The Rose of Time: New and Selected Poems (Paperback)

The Rose of Time: New and Selected Poems By Bei Dao, Eliot Weinberger (Editor) Cover Image
By Bei Dao, Eliot Weinberger (Editor)
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This is book number 1160 in the New Directions Paperbook series.


A selection from the lifework of the internationally renowned poet Bei Dao, who is “like reading Chekhov or Turgenev reflected in a porcelain bowl” (The Times [London]).

in the mirror there is always this moment

this moment leads to the door of rebirth

the door opens to the sea

the rose of time

             —Bei Dao

The Rose of Time: New & Selected Poems presents a glowing selection of poetry by contemporary China’s most celebrated poet, Bei Dao. From his earliest work, Bei Dao developed a wholly original poetic language composed of mysterious and arresting images tuned to a distinctive musical key. This collection spans Bei Dao’s entire writing life, from his first book to appear in English, The August Sleepwalker, published a year after the Tiananmen tragedy, to the increasingly interior and complex poems of Landscape Over Zero and Unlock, to new never-before-published work. This bilingual edition also includes a prefatory note by the poet, and a brief afterword by the editor Eliot Weinberger. A must-read book from a seminal poet who has been translated into over thirty languages.

About the Author

Bei Dao, (the pen name of Zhao Zhenkai) was born in Beijing in 1949. During the Cultural Revolution, he worked as a concrete mixer and blacksmith for eleven years. Forced into exile after the Tiananmen Massacre, he lived in Europe and the US until 2007, then settling in Hong Kong until, only recently, moving back to Beijing. He has been hailed as “the soul of post-Mao poetry” (Yunte Huang) and praised for his “intense lyricism” (Pankaj Mishra). Bei Dao has received numerous awards for his poetry all over the world, and founded the International Poetry Nights in Hong Kong. His photography and paintings have been exhibited in China, Hong Kong, and Japan. New Directions publishes ten of his books.

Eliot Weinberger’s books of literary essays include Karmic Traces, An Elemental Thing, The Ghosts of Birds, and Angels & Saints. His political writings are collected in What I Heard About Iraq and What Happened Here: Bush Chronicles. The author of a study of Chinese poetry translation, 19 Ways of Looking at Wang Wei, he is a translator of the poetry of Bei Dao and the editor of The New Directions Anthology of Classical Chinese Poetry. He was formerly the general editor of the series Calligrams: Writings from and on China and the literary editor of the Murty Classical Library of India. Among his many translations of Latin American poetry and prose are The Poems of Octavio Paz, Paz’s In Light of India, Vicente Huidobro’s Altazor, Xavier Villaurrutia’s Nostalgia for Death, and Jorge Luis Borges’ Seven Nights and Selected Non-Fictions. He has been publishing with New Directions since 1975.

Praise For…

Bei Dao uses words as if he were fighting for his life with them.... [He] has found a way to speak to all of us.
— Jonathan Spence - The New York Times Book Review

Bei Dao’s writing provides ample evidence of the written word’s potential to effect political change.
— Andrew Ervin - The Philadelphia Inquirer

His poems are intense, elegant and impressionistic.
— Dwight Garner - The New York Times Arts Beat

Product Details
ISBN: 9780811218481
ISBN-10: 0811218481
Publisher: New Directions
Publication Date: January 27th, 2010
Pages: 304
Language: English
Series: New Directions Paperbook