Late Poems Of Lu You, The Old Man Who Does As He Pleases: New Translations by Burton Watson. Burlington, Ontario: Ahadada Books, 2007, 74 pp., $12, ¥2,000 (paper)

Lu You (Yu) (1125-1210), often referred to by his literary name of Lu Fangweng ("The Old Man Who Does as He Pleases"), is one of China's most famous poets.

He was also one of the most prolific and is said to have penned over 10,000 poems. Thematically these can be grouped into those concerned with active politics and those reflecting the passive acceptance of exile.

Politically he wanted the return of his homeland. Manchurians had taken it over and forced the Chinese court of the Song capital to move south. His earlier poems express a patriotic ardor, his dreaming of the day when Chinese forces march back and conquer. The later poems are about the rural life in the area near Shaoxing where he lived out the rest of his life.