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First published in 1937. The Book of Songs is a collection of ancient Chinese songs, dating from 800 to 600 B.C. Until this was published in 1937 it had not been translated into English since the middle of nineteenth century, when sinology was still in its infancy. For the first time the original meaning of 290 out of the 305 songs is given, use being made of the advances First published in 1937. The Book of Songs is a collection of ancient Chinese songs, dating from 800 to 600 B.C. Until this was published in 1937 it had not been translated into English since the middle of nineteenth century, when sinology was still in its infancy. For the first time the original meaning of 290 out of the 305 songs is given, use being made of the advances in the study of old Chinese. The result is not merely a clear picture of early Chinese life, but also the restoration to its proper place in world literature of one of the finest collection of traditional songs.


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First published in 1937. The Book of Songs is a collection of ancient Chinese songs, dating from 800 to 600 B.C. Until this was published in 1937 it had not been translated into English since the middle of nineteenth century, when sinology was still in its infancy. For the first time the original meaning of 290 out of the 305 songs is given, use being made of the advances First published in 1937. The Book of Songs is a collection of ancient Chinese songs, dating from 800 to 600 B.C. Until this was published in 1937 it had not been translated into English since the middle of nineteenth century, when sinology was still in its infancy. For the first time the original meaning of 290 out of the 305 songs is given, use being made of the advances in the study of old Chinese. The result is not merely a clear picture of early Chinese life, but also the restoration to its proper place in world literature of one of the finest collection of traditional songs.

30 review for Romancero chino

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    I find myself randomly shouting 'Alas for the Zou-Yu!' when I drive home now (cf. 25). Thanks ancient Chinese poetry. I find myself randomly shouting 'Alas for the Zou-Yu!' when I drive home now (cf. 25). Thanks ancient Chinese poetry.

  2. 5 out of 5

    D

    Excellent collection and interpretation of classic poetry written 2500 years ago. The Chou were less confident: archaic Chinese writings, including many of the Songs, are filled with notes of anxiety lest the ruler stray and Heaven, in its wrath, withdraw its charge from Chou: To begin well is common; To end well is rare indeed. 'The anxiety is reminiscent of the caution that the house of Israel needed to show, always under the watchful eye of God; but the situation of the Chou was even more precar Excellent collection and interpretation of classic poetry written 2500 years ago. The Chou were less confident: archaic Chinese writings, including many of the Songs, are filled with notes of anxiety lest the ruler stray and Heaven, in its wrath, withdraw its charge from Chou: To begin well is common; To end well is rare indeed. 'The anxiety is reminiscent of the caution that the house of Israel needed to show, always under the watchful eye of God; but the situation of the Chou was even more precarious: they were not, like the people of Israel, chosen forever, but merely given an office which they could keep only so long as they carried out its duties and remained successful. And the clearest evidence of Heaven's support was to be found in the voices of the common people. The Chou were constantly reminded of the fate of the dynasty they had conquered, the Yin or Shang Dynasty, which had in its day enjoyed Heaven's favor and then lost it.' The Chou was an agrarian dynasty, and their sense of beauty and order is closely related to the cycles and abundance of the agricultural year. In a society of warriors, life is directed to a single intense and uncertain moment of decision, crisis; this plays a powerful role in understanding the structure of time and events, hence of narrative. Agrarian time is cyclical, a complete and repeating series of acts and event, all of which are equally necessary and all of which contribute to the whole. The need for wholeness in poetry of the Chou goes far deeper than the dynasty's need for assurance of universal support: it embodies a larger sense of how the world and events in it are structured. The anthology presents the full human share of unhappiness and pain, but usually the reasons behind suffering are quite clear: desertion by a lover, misgovernment, the hardships of forced military service. In the increasingly turbulent and violent centuries that followed the 7th century BC, much in The Book of Songs seemed indeed to come from a lost era in which the world was comprehensible; and the anthology contributed much to the Chinese myth of the Chou as the ideal polity. The flight of birds, their cries, the movement of animals, the condition of flowers, dewy or rain-dabbled, the restlessness of insects, the sound of their wings, the fading of the stars -- all these play their part in early Chinese imagery; as symbols, illustrations, or omens according to the context. That the cries of birds should be interpreted as words with real meaning strikes us at first as odd. But remember that such cries as the caw-case, coo-coo, cluck-cluck, quack-quack, are typical of the sounds that actually existed in early Chinese vocabulary. It was difficult to believe that birds and beasts did not use them with the same intention as human beings.

