Chinese Erotic Poems
Publication Date: October 16, 2007
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The ancient Chinese tradition of erotic poetry has been largely ignored in the west. Now, a vast continent of sensual verse is opened to us with this glorious collection spanning nearly three thousand years and including many poems never before translated into English.
Tony Barnstone and Chou Ping have brought together poems about deep love and pure lust, enticement and seduction, ecstasy and disappointment. Here are poems that express need, hunger, grief, and longing—for husbands and wives and for concubines and lovers; poems by turns explicit or subtle, light-hearted or desperate, written from both men’s and women’s points of view. The editors have drawn on a wide range of sources from 600 BCE to the present, including highly literary poems, popular verse, and folk songs, as well as poems that appeared in ancient Daoist sex manuals, in classical novels of the Ming Dynasty, and in collections of erotic prints. The result is a dazzling array of voices that speak the universal language of desire.
For the first time, all the major works of this beloved writer are gathered together in one hardcover volume.
Tony Barnstone is The Albert Upton Professor of English Language and Literature at Whittier College and has a master's in English and creative writing and Ph.D. in English literature from the University of California at Berkeley. His books of poetry include TONGUE OF WAR: FROM PEARL HARBOR TO NAGASAKI (BkMk Press, Univ of Missouri-Kansas City, 2009), The Golem of Los Angeles (Red Hen Press, 2008), which won the Benjamin Saltman Award in Poetry, Sad Jazz: Sonnets (Sheep Meadow Press, 2005) and Impure: Poems (University Press of Florida, 1998), in addition to a chapbook of poems, Naked Magic (Main Street Rag). He is also a distinguished translator of Chinese poetry and literary prose and an editor of literary textbooks. His books in these areas include Chinese Erotic Poetry (Everyman, 2007); The Anchor Book of Chinese Poetry (Anchor, 2005); Out of the Howling Storm: The New Chinese Poetry (Wesleyan, 1993); Laughing Lost in the Mountains: Poems of Wang Wei (University Press of New England, 1991); The Art of Writing: Teachings of the Chinese Masters (Shambhala, 1996); and the textbooks Literatures of Asia, Africa and Latin America, Literatures of Asia, and Literatures of the Middle East (all from Prentice Hall). Among his awards are the Grand Prize of the Strokestown International Poetry Festival and a Pushcart Prize in poetry, as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council. Born in Middletown, Connecticut, and raised in Bloomington, Indiana, Barnstone has lived in Greece, Spain, Kenya, and China.