a brief preface from translator Charles Budd, in which he explains how he came about the project of translating Chinese poems almost by accident, the book opens in earnest with an overview of the history and techniques of Chinese poetry. These opening chapters are crucial to the reader's interpretation of the poems presented in this collection. Budd discusses the most common structures of Chinese poetry and explains the steps and challenges faced in translating these words into English.
Following the introductory overview of Chinese poetry, a chapter is devoted to providing short biographies of the most prominent Chinese poets. These biographies serve as an introduction to the great Chinese poets, and provide the reader with some much needed context from which to approach the works presented.
This collection includes a total of fifty-five works from some of China's most well known poets. The poems themselves are predictably beautiful, creating wonderful scenes and drawing emotion from the reader. Standouts include The Flower Seller, Midnight in the Garden, and The Journey Back. Budd's translations are effective in preserving the tone and imagery of the originals.
Chinese Poems will appeal to any poetry enthusiast, in particular those who enjoy delving into the poetry of other nations. This book provides the rare opportunity to read the works of some of China's great poets in English, and is thus highly recommended.