  3. 5 out of 5

    James Violand

    This book reminds me of the Ancient Greek Hesiod's Works and Days - a nearly contemporary work with The Book of Songs. A composite work of ancient Chinese peasants and poets, it harkens to a time of planting and the mankind's suffering due to nature's and the ruler's capricious ways. Though the weakest first part of the work consists of songs (by nature redundant and their melodies long forgotten) if the reader plows through it, he will perceive a humanity that has changed very little in 3000 ye This book reminds me of the Ancient Greek Hesiod's Works and Days - a nearly contemporary work with The Book of Songs. A composite work of ancient Chinese peasants and poets, it harkens to a time of planting and the mankind's suffering due to nature's and the ruler's capricious ways. Though the weakest first part of the work consists of songs (by nature redundant and their melodies long forgotten) if the reader plows through it, he will perceive a humanity that has changed very little in 3000 years.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Leajk

    I loved the love poems, then skipped the war poems. Impossible to rate it due to the gap of translation and time gap. Read as a part of understanding the Japanese Heian period better as they were obsessed with Chinese poetry.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Adam Hoss

    I've made it a mission to read more of the important works non-Western literature. The Shijing, or "Classic of Poetry" is perhaps the world's oldest literary anthology. Compiled during the Hundred Schools of Thought period in Classical China, the Shijing contains 305 poems, some dating as far back as the 11th century BC, during the Zhou Dynasty. I read the Legge translation. I'm sure the Waley translation is superior. Whether or not Confucius himself served as editor to this anthology, we know th I've made it a mission to read more of the important works non-Western literature. The Shijing, or "Classic of Poetry" is perhaps the world's oldest literary anthology. Compiled during the Hundred Schools of Thought period in Classical China, the Shijing contains 305 poems, some dating as far back as the 11th century BC, during the Zhou Dynasty. I read the Legge translation. I'm sure the Waley translation is superior. Whether or not Confucius himself served as editor to this anthology, we know that he was familiar with its contents, saying of the poems that their subject matter was "expressive of pleasure without being licentious, and of grief without being hurtfully excessive." The book contains sacred hymns and prayers used in rituals, but also a collection of folk songs recording the voices of the common people. I was gathering and gathering the mouse-ear, But could not fill my shallow basket. With a sigh for the man of my heart, I placed it there on the highway. I was ascending that rock-covered height, But my horses were too tired to breast it. I will now pour a cup from that gilded vase, Hoping I may not have to think of him long. I was ascending that lofty ridge, But my horses turned of a dark yellow. I will now take a cup from that rhinoceros' horn, Hoping I may not have long to sorrow. I was ascending that flat-topped height, But my horses became quite disabled, And my servants were [also] disabled. Oh! how great is my sorrow! This nearly 3000-year-old poem provides a narrative through which the ancient poet expresses feelings of longing and sorrow. It provides useful evidence that human nature changes little over the centuries. We can easily imagine a similar poem being written today. However, some of the other poems in the anthology certainly will strike our modern ears as odd. Many of them are very repetitive, sometimes changing a only single word in each stanza. The peach tree is young and elegant; Brilliant are its flowers. This young lady is going to her future home, And will order well her chamber and house. The peach tree is young and elegant; Abundant will be its fruits. This young lady is going to her future home, And will order well her chamber and house. The peach tree is young and elegant; Luxuriant are its leaves. This young lady is going to her future home, And will order well her family. The scholar Lie Shipei saw a precursor to Chinese literature in the ritual spells found on oracle bones during the earlier Shang Dynasty, the first documented period of Chinese history. There does seem to be something of an incantation and ritual nature to the more repetitive poems. Some of the poems are more repetitive still. Consider the Chinese text of poem #8: 采采芣苡、薄言采之。 采采芣苡、薄言有之。 采采芣苡、薄言掇之。 采采芣苡、薄言捋之。 采采芣苡、薄言袺之。 采采芣苡、薄言襭之。 The poem essentially repeats, over and over again, a couplet about gathering plantains. We can perhaps deduce the influence of the earlier era, in which prayers and divinations frequently used a fortuitous harvest as a theme. Most interesting to me is poem #113 in the collection, which is often held up as an example of the bi style parable. The standard interpretation is that the "large rats" is a reference to corrupt government officials. Large rats! Large rats! Do not eat our millet. Three years have we had to do with you, And you have not been willing to show any regard for us. We will leave you, And go to that happy land. Happy land! Happy land! There shall we find our place. We can see devices such as metaphor and symbolism even in this early example of poetry. Perhaps this was an attempt to elude government censors, or to criticize the officials without fear of reprimand. If so, it provides an interesting link with the "misty poets" of 1980s China, who also used symbolism and indirect metaphors to encode anti-government messages (a tradition which continues to the present). In an 1891 English edition, translator William Jennings writes that the Shijing "represents, as in a mirror, the circumstances, the thoughts, the habits, the joys and sorrows of persons of all classes of society in China 3,000 years ago, pourtrayed by themselves." He continues by noting the "strange customs" and "peculiar ideas" of these ancient people, but at the same time conceding that "And yet, as proving that human nature is the same in its feelings and humours, and in its virtues and vices, despite the limits of millenniums and the boundaries of continents, there are pages in which we feel ourselves standing in the midst of the modern life of Europe. We are introduced to a people and a country till of late little known, but which we find here to have been possessed of a moderately high civilization and a literature at a time when our own forefathers were actual barbarians roaming their virgin forests." The most influential poem of the collection deals with the Chinese interpretation of the "divine right of kings." Scholars in Ancient China frequently debated the fall of the Shang Dynasty. If Heaven gave a decree that the Shangs should rule, then why (and how) were they overthrown? For defenders of the old guard, the answer was self-evident: the Zhou family were illegitimate leaders who had usurped power against the will of Heaven. But, the following poem in the Shijing provides documentary clues as to how the debate was settled. The poem would later influence the political philosophy of Confucius. Great is the appointment of Heaven! There were the descendants of [the sovereigns] of Shang;— The descendants of the sovereigns of Shang, Were in number more than hundreds of thousands; But when God gave the command, They became subject to Zhou. They became subject to Zhou. The appointment of Heaven is not constant. The officers of Yin, admirable and alert, Assist at the libations in [our] capital; They assist at those libations, Always wearing the hatchets on their lower garment and their peculiar cap. O ye loyal ministers of the king , Ever think of your ancestor! Ever think of your ancestor, Cultivating your virtue, Always striving to accord with the will [of Heaven]. So shall you be seeking for much happiness. Before Yin lost the multitudes, [Its kings] were the assessors of God. Look to Yin as a beacon; The great appointment is not easily [preserved]. The appointment is not easily [preserved], Do not cause your own extinction. Display and make bright your righteousness and name, And look at [the fate of] Yin in the light of Heaven. The doings of High Heaven, Have neither sound nor smell. Take your pattern from King Wen , And the myriad regions will repose confidence in you. So the decree of Heaven can be lost, if the ruler is not careful. The last line is key: behave as a just and fair leader, and the people will respect you. Confucius later developed this theme by arguing that the will of Heaven manifests itself in the will of the people. If the common people rebel and overthrow the king - provided the rebellion is successful - this is proof, retroactively, that the king had lost Heaven's decree to rule. This idea motivated future kings (and, later, emperors) to strive to remain in the good graces of the citizenry. This idea permeates the entirety of Chinese history, including language in the 1992 compromise between the mainland People's Republic of China and Taiwan, nearly 3000 years later. This is perhaps the earliest known example of literature shaping historical events.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Edward Rathke

