Book of Songs (Shi-Jing)

Book of Songs (Shi-Jing) : A New Translation of Selected Poems from the Ancient Chinese Anthology

3.95 (42 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 
3.95 (42 ratings by Goodreads)
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Claimed by some to have been compiled by Confucius in the 5th century BCE, the Book of Songs is an ancient anthology of Chinese poetry. Collecting poems over a number of centuries, the anthology - sometimes known as the Classic of Poetry (or Shi-jing) - is the oldest existing collection of Chinese poetry, comprising 305 works dating from the 11th to 7th centuries BCE.
Some poems are shorter lyrics in simple language that are folk songs which record the voice of the common people, addressing love and courtship, political satire and protest. Other poems are about court life and dynasties. Nearly all of the songs are rhyming.
In the same way that Homer's epics took hold within the West, the Book of Songs played a role in spheres far beyond literature, with a lasting influence on education, politics and communal life.
Produced using traditional Chinese bookbinding techniques, this edition of the Book of Songs is a selected anthology of 25 classic poems presented in an exquisite dual-language edition.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 96 pages
  • 196 x 265 x 22mm | 750g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Bilingual edition
  • Bilingual
  • 1782749446
  • 9781782749448
  • 1,211,596

Table of contents


The Cry of the Fish-hawk
The Cloth-Vine Grows
Rabbit Nets
The Katydid
The Cypress Wood Boat
The Gourd has Bitter Leaves
How Swift the Quail
How Free the Hare
The Blue Collar
How Agile
Climbing the Hill
Swiftly Stoops the Falcon
On the Shore of the Marsh
The Eastern Hills

Four White Horses
Trumpet Flowers
Wild Geese
The Fourth Month

Thick Grow the Oaks
Spirit Tower
The Prestige of King Wen
Drawing Water
Through the Twisting Valleys
The Omens of Shao

Valiant and Refined
We offer sacrifices
Bounteous Year
How Sharp the Ploughshares
Silk Robes

A note on the translation
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Review quote

Sometimes a publisher and author together create a beautiful book, a keepsake as well as a joy to read, and Amber Books (London, UK 2021) has done just that in publishing a selection from the ancient Chinese Book of Songs ("Shi-Jing"). Highly recommended. ...The care of the binding, the rich smooth interior paper, makes it feel like someone has brought precious music and knowledge from far away, and left it at your doorstep. -- G. H. Mosson * *
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About Confucius

Confucius - the Latinized name of K'ung Fu-tzu (Great Master K'ung) - was a descendant of a branch of the Shang dynasty that ruled China from around 1122 BCE to 221 BCE. He was born around 551 BCE in what is now the province of Shantung in northeastern China. He worked in a number of roles before becoming a teacher. Around 498 BCE, he began a long journey throughout eastern China accompanied by several of his disciples, during which he developed his ideas on philosophy and the art of government, as well as teaching. He acquired a large following which has become known as the school of Ju (Confucianism). Confucius died in 479 BCE.
James Trapp is the author of Chinese Characters: The Art and Meaning of Hanzi, Chinese Proverbs and also has translated a bestselling new multilingual edition of Sun Tzu's The Art of War. A Chinese language graduate of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, he teaches Mandarin and was previously an Education Officer on the China Collection at the British Museum.
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Rating details

42 ratings
3.95 out of 5 stars
5 36% (15)
4 29% (12)
3 31% (13)
2 5% (2)
1 0% (0)
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