Li T'ang (c. 1050 – 1130)Hsieh Ling-yün (385–433), also romanized as Xie Lingyun, is apparently considered to be the founder of Nature (or landscape) poetry in China, particularly of shan-shui (rivers and mountains) poetry. This is not to be confused with pastoral poetry; Nature poetry is verse inspired by a mystic philosophy (in Hsieh's case, Taoism and Ch'an Buddhism) which sees all natural phenomena as symbols charged with a mysterious and cathartic power (to use Frodsham's definition). A Western analogue was formulated some 14 centuries later in Romanticism, though the Romantic sublime was, it seems to me, primarily an aesthetic notion, whereas in the shan-shui tradition beginning with Hsieh, there is an additional component (and for some in that tradition the primary/sole component) of using the awesome mountain landscapes with plunging rivers at their sides and swirling clouds at their peaks, all experienced as a single ecological whole, to draw the reader's mind to contemplate li , the inner law (or inner pattern) of existence. But this is not the place to try to explain difficult/profound notions central to Chinese philosophy. Even though Hsieh's poetry was very highly regarded by the Chinese elite, somehow most of his work was lost. David Hinton offers a selection of what is left in an English translation which works very well in English, though I have no idea how accurate it is. In fact, I've read complaints that Hinton takes too many liberties in turning classic Chinese poems into rather contemporary sounding poems in English. Although some of these poems cannot be appreciated without a good grasp of the philosophical/religious background in which they were written (Hinton does try to explain a bit of it in an introduction and endnotes), it would appear that Hinton generally selected poems which avoid that problem. Here is a sample:In the transformations of dusk and dawn, skies fill rivers and mountains with crystalline light,crystalline light bringing such effortless joya wanderer rests content, all return forgotten.The sun was rising when I left my valley home,and daylight faint before I started back, sailingpast forested canyons gathering dusky colorsand twilight mist mingling into flushed cloud,past lotus and chestnut a lavish luster woventhrough reeds and rice-grass toppled together.Then ashore, I hurry south on overgrown paths,and settle into my eastern home, enchanted still.When worry ends, things take themselves lightly,and when thoughts lull, the inner pattern abides.I offer this to the adepts come refining their lives:try this old Way of mine, make it search enough. I haven't yet found any other translations of Hsieh's poetry in any of the languages I read, except for one more poem in Hinton's anthology Classical Chinese Poetry and three in Anthologie de la poésie chinoise classique , so (1) I am grateful to Hinton for providing this glimpse into Hsieh's art and (2) if anybody knows of other translations, please let me know.