    It's weird to rate something like this, because it's not really a book in a traditional sense, or even a poetry collection. It's more like a record of ancient China. With regard to that, it's not especially fun to read. Some of the poems are great. They're simple and about simple things. Simple lives. These were my favorite poems in the book. The simple ones about life as a farmer, as a citizen, as a woman, as a lover. I was less invested in the poems that were not about these kinds of simple thi It's weird to rate something like this, because it's not really a book in a traditional sense, or even a poetry collection. It's more like a record of ancient China. With regard to that, it's not especially fun to read. Some of the poems are great. They're simple and about simple things. Simple lives. These were my favorite poems in the book. The simple ones about life as a farmer, as a citizen, as a woman, as a lover. I was less invested in the poems that were not about these kinds of simple things. Part of that is surely because my knowledge of ancient China is, at best, poor. I mean, I know big chunks of Chinese history fairly well, but what happened in China 2,500 years ago is just not something I know much about. Which is partly what made these poems so interesting. Life has not changed immensely since those times, excepting the obvious differences. But people were still just people. Working, loving, singing, dancing. My complete ignorance on the Chinese language or the Chinese originals of these poems means I'm also unqualified to even guess at whether these are good translations or not. But I'd recommend it for people interested in foundational texts of China. Not so much if you're just looking for good poetry. It's a text that's more important in its context. The poems themselves aren't always very good or appealing. But, I mean, how many poems can remain amazing after 2,500 years?

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mary Soon Lee

    "The Book of Songs" is the oldest of the Chinese classics, a collection of 305 songs that date back over two thousand years to the Zhou kingdom. These songs/poems held a huge importance in Confucianism and in Chinese literature. They are presented in the order they appeared in the classic edition known as the Mao version. I knew little about this prior to reading the book, and I apologize for any mistakes I've made in my comments. Now classed as poetry, the original versions derived from songs: f "The Book of Songs" is the oldest of the Chinese classics, a collection of 305 songs that date back over two thousand years to the Zhou kingdom. These songs/poems held a huge importance in Confucianism and in Chinese literature. They are presented in the order they appeared in the classic edition known as the Mao version. I knew little about this prior to reading the book, and I apologize for any mistakes I've made in my comments. Now classed as poetry, the original versions derived from songs: folk songs, songs from rituals, ceremonial songs -- some of them perhaps courtship songs with men and women singing in call and response, some of them perhaps accompanied by dance as well as music. Although they arose from songs, the music has been lost. Add to this the difficulty of translating lyrics, where it is almost impossible to preserve rhythm, rhyme, sound, and it doesn't surprise me that I found the English renditions rather flat. I imagine reading a song like Greensleeves in translation and without the music. This book contains Arthur Waley's translation of the bulk of the songs along with his comments. In addition, it contains a foreword by Stephen Owen, plus Joseph R. Allen's translations of fifteen songs that Waley omitted, plus Allen's comments and an extensive postface that Allen wrote on the literary history of "The Book of Songs." The foreword and postface help explain the origins of the songs/poems, their historical importance, and the commentaries and interpretations that were attached to them. The postface uses song 81 as an example of how later material attached to the text. Here is Allen's translation: Along the Highroad If along the highroad I caught hold of your cuff, Do not hate me; Old ways take time to overcome. If along the highroad I caught hold of your hand, Do not be angry with me; Love takes time to overcome. The influential Mao version of the book, dating from about two thousand years ago, contained accompanying notes both of a lexical nature and on the general meaning. Of number 81, it says, '"Along the Highroad" describes thinking of one's noble lord; Duke Zhuang of Zheng neglected the proper way and the noble lords abandoned him. The men of the state longed for them/him.' [Note that the original contains no mention of Duke Zhuang.] Another influential version of the book, Kong Ying-da's version from 641 CE, went into greater length on the general meaning--still tying it to Duke Zhuang--and on specific words. (Allen's postface quotes the discussion of the word translated as cuff.) Whereas in the 12th century, a paraphrase by Zhu Xi has no mention of Duke Zhuang, saying instead "A licentious woman was abandoned by someone; upon the point of him leaving her, she grabbed his cuff in order to detain him.... These too are the lyrics of a love song between a man and a woman." Historically, the interpretations that attached to "The Book of Songs" were very important. For myself, I am most interested in what the songs/poems show of life in China thousands of years ago: farming, courtship, being a soldier or a servant or a wife, divination, beliefs about ancestors. I liked it when I felt the emotion behind the songs/poems. I liked how some of the lines remain very timely, e.g. from number 195: Shallow words are what they heed, And shallow words make their debate. Some of the notes are fascinating, for instance the brief statement on number 280 that "Musicians were generally blind men," or the explanation preceding number 209 that a young man, referred to as the Dead One, would impersonate their dead ancestor during sacrifices. As poetry, stripped of music, translated into English, this book is somewhat lacking. As a record of a Chinese classic, plus a discussion of its historical importance, plus a glimpse into life thousands of years ago, it is fascinating. Hard to rate overall, but I'll settle on 4 out of 5 Confucian stars. About my reviews: I try to review every book I read, including those that I don't end up enjoying. The reviews are not scholarly, but just indicate my reaction as a reader, reading being my addiction. I am miserly with 5-star reviews; 4 stars means I liked a book very much; 3 stars means I liked it; 2 stars means I didn't like it (though often the 2-star books are very popular with other readers and/or are by authors whose other work I've loved).

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ad

    The Classic of Poetry, Shijing, translated variously as the "Book of Songs" (as here) or "Book of Odes," is the oldest collection of Chinese poetry, consisting of 305 poems dating from the 11th to 7th centuries BCE. It is one of the "Five Classics" traditionally (but incorrectly) said to have been compiled by Confucius, and has been studied and memorized by scholars in China and neighboring countries over two millennia. The Classic of Poetry can be divided into two main sections: the "Airs of the The Classic of Poetry, Shijing, translated variously as the "Book of Songs" (as here) or "Book of Odes," is the oldest collection of Chinese poetry, consisting of 305 poems dating from the 11th to 7th centuries BCE. It is one of the "Five Classics" traditionally (but incorrectly) said to have been compiled by Confucius, and has been studied and memorized by scholars in China and neighboring countries over two millennia. The Classic of Poetry can be divided into two main sections: the "Airs of the States", and the "eulogies and hymns." The "Airs of the States" are short lyrics in simple language. They generally consist of ancient folk songs speaking of love and courtship, longing for an absent lover, soldiers on campaign, farming and housework, and political satire and protest. The poems were originally songs accompanied by tunes now lost. On the other hand, songs in the two "Eulogy" sections ("Lesser Ya" and "Greater Ya") and the "Temple Hymns" section tend to be longer ritual songs, usually in the form of courtly panegyrics or dynastic hymns. These sections - which are concerned with life at the royal court and its ceremonies, including worship of the royal ancestors - are the oldest parts, while the youngest are the Airs of the States. Whether the various Shijing poems were folk songs or not, they all seem to have passed through the hands of men of letters at the royal Zhou court. In other words, they show an overall literary polish together with some general stylistic consistency. About 95% of lines are written in a four-syllable meter. Almost all of the "Airs" consist of three stanzas, with four-line stanzas being most common. One of the characteristics of the poems in the Classic of Poetry is that they tend to possess elements of repetition and variation, probably due to their oral folk song origin. The Shijing has been a revered "Confucian Classic" since the Han Dynasty, and has been studied and memorized by centuries of scholars in China. The individual songs of the Odes, though frequently on simple, rustic subjects, have traditionally been saddled with extensive, elaborate allegorical meanings that assigned moral or political meaning to the smallest details of each line. The songs were seen as good keys to understanding the troubles of the common people - complaints against lovers were seen as complaints against faithless rulers. The Shijing was considered as a canonical collection of important moral truths and lessons. According to the Shiji (Records of the Historian, early 1st c. BCE), Confucius would have selected 305 out of a corpus of more than 3,000 songs. Whether Confucius actually compiled the Shijing is more than questionable. Confucius and his direct followers have, however, regularly quoted from the Shijing, so it must have existed by the 6th c. BCE. It is said about him in the Lunyu (Analects): "The Master once stood by himself, and I hurried to seek teaching from him. He asked me, 'You've studied the Odes?' I answered, 'Not yet.' He replied, 'If you have not studied the Odes, then I have nothing to say.'" Confucius saw a guide for moderation in speech and action in the content and language of the Shijing. The Shijing established the basis for the long and glorious tradition of Chinese classical poetry, which was practiced continuously as the preferred form of literati verse until the previous century. What about this translation? Arthur Waley (1889-1966) was one of the first modern translators of Chinese and Japanese traditional literature, working according to high scholarly standards, but aiming his books at a more general audience as well. He writes a beautiful Bloomsbury style English and has a happy hand in finding equivalents for Chinese expressions of so long ago. The translation was published originally in 1937, and has been completed with additional translations by Joseph Allen of 15 poems that were omitted by Waley; Allen also wrote an interesting postface. Waley is the best translation we have, and he has made older ones such as by James Legge obsolete. But Waley's translation is not faultless - since the 1930s, Sinology has advanced and so has our knowledge of the language of the Shi Jing. A translator aided by modern commentaries from China and Japan would in many cases opt for other solutions. Yes, this is a beautiful translation, the best we have - but also: yes, it is time for a new translation!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    This book of ancient Chinese poetry proved less interesting than earlier passages I'd read from the work had led me to believe it would be. The poetry included here definitely are song lyrics insofar as the pieces usually quite repetitive, with minor variations made in each stanza. As such, the work can be interesting. But as well as Waley does in terms of trying to provide context for the poetry through occasional introductions and frequent footnotes, much of it didn't really speak to me in our This book of ancient Chinese poetry proved less interesting than earlier passages I'd read from the work had led me to believe it would be. The poetry included here definitely are song lyrics insofar as the pieces usually quite repetitive, with minor variations made in each stanza. As such, the work can be interesting. But as well as Waley does in terms of trying to provide context for the poetry through occasional introductions and frequent footnotes, much of it didn't really speak to me in our contemporary times (in fact, the footnotes often proved distracting, as they provided alternative translations or generally ruined the feel of the songs when I paid attention to them). There are poems here about serving the king, about sacrificing to the gods, about dynasties, about hunting, about farming, much of the material seeming quite remote. The real beautiful pieces of the collection come in the first third of the book. Those are the love and marriage songs. The human heart, it seems, doesn't change, and many of the songs about losing one's loved ones seem to carry the same anguish that folks today would also serve up. I look forward to turning my attention to some more contemplative classical Chinese poets, who may well run down similar paths to these songs.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Harperac

