I probably should not have read this so soon after (re)reading a collection of Li Po, because (except for a few poems, including by Li Po) the vast majority of the poems in here are simply not as good and of less interest to the non-specialized, general poetry reader (of course, these days, a reader of poetry is not a generalist, but a specialist, because poetry is tragically underread). Many, frankly, appear as filler. Rather, they are there to fill in gaps, so provide a historical purpose, perhaps, but less so an aesthetic one.

As a side note, the edition I read was not the one pictured, but an older (I bought it used), Penguin edition. Even if I wasn’t a huge fan, for reasons partly unrelated to the work, I’m glad the NYRB imprint has republished this work.

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