Taken to Heart: 70 Poems from the Chinese
Translated by Gary Young and Yanwen Xu
White Pine Press, November 2022
The seventy poems that comprise this collection constitute an anthology, Elementary School Chinese Textbook (Jiangsu Edition), given to Chinese school children as a text to aid their instruction in Mandarin and to introduce them to China’s rich literary history. The poems are considered representative of China’s highest poetic achievements from the Han Dynasty to the Qing. The study of these poems is also meant to subtly guide students toward an appreciation of traditional Chinese virtues, culture, historical events, and social etiquette. The poems are memorized by every student, and by the end of their course of study, Chinese children will have absorbed a storehouse of Chinese characters and been steeped in a cultural tradition that spans more than two thousand years.