Posts Tagged ‘Contemporary Chinese Poetry’

Dansende Digtersfees. Op ‘n leer tussen hemel en aarde met kontemporêre Sjinese digters

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Die meeste van die boeke wat tydens die Dansende Digtersfees beskikbaar gaan wees, is reeds ontvang. En daarmee saam die allerheerlikste leesavonture, want allemintag … Wat ‘n besonderse groep digters word nie deur die program byeen gebring nie!

Maar terug na die boeke. En dan is dit veral die bloemlesings, waaronder Jade Ladder – Contemporary Chinese Poetry, wat my opgewonde maak. Hierdie bloemlesing is deur WN Herbert en Yang Lian saamgestel in samewerking met Brian Holton en Qin Xiaoyu. En watter leesvreugde is dié publikasie nie! Die bloemlesing open met ‘n omvattende oorsigartikel deur Yang Lian, gevolg deur vyf afdelings, te wete: “Lyric Poems”, “Narrative Poems”, “Neo-Classical Poems”, “Sequences” en “Long Poems”. Elkeen van dié groeperings word deur Qin Xiaoyu ingelei met ‘n indringende essay oor dié bepaalde digvorm, en dié essays op sigself maak reeds die bloemlesing ‘n absolute “moet hê”-item. Ten slotte is daar ook nog ‘n essay deur Brian Holton (“Phrases That Shall Be Musical in the Mouth”) en die gebruiklike bylaes met biografiese besonderhede van die vyftig digters wat wissel van die oudste, Bei Dao (1949) tot die jongste, Wang Ao (1976).

In sy resensie van die bloemlesing vir The Guardian, het Sean O’Brien hom soos volg oor hierdie besonderse publikasie uitgelaat: ““The jade ladder itself is an image of the link between heaven and earth, translatable as the imagination. The atmosphere given off by the anthology is a heartening one, despite the grimness of some of the material, since what we read and hear testifies to the necessity of the imaginative life as embodied in poetry, whatever the political and economic climate. Herbert and his colleagues are to be thanked for this rich sample.”



Volgens die uitgewer, Bloodaxe Press, se uitgewersbrief die volgende: “This anthology is the record of a revolution in Chinese poetry. As the Cultural Revolution gave way to the post-Mao era – years of political turmoil, economic boom and the return of Hong Kong – the present period has been one of extraordinary and deeply problematic growth. Chinese poets, driven by alienation, trauma and exile, have responded with one of the most thorough and exciting experiments in world poetry […]

This selection provides a concise series of perspectives on a proliferating scene. It focusses on key figures and key poems. It moves beyond the lyric to showcase an astonishing diversity of genres including narrative poetry, neo-Classical writing, the sequence, experimental poetry and the long poem. Through detailed introductions, it examines how contemporary poetry grew from both the fertile Classical tradition and the stony ground of the Communist period, only to rewrite that tradition, and resist that regime […]

Jade Ladder is the most comprehensive single volume guide to what has been happening and what is happening now in a culture of undeniably global significance. It is indispensable reading for anyone with an interest in the future not just of China, but of poetry.”

Ten slotte volg een van Yang Lian se verse wat in die bloemlesing opgeneem is, hieronder.

Vir diegene wat belangstel, is die boekbesonderhede soos volg:

[ISBN: 9781052248956, Sagteband, 360 ble., Bloodaxe Press, R376.50]



In this seraglio night always consists of     moonlight, jade steps and a curtain of pearls
all imaginary     a bunch of flowers against blue wallpaper
imagine     caving in under the concubine’s clothes a mound of snow
snow waiting impatiently to be possessed its crystalline body slowly
turning     constantly curling in on itself in a slow dance
a bunch of tulips divesting itself of the love of self as it brightly declines
a kind of purple whisper which must be spoken breathily
addressing only him as he crushes the petals heavily
a drop of purple milk like a concubine impatiently waiting to be sucked
concentrating     the entire world into one burning duct

In this seraglio     fire always has the rude playfulness of tongues
a pointed tip     licks the emptiness of skin     midnight’s cling
green like leaves gathered at the concubine’s ankles
his preference for her     a shower coming from every angle
watering the flower the little purple bowl of her nipple fills

© Yang Lian (Vertaling deur WN Herbert in samewerking met die digter)