Book Review — Bright Moon, White Clouds








Shambhala Publications

Moving well beyond a simple collection of translated poetry, J.P. Seaton introduces us to this eighth century poet, putting his work into the context of Chinese life and politics of the time. The extensive background which Mr. Seaton provides, sheds light onto the creative process of one of China’s most famous artists. The Notes to the Poems at the end of the book take that process a step further, as Mr. Seaton analyzes the poetry and the translation process in great detail.

Mr. Seaton presents Li Po’s poetry in five sections: drinking, friendship, philosophy/spirituality, protest, and travel. By focusing the reader’s attention in this way, organizing the poetry according to theme and apparent motivation, he is attempting to provide a glimpse of the real Li Po as distinct from the legendary Li Po.

For those who have no interest in the mechanics or history of poetry, Mr. Seaton provides seamless translations of Li Po’s work, making it possible for the reader to connect with the genius of the writing directly. On every level, this book is a treasure for any one who values the artistry of the written word. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2012 Anna Jedrziewski and

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