Wang Wei’s landscape poetry

 

Chinese poet in Western clothing. Half leather binding of Wang Wei’s “The Empty Mountain”.

It is an anthology of poems of the great Chinese poet translated to Spanish by Guillermo Dañino (the title in Sp. “La montaña vacía”) and published by Hiperión in 2004.

White-Rock Shallows

White-Rock Shallows open and clear,
green reeds past prime for harvest:

families come down east and west,
rinse thin silk radiant in moonlight.

(translated in English by David Hinton)

This poem could be a sample of spirit that inspired this new binding of “The Empty Mountain”. This particular kind of marbled paper exactly represents the small round stones, their different density and tones created by radiant transparent water of lake or the river. The soft brown mate leather encloses the paper from both sides just as it would be  shores of the river.

In it’s own and modest way the binding echoes the beauty of small and immense landscapes that the poet contemplates with his meticulous sight.

Curiously enough, through this absolutely modern Western binding the marbled paper comes back to it’s Oriental roots.