Poetry Reading by Xi Chuan
Monday, March 11, 7:00-8:00 PM
Axinn Center 229, Middlebury College
“Xi Chuan’s surprising poems reach into tight corners of mind and matter, impersonal but intimate, new to be heard but also oddly familiar. An impressive voice—bold and calm”— Gary Snyder.
Xi Chuan, one of the most influential of contemporary Chinese poets, will read in Chinese; Lucas Klein (Middlebury class of 2000) of the City University of Hong Kong will read his English translations from Notes on the Mosquito: Selected Poems (New Directions, 2012). The reading will be followed by discussion and question and answer in English with the poet and his translator. Open to the public.
Sponsored by the Department of Chinese, Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs, Program in East Asian Studies, and the John D. Berninghuasen Professorship in Chinese.
Jidi Majia 吉狄马加, translated by Denis Mair:
Voice of the Bimo
—Dedicated to a Nuosu ritualist
When you hear it
It seems above all illusion
Like a faint wisp of bluish smoke
Why just now are the ranged mountains
Felt to be filled with a timeless stillness?
Whose voice drifts between men and ghosts?
It seems to have left the body
Yet between reality and nothingness
In tones both human and divine it utters
A praise song for life and death
When it invokes sun, stars, rivers, and ancient heroes
When it summons deities and surreal powers
Departed beings commence their resurrection!
Over at A Longhouse Birdhouse, Bob Arnold has typed up Xi Chuan’s “Somedbody” 某人 and the first stanza of “What the Tang Did Not Have” 唐朝所没有的 as they appear in my translations in Notes on the Mosquito. Take a look!
Gary Snyder with Lucas Klein in Hongkong
Gary Snyder Poetry Reading
with Guqin 古琴 performance by Yao Gongbai 姚公白
Lecture Theatre 1, Cheng Yu Tung 鄭裕彤 Building, Chinese University of Hong Kong
This happened yesterday, the launch of the new anthology of contemporary Chinese poetry, Jade Ladder, in London at the International Book Fair.
Depicted left to right: Xi Chuan, W N Herbert, Yang Lian 杨炼, and Brian Holton; photo by Ou Ning 欧宁.
I got back last night from New Zealand, where I’d been for the Short Takes on Long Poems conference (which I’ll go into detail about later), to find this nice gift sent from New Directions: