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For the interview with Tony in Winter 2000

For more of Tony's translations from the Chinese

Poetry selection from Readymades by Tony Barnstone in Fall 2001.

JIAO RAN (CHIAO-JAN) (730-799)


Translated by Tony Barnstone and Chou Ping


Jiao Ran was a monk poet from Changcheng in what is today Changxing County, Zhejiang Province. Deeply steeped in the Daoist, Buddhist and Confucian traditions. He was the tenth generation grandson of Xie Lingyun (385-443), the important Six Dynasties period poet and politician. He was born in Zhejiang and after 785 he resided in the Miaoxi Temple on Xu Mountain in Wuxing. In his time, he was considered a very important poet, often anthologized, and his complete works were collected on the Emperor's orders. He wrote significant literary criticism, and was an important influence on the Ancient-Style Prose Movement of his time.


On Lu Jianhong's Absence During My Visit to Him

You moved to the city outskirts
on a wild path leading through mulberry and hemp.
Chrysanthemums newly planted by your fence;
it's autumn but they're not in bloom.
No dog barks when I knock on the door.
I went to ask your neighbor to the west:
he says you disappear into the mountains
and return through the slanting sunset.