Latest Issue

Michael Rosen: The book that changed my life

Reading about ancient Chinese poetry led me into a way of seeing things that I hadn't been aware of before

By Michael Rosen  

Poems by Li Po

Some years ago I used to present a poetry request radio programme on BBC World Service called “Poems by Post.” One request came in for a poem by the Chinese poet Li Po. In tracking down the poem in the Penguin Classic edition of his work, reading about ancient Chinese poetry and following up on its many translators (like Arthur Waley) led me into a way of seeing things that I hadn’t been aware of before. I don’t think I had fully recognised that it was this…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect