July 7, 2010
Peach Blossom Fish: Selected Poems Composed & Calligraphed by Chang Ch'ung-ho
Translated by Hans H. Frankel, Ian Boyden, and Edward Morris
Walla Walla, Washington: Crab Quill Press, 1999
Peach Blossom Fish represents the first published collection of poems and calligraphy by Chang Ch'ung-ho. Chang Ch'ung-ho is celebrated by many Chinese scholars and calligraphers as one of China's greatest living calligraphers and one of the last of the classically trained Chinese literati. For this volume, Chang Ch'ung-ho has selected eighteen poems recording her profound response to the turmoil of this century. Images of floating, dreams, and memory wend their way through each poem. The translations are the product of a rare and delightful collaboration. Not only was Chang Ch'ung-ho present to clarify the significance of each line and each poem, but the main translator, the late Hans H. Frankel, professor emeritus Yale University, was none other than the author's husband of fifty years. Of further delight, the English translations are accompanied by the Chinese calligraphed by the poet's own hand. Working in collaboration with the book's designer, each poem was calligraphed specifically for this book, and each page provides its own unique and startling composition.
Recently, Peach Blossom Fish has received some attention in China. If you can read Chinese, read this excellent article by the book collector and essayist Chen Xiaowei.
To see more images of the book click here.
Read a poem from this book: