Desert: Poems (Paperback)

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David Hinton will read from Desert at Bear Pond Books on Tuesday, September 4th at 7pm, with Jody Gladding, who will read from her new book, the spiders      my arms.


The first collection of original poetry by the renowned nature writer and highly lauded translator of the Chinese classics.

Traveling today I
found a river
somewhere inside
me, wondered
how far it
wanders there
and how much
sky it
mirrors. All day
long, wind and desert

light, I
followed that river’s
distances . . . 
Weaving mind and landscape together in meditations on sky and wind, ridgeline and horizon, existence and self, Desert marks David Hinton’s first collection of original poetry in over a decade. Hinton’s poetic art has long shined brilliantly through his widely acclaimed Chinese translations—and here speaks for itself in his contemporary voice as he turns his attention to the transcendent landscape of the American West. Updating the philosophical insights of ancient China that Hinton has explored so deeply, these poems bring the wonder and ancient mystery of the desert landscape to light. Hinton demonstrated in The Wilds of Poetry how those ancient Chinese insights shaped the innovative American poetry of our time, and here he extends that tradition in poems that are spare and spacious, as vast and open as the desert itself.

About the Author

David Hinton’s many translations of classical Chinese poetry have earned wide acclaim for creating compelling contemporary poems that convey the texture and density of the originals. He is also the first translator in over a century to translate the five seminal masterworks of Chinese philosophy: I Ching, Tao Te ChingChuang TzuAnalects, and Mencius. Hinton has received many national awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, both major awards for poetry translation, and most recently, a lifetime achievement award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Praise For…

"A deft collection of short poems on the desert of the American West."—Spirituality & Practice

"Desert is artfully composed by a poet fully attuned to his craft and to the sages who wrote before him. He successfully takes that tradition to the American desert, with meditative poems in which the writer is secondary to the magnificence of habitat."—Rain Taxi Review of Books
Product Details
ISBN: 9781611805932
ISBN-10: 1611805937
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication Date: July 10th, 2018
Pages: 144
Language: English