Via Plep comes this wonderful site presenting the classic Chinese poetry anthology in bilingual versions. The translations are mostly by Witter Bynner, who isn’t my favorite but will do; I can’t actually get the characters (I see gibberish on my screen), but I will bookmark the site in the expectation that someday I will be able to see the originals, and I assume that some of my readers can do so already. Give it a try.

Update (Oct. 2022). You can now see the poems and translations in book form at Internet Archive.


  1. Just switch your encoding to Big5/Traditional Chinese. I guess they couldn’t Unicode it.

  2. Thats in the View Menu, under Encoding in Internet Explorer, or in the View Menu under Character Encoding in Mozilla. I’ll be happy to email you screenshots of a poem or two if you’re interested.

  3. Thanks, but I have a copy of the anthology in Chinese (a printed book, I mean), so I don’t actually need to see it on my screen. I did try switching the character set to Traditional Chinese, but it didn’t help. Bog s nim, as the Russians say to dismiss whatever or whoever they don’t feel like dealing with.

  4. Nelson: I downloaded Traditional Chinese – Big 5, and now instead of gibberish symbols I get question marks. Do you see characters or question marks here?
    孤鴻海上來, 池潢不敢顧;

  5. You will be glad to know that Witter Bynner spent his final years in Santa Fe, NM, as a vegetable. He simply lay in a cot at one end of his vast library–gurgling (rather poetically, I might add), gagging, and grunting. At one moment just afore he passed into veggiedom, he winked at a bunch of us and said he, Winfield Townley Scott, Chris LaFarge, that guy Johnson of poco tiempo fame (he was Bynner’s secretary–D.H. and Frieda stayed at his house once–also a good friend of Ez’s–Ez wrote “Ez Sez” for the Santa Fe newspaper in those days), and a few others, including painters, would sit around a pocket watch–they would start with one of them and go clockwise around the group creating poetry. One poem started, “Horses…shit…upon…their…fevered…
    creations…as…though…pigs.” In eating a bowl of Winfield Townley’s famous clam chowder, I said, Hey Winfield, where’s the horse that made this? To which he cleverly replied, I am that Horse, You Pig. I did however enjoy Witter’s book Journey With Genius.

    [Added Oct. 2022: In case it’s not clear from the prose style, “thehepthalite” was none other than our late fiend thegrowlingwolf.]

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