In our own time the "wilderness" has emerged as a source of spiritual renewal, both as idea and in actual practice. But Hsieh Ling-yün (385-433 C. E.) was there before us. During the last decade of his life, living as a recluse high in the mountains of southeast China, he initiated a tradition of "rivers-and-mountains" (shan-shui) poetry that stretches across the millennia in China, a tradition that represents the earliest and most extensive literary engagement with "the wild" in human history. These poems were hugely popular in Hsieh's own time and established him as one of the most innovative and influential poets in the history of Chinese poetry as well as a founder of Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism. Once again David Hinton, a recipient of fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts and The National Endowment for the Humanities and the winner of a Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from The Academy of American Poets, has produced a fluid and supple translation that does full justice to the rivers-and-mountains of Hsieh Ling-yün's inspiration.
Literature-Fiction, Poetry, Chinese,