Poetry. Asian & Asian American Studies. "In 1312, Stonehouse left Hangchou and moved to the northernmost peak of the Tienmu Mountains. It was only twenty kilometers south of Taochang Temple, where he earlier served as deputy abbot. Its pagoda would have been visible on a clear day—and it still is. Just below the 450-meter summit of Hsiamushan, Stonehouse built a hut and lived there for twenty years. Despite his relative isolation, Stonehouse attracted students, and eventually they convinced him to come down the mountain. In 1331, he was invited to become abbot of Fuyuan Monastery. It was in Tanghu over a hundred kilometers to the east, but he reluctantly agreed. Finally, after eight years, he decided he had had enough of monastic life. He returned to Hsiamushan and lived there until his death in 1352. A few years before he died, he was asked to write down his impressions of mountain life. The result was a collection he called Mountain Poems. Around the same time, his disciple Chih-jou put together a second volume. These were poems Stonehouse wrote for visitors, mostly Zen monks seeking instruction. I published translations of both collections in The Zen Works of Stonehouse over twenty years ago, but that book has long been out of print. I've since released the MOUNTAIN POEMS of STONEHOUSE (Copper Canyon Press, 2014) as a separate volume, and I'm glad to be doing the same now with his STONEHOUSE'S POEMS FOR ZEN MONKS (Empty Bowl, 2019). It goes without saying, poems like these aren't for everyone. But even if you're not a Zen monk, why not give them a try? After all, we all have the buddha nature, except, of course, for Chao-chou's dog."—Red Pine
Bill Porter, who translates under the name Red Pine, was born in Califoria and grew up in Northern Idaho. He attended Columbia University and studied with a faculty that included Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict. He became interested in Buddhism, and in 1972 he left America and moved to a Buddhist monastery in Taiwan. During this time, he married a Chinese woman, with whom he has two children, and he began working on translations of Chinese poetry and Buddhist texts. In 1993, he returned to America so that his children could learn English. For the past twenty years, he has worked as an independent scholar and has supported himself from book royalties and lecture fees. During this time, he has lectured at many of the major universities in the US, England and Germany where he has lectured on Chinese history, culture, poetry, and religion. His translations of texts dealing with these subjects have been honored with a number of awards, including two NEA translation fellowships, a PEN translation award, the inaugural Asian Literature Award of the American Literary Translators Association, a Guggenheim Fellowship, which he received to support work on a book based on a pilgrimage to the graves and homes of China's greatest poets of the past, which was published under the title Finding Them Gone in January of 2016, and more recently in 2018 the Thornton Wilder Prize for Translation bestowed by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His translations include ZEN ROOTS: THE FIRST THOUSAND YEARS (Empty Bowl, 2020), WHY NOT PARADISE (Empty Bowl, 2019), STONEHOUSE'S POEMS FOR ZEN MONKS (Empty Bowl, 2019), CATHAY REVISITED (Empty Bowl, 2019), A DAY IN THE LIFE (Empty Bowl, 2018), P'U MING'S OXHERDING PICTURES AND VERSE (Empty Bowl, 2015), and more.
Author City: PORT TOWNSEND, WA USA
Stonehouse was born in 1272 in Changshu, China, and took his name from a cave at the edge of town. He became a highly respected dharma master in the Zen Buddhist tradition.
Author City: USA