David Hinton was the winner of the 1997 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award for his three books published in 1996: The
Selected Poems of Lí Po and Bei Dao's Landscape Over
Zero (both published by New Directions), and The Late Poems of
Meng Chiao (Princeton). The judge for the award was Rosmarie
Waldrop, who wrote the following citation.
It is a pleasure to select David Hinton as the recipient of the 1997 Landon Translation Award, for the following books:
- The Selected Poems of Lí Po, New Directions
- The Late Poems of Meng Chiao, Princeton University Press
- Landscape Over Zero by Bei Dao, New Directions (with
These three volumes of translations, all published last year, continue
David Hinton's longstanding commitment to writing Chinese poetry
into English. He had already given us selections of the poetry of Tu Fu,
T'ao Ch'ien, Chuang Tzu and an eminent contemporary, Bei Dao.
He has now added another volume by Bei Dao and two more T'ang
Hinton's music is subtle, modulated, and does not slacken with
either contemporary or classic. He has listened to the individual tone
of each poet, and his craft is equal to his perception. After the verve
of the "Banished Immortal," Lí Po, the intense, dark,
disenchanted introspection of Meng Chiao comes almost as a shock. Again
unmistakably different, Bei Dao's broken rhythms and sense of
Hinton has taken up Pound's challenge as well as Zukofsky's.
He continues to enlarge our literary horizon. And the "range of
pleasure" his translations afford "as sight, sound, and
intellection," proves them true poems. Poems that breathe another
culture into our English. We are richer for them.