    I was hesitant to read this book, because I felt sure that it would be a bunch of dry, almost anthropological translations of poems that were already a bit dull. As a matter of fact, Waley really brings these poems to life. Even the ones that are repetitive and slightly pointless to begin with. In fact, these poems truly sparkle with freshness. He makes you feel that you are hearing what these poets (many of them presumably humble folk singers) would have said if they had spoken in English. The f I was hesitant to read this book, because I felt sure that it would be a bunch of dry, almost anthropological translations of poems that were already a bit dull. As a matter of fact, Waley really brings these poems to life. Even the ones that are repetitive and slightly pointless to begin with. In fact, these poems truly sparkle with freshness. He makes you feel that you are hearing what these poets (many of them presumably humble folk singers) would have said if they had spoken in English. The feeling comes through very strongly, especially the phases of love -- attraction, courtship, longing, heartbreak. And the imagery, drawn from country life, has a noble plainness to it. A bird here, a plant there. However, this is a hard book to recommend to anyone. Taken as poetry alone, this very long book (over 300 pages) is somewhat repetitive in theme and technique. Because I know something of the period and the different lands, associating each cycle with a certain state (like Qin, or licentious Zheng) provided me with a great thrill. This will hardly carry the general reader through, however. By the same token, anyone interested in the period would be advised to start with the Analects or other philosophical works. With some of the ideas and history under your belt (or girdle, as every handsome stranger in this book wears) this book will be a much more rewarding read. There are numerous poems I want to point out. I will excerpt only one though, this stanza of one of the most famous poems in the collection: Look at that little bay of the Qi, Its kitesfoot so delicately waving. Delicately fashioned is my lord, As thing cut, as thing filed, As thing chiseled, as thing polished. Oh, the grace, the elegance! Oh, the luster, oh, the light! Delicately fashioned is my lord; Never for a moment can I forget him.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    I don't know how this book wound up on my to read list. I love poetry but I feel that something was lost in translation with this version of The Book Of Songs. I couldn't get into it and I don't know why I don't know how this book wound up on my to read list. I love poetry but I feel that something was lost in translation with this version of The Book Of Songs. I couldn't get into it and I don't know why

  12. 5 out of 5

    Belle Meade School

    895

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lexi

    Read for LIT 460

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kadiatu

    Veeerry interesting, to learn about Chinese, namely Confucian philosophy. Every other line I read, you wouldn't believe, is very closely related to our Islamic teachings. Just read, and you'll be able to compare. *A couple examples: -If you do not implement all that you have learned from reading [these Songs], it does not matter if you memorized a thousand of them. -We need to have a balance between human beings and nature. Veeerry interesting, to learn about Chinese, namely Confucian philosophy. Every other line I read, you wouldn't believe, is very closely related to our Islamic teachings. Just read, and you'll be able to compare. *A couple examples: -If you do not implement all that you have learned from reading [these Songs], it does not matter if you memorized a thousand of them. -We need to have a balance between human beings and nature.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sheri Fresonke Harper

    This is one of the Chinese Classics so I wanted to read it. The poems paint scenes of culture, love, love lost, war, told to hit the road. The translation is the easy way to read them. The text offers explanations about the times, who was in charge, and the importance of people. It also offers coherent details about how poems interconnect metaphorically or via images or words.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Robins

    Not bad for ancient Chinese poetry. Rather fasinating to read and speculate what life was like for these people. The poetry is different that Wester culture but often the themes are issues we have today. Interesting read.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I'm a lover of the Arthur Waley translation. I return to it time and time again despite quite a few translation errors. His ability to render and preserve the spirit is once again, why he is considered one of the foremost scholars on Chinese literature. I'm a lover of the Arthur Waley translation. I return to it time and time again despite quite a few translation errors. His ability to render and preserve the spirit is once again, why he is considered one of the foremost scholars on Chinese literature.

  18. 5 out of 5

    W.M. Driscoll

    Arthur Waley does his usual stand-up job translating an ancient Chinese classic and making it accessible and enjoyable to the modern reader. For anyone interested in Chinese history, culture, poetry in general or Confucianism in the specific, this is The Book of Songs translation for you.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lulu

    11th to 7th centuries BCE

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    If along the highroad I caught hold of your sleeve, Do not hate me; Old ways take time to overcome.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rosie

    some of these are beautiful

  22. 5 out of 5

    Maggie

    Not my favorite era. Or poetic style. This is early...allegedly organized by Confucius.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Boardman

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

  25. 5 out of 5

    Qinglan

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alfhar

  27. 4 out of 5

    Pepijn van Duijn

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ani

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jaspero

  30. 4 out of 5

    Paula

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