As part of the “Birds of Metal in Flight” event, Columbia University hosted a panel discussion with Bei Dao 北岛, Ouyang Jianghe 欧阳江河, Xi Chuan 西川, Zhai Yongming 翟永明, Zhou Zan 周瓒, and Xu Bing 徐冰, as moderated by Lydia Liu 刘禾 and John Rajchman and introduced by Eugenia Lean, titled “Sound and Image: Chinese Poets in Conversation with Artist Xu Bing.” Click the image above for more information & photos, or here to stream the discussion via iTunes.
Readings by Marilyn Nelson, Bei Dao 北岛, Afaa Weaver, Zhai Yongming 翟永明, Pierre Joris, Xi Chuan 西川, Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Zhou Zan 周瓒, Charles Bernstein, and Ouyang Jianghe 欧阳江河, followed by remarks from Xu Bing 徐冰, introduced by Lydia Liu 刘禾.
For Xi Chuan reading my translation of “Bloom” 开花, jump to 49:21.
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!