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China's tradition of rivers-and-mountains poetry is the earliest and most extensive literary engagement with the idea of wilderness. David Hinton traces the tradition in his concise introductions to the nineteen poets featured here, who included virtually all of ancient China's greatest poets, from the 5th century AD to the Sung Dynasty (13th century AD). His selection treats a remarkable range of topics: comic domestic scenes, social protest, travelogue, reclusive sages, and mountain landscapes shaped into forms of enlightenment. Throughout, these poems articulate the experience of living as an organic part of the natural world and its processes; they feel truly contemporary.