Zen Flesh, Zen Bones and Arthur Waley’s Chinese Poems – Brief Book Reviews


Zen Flesh, Zen Bones and Arthur Waley’s Chinese Poems – Brief Book Reviews

Hey everyone,

Here are two well written books that I thoroughly enjoyed reading and then after a time, re-reading select parts.  Both books contain insights that are sometimes very subtle, yet profound.  They are worth reading.

Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings by Paul Reps and Nyogen Senzaki

This book was published in paperback form back in the 50s or 60s by Anchor Books in a yellow and white cover.  On Amazon, you can find both more recent paperback and recent hardcover editions.  The recent edition on Amazon is probably the same book (without revision) that I first read back in college in the earlier Anchor Books edition.

Here is the link on Amazon, and you will find many customer reviews.



Chinese Poems by Arthur Waley

Here is a helpful review of the book:

“The thing that impressed me most about these poems (that range in time from before the Han Dynasty up to China in the Middle Ages) is the humanity of the writers that is expressed so simply, succinctly and eloquently.  There are several poems by women which add a greater range of perspective to this collection.

“Valuable insights about that which is grave and constant in the human experience.  Emotions of lost love, unrequited love and mourning are dealt with among other emotions.”

This book has many poems from the Golden Age of Chinese literature, the Tang Dynasty.

(Waley also wrote a book by the title “Three Ways of Thought in Ancient China“.  This was good as well as it treats Confucianism, Taoism, and Realism.  In used bookstores that have a large number of old paperbacks in stock, you may find a copy for a couple of dollars or so.)

Here is the link on www.doverpublications.com for this book (buy it new direct from the publisher):


(scroll to top of webpage if necessary)

Dover Publications, which has been around since 1941, a family owned business, specializes in publishing reprints of various worthwhile books in many fields of interest.  (I have been periodically purchasing Dover books since early 1997.)  Sometimes, Dover is the only source for new copies of hard to find classics.  And, as they publish only paperbacks, their prices are not so expensive.  So, if you enjoy reading, you might want to peruse the titles offered on their company’s website.

You can also find some overstock titles by Dover at Hamiltonbook.com for around 30 percent off the cover price with a low shipping charge.  By using the power search feature you can browse books by publisher.


Enjoy.  And share the kindness.


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