Women played major roles in the history of Buddhist China, but given the paucity of the remaining records, their voices have all but faded. In Daughters of Emptiness , Beata Grant renders a great service by recovering and translating the enchanting verse - by turns assertive, observant, devout - of forty-eight nuns from sixteen centuries of imperial China. This selection of poems, along with the brief biographical accounts that accompany them, affords readers a glimpse into the extraordinary diversity and sometimes startling richness of these women's lives. A sample poem for this stunning collection: The sequence of seasons naturally pushes forward, Suddenly I am startled by the ending of the year.Lifting my eyes I catch sight of the winter crows, Calling mournfully as if wanting to complain.The sunlight is cold rather than gentle, Spreading over the four corners like a cloud.A cold wind blows fitfully in from the north, Its sad whistling filling courtyards and houses.Head raised, I gaze in the direction of Spring, But Spring pays no attention to me at all.Time a galloping colt glimpsed through a crack, The tap [of Death] at the door has its predestined time.How should I not know, one who has left the world, And for whom floating clouds are already familiar?In the garden there grows a rosary-plum tree: Whose sworn friendship makes it possible to endure. - Chan Master Jingnuo
Buy Daughters of Emptiness book by Beata Grant from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(228mm x 152mm x 19mm)
Publisher: Wisdom Publications,U.S.
Country of Publication:
Author Biography - Beata Grant
Beata Grant is professor of Chinese and Religious Studies (Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures) at Washington University. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri.