Hop in and sample the riches to be found in the ocean of Chinese poetry. At the heart of Ocean of Poetry is a deep sampling of poems from the Chinese, translated by both the pioneers of translation and the recent generations. Traditionalists and adventurous experimenters, all are welcome here.
We hope you find your favorites – poets and translators – and discover eye (and heart) opening new ones. The poems are now arranged by poet chronologically, and we’ll be adding new poems, new poets, and new translators on an ongoing basis. A living breathing anthology…
What is yueh-fu, how do you identify Buddhist, Taoist, or Confucian images that a poet might be using, what did a classical poem sound like? Perhaps like me, you caught the Chinese poetry bug by coming across amazing poem after amazing poem. The wanting to know more about the poets, their times, their images. . . came later. We’re searching the depths of the ocean of writings to bring together the most informative and enlightening writings about the poems and the poetry at the heart of Ocean of Poetry.
We’ll also act the responsible librarian and bring together the most helpful resources and references to help you go beyond what we can offer here. To begin with we have compiled a comprehensive list of web links to online poems, writings, and resources. We’re all part of this oceanic ancient and living ecosystem.
As with any journey you’re never fully ready when you set out. There are many areas we have only or not even scratched the surface of yet – calligraphy and painting to name one (or two), Zen poetry, poetry and songs (no, not the Song but the singing kind), Chinese culture, and much more. We’ll eventually offer co-editor J.P. Seaton’s complete “An Introduction to Traditional Chinese Culture” lecture series drawn from his 35 years of playing Professor Seaton at UNC, Chapel Hill.
If–when–you get the itch for more of Yuan Mei or Li Po or T’ao Ch’ien you can conveniently peruse our online store and purchase one of the many wonderful books of Chinese poetry now available.
If you enjoy your time in the Ocean of Poetry, do come back as we will be growing and deepening. And we look forward to hearing from you; please let us know what you like and what you’d like to see here.