The first collection of original poetry by the renowned nature writer and highly lauded translator of the Chinese classics.
David Hinton's poetic sense shines so brightly through his translations of the Chinese poets and in his transcendent prose that one assumes he must write his own verse—and he has indeed been doing so for years, sharing it informally at readings and among his students. Here at last is a collection of Hinton's poetry. The poems sing with his own very distinctive voice, which inevitably echoes the voices of the Chinese classic poets he knows so deeply. The poems in this collection relate to the title—Desert—both literally and figuratively, giving voice to the experience of spending time in places of physical challenge, desolation, and beauty, and also going deeper to the themes of the relative and absolute that dominate Hinton's work overall, as experienced in desert as a place where one is confronted by such ultimate matters in a way that touches the heart and mind profoundly.