A Cartload of Scrolls
100 Poems in the Manner of T'ang Dynasty Poet Han-ShanBook - 2007
"These aren't translations of Han-Shan's poems; they're transmissions of his spirit!"--Eric Utne, founder of Utne Reader
"I love this book!"--Jim Moore
In 1974, author James P. Lenfestey came upon the book Cold Mountain: 100 Poems of the T'ang Dynasty Poet Han-Shan , translated by Burton Watson, and it cured his warts. It also turned out to be the voice he had "missed" all his life. For the first and only time in his writing life, Lenfestey began to "write back" to another author. The result thirty-three years later is this collection of one hundred poems, inspired by the form and sensibility of that 1,200-year-old Chinese hermit, yet brimming with Lenfestey's own humor, wisdom, insight, and delight in language. Titles such as "Han-Shan is the Cure for Warts," "Thinking of Sex Like the Chinese," and "Oracle Bones" provide a glimpse into Lenfestey's poetic landscape. This book is dedicated to poetic translator Burton Watson, eighty-one, whom Lenfestey visited in Tokyo on a pilgrimage to China to pay homage to Han-Shan at his hermit cave.
James P. Lenfestey has worked as a college literature instructor, alternative school administrator, salesman, marketing communications professional, and editorial writer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune , where he won several Page One Awards. He has published three previous collections of poetry and a collection of personal essays, The Urban Coyote: Howlings on Family, Community and the Search for Peace and Quiet (Nodin Press). He coordinates poetry festivals and a reading series in California, Michigan, and Minneapolis, where he and his wife currently reside.