One American writer's pilgrimage to discover China's greatest poets

(People's Daily Online)

Updated: 2016-11-04
One American writer's pilgrimage to discover China's greatest poets

[Photo/People's Daily Online]

On top of a mountain range in eastern China's Shandong province, Porter set out three small wine cups, filling them with whiskey he brought from the US He then toasted to his two imaginary guests, Li Bai and Du Fu, in the place where the two poets first met, more than 1,000 years ago. Porter said he brought the whiskey on his journey because wine is a recurring image in Chinese poetry, expressing a variety of important sentiments.

On a trip to Xi'an, Porter walked to the top of a tall historical structure in the city center. His vision swept across the modern city and arrived at Zhongnan Mountain, the majesty of which Tang Dynasty poet Wang Wei once described in his brilliant verses.

A Chinese edition of Porter's book based on his travels, Finding Them Gone: Visiting China's Poets of the Past, was published in September. His passion for China's ancient literary tradition has become increasingly recognized among Chinese readers.

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