TONY BARNSTONE Han Shan’s Transparent Eyeb all: e Th Asian Roots of American Eco-poetry In 1984, I was twenty-three years old, the sort of man that the hermit-poet and irascible social critic Han S ( h c a . n 700–800 ce) would have described 1. There is debate about whether the in this way: person Han Shan ever existed and if A graceful and handsome young man, the poems that bear well-versed in canons and histories, his name are merely everyone calls him a teacher, a tradition of poetry or addresses him as a scholar, in which multiple but he fails to get an official post, authors wrote. and doesn’t know how to use a plow. He wears only a shabby gown in winter, totally ruined by books. (Barnstone 2005, 202) I was ruined by books, using my college degree in literature to do data entry, temp work, window-washing in Silicon Valley, even working in a granola factory in Santa Cruz, California, which I know sounds like it must be a joke. Yet the books that had ruined me also landed me my first teaching job, at the Beijing Foreign Studies Institute, in a China that was testing
Manoa – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: May 10, 2019
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