I recently discovered that the 1707 collection Complete Tang Poems has, amid various miscellaneous subjects tucked in the back, two chapters of poems by ghosts and I’ve become obsessed. I just posted this sampler of thirteen translations, as an installment as I work my way through them. This stuff is awesome: there’s a poem thrown at general by a suit of armor, a poem written in blood in the front hall of a magistrate’s house, more than one riverbank lament over a lack of funeral rites, and a voice from the women’s quarters giving her reaction to hearing the story of Mulan. [more inside]
I’ve the habit, when learning a language, of using classic poems as practice texts, alongside more modern works. With Japanese, I got a couple books out of this. Now with Chinese, I’m doing it again. So far I’ve translated 70+ poems, mostly from the Tang dynasty, mostly by working through 300 Tang Poems (唐詩三百首), but also other randoms as I stumble across them. The more polished work gets indexed in this post, with rougher drafts posted in this journal as I initially complete them. Feedback welcome at all levels and stages of work.