THE TRANSLATOR， Mr S. S. Liu， who has combined several conspicuous careers in one lifetime， has selected for this Anthology of Chinese Poetry， 101 poems from 47 poets， beginning with Fu Hsuan， in the third century， down to Jennings Wong， in the twentieth. This is a parallel text edition with the Chinese originals on the left-hand page facing the English translations on the right-hand. Concordances to the works of 38 other English translators are given in the Appendix.
Mr John Cairncross， a distinguished poet and skilful translator， who contributed a further seven translations to Professor Liu’s， says in his Foreword.
‘All translators of poetry， it has often been observed， are expected to combine the conflicting desiderata of fidelity and beauty. But the task of the writer who sets out to English the Chinese poets is even more exacting. He must not only produce a work of art in his own language but also devise means of giving his Chinese version a specifically Chinese touch....At first blush， the challenge seems impossible. Yet Mr Shih Shun Liu’s book demonstrates that attention to rhythm and euphony need not exclude faithfulness to the Chinese nor a specifically Chinese atmosphere.’