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The Book of Cranes
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Zang Di (b.1964-) is one of the most original poets and influential poet-critics in China today, widely acclaimed throughout the country for his innovative use of language and ground-breaking critical essays that have defined a new generation after the misty and post-misty poets. Tackling a wide range of topics, from birds and plants, to the work of artists and philosophers like Rimbaud, Klee, and Wittgenstein, his poems integrate the intellectual and philosophical with the pragmatic and earthy, constructing wildly imaginative spaces where the mind and body meet. This is the first collection of Zang Di's poetry in English translation and spans thirty years of work, from 1984 to the present. Many of his most iconic poems are included. Throughout this book, Zang Di explores what it means to struggle at the points of conflict between Western influence and Chinese classical traditions, finding that "the Du Fu in me always goes to the international post-xyz gatherings without telling the Shakespeare in me." "This is astonishing work, hovering somewhere between the tactility of the French surrealists and the upside-down beauty of the best Chinese work: consistently surprising in thought and language, and the translations gorgeously realized."-Jeffrey Levine "The selection gives a perfect representation of an important contemporary Chinese poet who, at his best, achieves bewitching subtlety and haunting beauty. Now, thanks to Ming Di and Neil Aitken's exquisite translation, these poems have come to life in the English language. The chronological arrangement of the poems illuminates the modulating nuances in the poet's craft over the years, and enables the reader to see the vicissitudes of his inner life through the many transformations."-Xiaofei Tian Bi-lingual edition in Chinese and English translation by Ming Di and Neil Aitken.
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