My new book—The Complete Cold Mountain: Poems of the Legendary Hermit Hanshan

I hope you’ll click the link and take a look at this new book. Kaz and I had such joy translating all of Hanshan’s extant poems, and Shambhala Publications did a gorgeous job, especially with the painting Kaz made for the cover.

News & Reviews

“A deep, inspiring, inclusive study of the mysterious poet Hanshan. This book includes all his poems with a beautiful introduction by Levitt and a thorough historical analysis by Tanahashi. The reader can feel the joy, care, and reverence both translators experienced and share in creating this book about the wild hermit poet. Just read a few of these ancient poems and you’ll want to take off for the mountains and open your arms to all of life, including the pain and suffering. Read more and you will find your own true heart right here in the present. This book should be read by everyone.” —Natalie Goldberg, author of The Great Spring and Writing Down the Bones

“This comprehensive work of original scholarship and incisively translated verses expands our knowledge of an iconic poet. Here is the Hanshan of social fabric and family as well as of monastery and mountain; the poet of parable, rebuke, and opinion as well as of dharma and icy stream. A sharp-tongued observer of society’s failures describes inequality’s effects on the spirit; a rapt solitary shares cliff-edge mind with tigers, free-drifting boats, and clouds. Kaz Tanahashi’s and Peter Levitt’s The Complete Cold Mountain joins the shelf of indispensable translations, confirming and extending Hanshan’s abiding relevance, presence, history, and range.” —Jane Hirshfield, author of The Beauty and Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World

“Hanshan may be legendary or he may have been three people, but these poems, wherever they came from, are more real than real. They are living Tao and Chan artifacts, well over one thousand years old, brought to life and framed in the most amazing ways with the deepest appreciation for and direct transmission of their down-to-earth, embodied, non-dual, poetic elegance and existential poignancy by Kaz Tanahashi and Peter Levitt. This work—the poems themselves coupled with the authors’ probing commentaries about their puzzling origins, structure, and essence—is a jewel, with the wondrous property that you can live inside it and let it live inside you for a long, long time.” —Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Full Catastrophe Living and Meditation Is Not What You Think

The Complete Cold Mountain is an extraordinary collection of the complete works of Hanshan; brilliantly translated by Kazuaki Tanahashi and Peter Levitt, it lifts the spirit in the great mountains and beyond.” —Joan Halifax, abbot of Upaya Zen Center and author of Standing at the Edge


4 thoughts on “My new book—The Complete Cold Mountain: Poems of the Legendary Hermit Hanshan

  1. Lee Rossi says:

    Beautiful poems, Peter. You give us a spirit who feels ancient, having suffered all the sorrows and Joy’s hidden in life’s infinitesimal seed.

  2. Larry Backilman says:

    Picking up One Hundred Butterflies this rainy morning as I could not sleep past five, I remembered so much about you that my heart had denied me. Accept these tears of gratitude and joy for your teachings; you were the first and only one to show me how to bow.

    • Peter Levitt says:

      Ah,Larry. I see your young face, and can still feel mine despite what the mirror shows. There is no time in the heart, and I am so grateful for what you’ve written. Thank you. I’d love to see you somehow again, but even just seeing your name is a wonderful gift! Deep bow.

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