Part poetry, part paradox, always stirring and profound, Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching has been inspiring readers since it was written over two thousand years ago. This masterpiece is also one of the most frequently translated books in all of history, in part because the multiple meanings of the Chinese characters make it impossible to translate into a Western language in a strictly literal way. For this reason, many translations are either too loosely interpretive or are too overloaded with notes, thereby losing the clarity of the terse poetry found in the original Chinese. The extraordinary strength of Sam Hamill's translation is that it has captured the poetry of Lao Tzu's original without sacrificing the resonance of the text's many meanings and possible interpretations. The result is a beautiful and deeply meditative rendering, one that is a delight to read over and over again. Accompanying Sam Hamill's translation are seventeen Chinese characters brushed by one of the great masters of calligraphy, Kazuaki Tanahashi. Hamill provides a comment for each character, giving the reader a fuller sense of the richness of the original text and insight into the process of translation itself.
One of the most widely known Asian classics, the "Tao Te Ching" offers a series of insightful spiritual observations on life and human nature. Part poetry, part paradox, always stirring and profound, the "Tao Te Ching" has been inspiring its leaders to expand their understanding of life since it was written over 2,000 years ago. Truly an edition to be treasured, here is a poetic translation of this classic by one of America's leading poets. Sam Hamill's evocative translation illuminates the "Tao Te Ching's" poetic depth in a way that penetrates the hearts of its readers. Complementing Hamill's translation are eighteen pieces of original calligraphy by the artist Kaz Tanahashi that highlight essential concepts presented in the text.
Sam Hamill has published fourteen volumes of original poetry, three volumes of literary essays and more than two dozen books translated from classical Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Latin and Estonian. He has been the recipient of awards from such eminent organizations as the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation.
"Hamill has rendered the Tao Te Ching afresh, his translation from the Chinese is achingly poetic."--Publishers Weekly "Exquisite renderings of the paradoxes that encircle us."--Terry Tempest Williams