The poetry of Sappho has been read as THE example of women from ancient times, but this text shows us that the rarest of the jewels come from the Eastern civilization. These works are like a Chinese brush painter's stroke; from the heart of the spirit to the characters on the page. Each stroke reads as if it is found in a great brushpainter's' tradition of "having the bamboo completed in your chest" -- or seeing with one's inner eye and then simply writing what one sees.
What an exceptional find for students of daoism who are interested in learning the true beauty and wonderful myth of the Taoist Immortals and their jouneys! The Immortals include women but seldom do we get the chance to learn of them -- or in this case -- read their actual "bamboos of the chest."
Yes, Cleary follows his tradition of translating rare and visionary material, but since I have yet to master the language, I cannot say how true his translations are to the original words. This poetry is as simple as a final brushstroke in the holy spot on a sheet of rice paper. But these interpretations are filtered by what men perceive in these women's writing, and how their lives shape this text.
I wait to hear the translations from wonderful contemporary daoist women like we find in the mastery of Eva Wong. Clearly, the author notes that few works were written for both women and men. These ancient women were clear that much of the poetry was written for women only.
Do not hesitate to purchase a copy of this amazing gift to the world of beauty. Each page is fresh with new readings and is a staple of my bedside library. The works shape meaning into paths I follow and into the nature I seek as I live in solitude on the side of a mountain.
In the busy city, in a quick moment on that bus in rush hour, or during a break in your day of dealing with "reality" -- this amazing little text will spill over to give you the visions of the immortals and the sanctity of the women who penned each verse.
Nothing can be better for your quest of "having the bamboo completed in your chest."