'Farewell to Yang, Who's Leaving for Kuo-chou'

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Wang Wei is an eighth-century Chinese poet known for his tranquil, contemplative depiction of landscape scenes. The translation comes from David Hinton, a prominent translator of classical Chinese poetry.

To mark National Poetry Month, NPR.org is featuring a series of newly published works selected by the Academy of American Poets. Learn more about this and other titles at the academy's New Spring Books list.

Farewell to Yang, Who's Leaving for Kuo-chou

Wang Wei

Those canyons are too narrow to travel.

How will you make your way there, when

 

it's a mere bird-path — a thousand miles

and gibbons howling all day and night?

 

We offer travel-spirits wine, then you're

gone: Nü-lang Shrine, mountain forests

 

and beyond. But we still share a radiant

moon. And do you hear a nightjar there?

"Farewell to Yang, Who's Leaving for Kuo-chou" by Wang Wei, from The Selected Poems of Wang Wei, translated by David Hinton. Copyright 2006 by David Hinton. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.

Books Featured In This Story

The Selected Poems of Wang Wei
The Selected Poems of Wang Wei

by Wei Wang and David Hinton

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