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Summer Issue 2000
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Translation - Summer 2001
T'ao Ch'ien (365 – 427) is one of the great early poets. He was the first to celebrate the joys of drinking wine, and the illuminations that thereby came to him. He once worked as libationer for his district but soon resigned. He was then offered a job as keeper of records but also turned it down. T'ao was always dissatisfied with official appointments and found, instead, contentment in his "fields and garden."
Li Ch'ing-chao (1084 – 1151) is generally considered to be China's finest woman poet. She was a master of the tz'u (lyric) genre and was a painter, calligrapher, and, along with her husband, an avid collector and specialist in ancient stone and bronze inscriptions. Her happy years turned to tragedy, however, when in 1127 their house was destroyed by invading Tartars, and in 1129 her husband contracted typhoid fever and died.
Yavor Dimitrov is a Bulgarian national, born on November 24, 1964 in the town of Nikopol, Bulgaria. Graduated from St. Cyril and St. Methodius University, town of Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria in 1992. MA in English. Currently, he teaches English and Technical Writing at ECO-M-Intellect - Accredited Center of Cook's Institute of Electronics Engineering, MS, USA -in the town of Pleven, Bulgaria, where he resides. He has written some poetry but has never been published, as he considers it "personal observation upon life" rather than "a quest for public recognition". He primarily translates poetry and fiction from English into Bulgarian and has translated such authors as Longfellow, Poe, Auden, Shelley, Christina Rosseti, D.H. Lawrence, and James Joyce.
Tu Fu (712 – 770) wrote brilliant poems in the lü-shih (regulated verse) form. These poems are amazing for their incised language and tonal counterpoint. For many years he struggled without success to pass through the official examination system. He experienced imprisonment, exile, and dire poverty.
Li Ho wrote rich, complex poems that draw on Chinese shamanism and mythology. He was a child prodigy and, at age seven, stunned Han Yu when he wrote a poem for him, titled "A Tall Official Carriage Comes on a Visit." Each morning, Li Ho galloped on horseback, dashed off rough phrases of poems, and stuffed them in his saddlebag. Later in the day, he would lay out these phrases and incorporate them into poems.
Wen I-to (1899– 1946) was a pivotal figure in early-twentieth-century Chinese poetry. He rejected classical Chinese, chose to write in the vernacular, and yet his work shows a confluence of the two. He came to the United States, studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and at Colorado College. When he returned to China, he became involved in the political turmoil of his time. On July 15, 1946, Wen gave an impassioned speech denouncing the Kuomintang government and was assassinated later that day.
Li Po (701 – 762) was a free spirit who was once called "an immortal banished to earth." His poems reveal a strong Taoist influence and are remarkable for their lyric flow, spontaneity, and emotional power. According to legend, one night he leaned out of a boat to embrace the moon on the Yangtze River and fell in and drowned.
Takahashi Mutsuo was born in Japan in 1937. He is has published many books of poetry, including three collections of haiku, three collections of tanka, as well as books of essays and a novel. He won the National Prize of Literature in 1988 and his work has been translated into many languages. A Bunch of Keys: Selected Poems was published in English translation by Crossing Press in 1984, as were Sleeping Sinning Falling (City Lights 1993) and Poems of a Penisist (Chicago Review Press.)
Nursjamsu is well-known in Indonesia as a mid-twentieth century poet. Her work has been infrequently translated into English.
Li Shang-yin (813 – 858) tried to pursue a career through the examination system but was blocked by numerous political rivalries and power struggles near the end of the T'ang dynasty. His untitled poems are some of the great love poems in classical Chinese.
Arthur Sze is the author of six books of poetry, including The Redshifting Web (Copper Canyon Press, 1998). He is the recipient of a Lila-Wallace Reader's Digest Writer's Award, a Lannan Literary Award in Poetry, and two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. His new work, The Silk Dragon: Translations of Chinese Poetry, has just been published by Copper Canyon.
Renata Treitel, teacher, poet and translator, was born in Switzerland, educated in Italy, Argentina, and the United States. She has published a chapbook of poetry, German Notebook (1983). She has translated Susana Thénon's distancias/distances (Sun & Moon Press, 1994) and Amelia Biagioni's Las Cacerías/The Hunts forthcoming from Xenos Books in 2001. Her translation of Rosita Copioli's Splendida Lumina Solis/The Blazing Lights of the Sun (Sun & Moon Press, 1996) was the recipient of a 1991 Witter Bynner Translation Grant and was the 1997 Oklahoma Poetry Award Winner. We have previously published a selection of Rosita Copioli's Furore delle rose/Wrath of the Roses which was a recipient of a 2000 Witter Bynner Translation Grant. Her poems have also appeared in Winter 2000.
Susana Thénon, was born in 1937 and died in 1990. An Argentine poet, she was also a translator and artistic photographer. her collections of published poetry include edad sin tregua (1958), Habitante de la nada (1960), de lugares extranos (1967) and Ova completa (1987) from which the current selection is taken. Among her unpublished work at the time of her death are Ensayo General and papyrus . Her work has been translated in many European and American literary journals.
Tu Fu (712-770) wrote brilliant poems in the lü-shih (regulated verse) form. These poems are amazing for their incised language and tonal counterpoint. For many years he struggled without success to pass through the official examination system. He experienced imprisonment, exile, and dire poverty.
Ivan Vazov, 1850–1921, Bulgarian poet, novelist, and playwright, was the first professional man of letters in Bulgaria. His work was inspired by the political upheavals of the period from 1890 to 1920 and by indignation over the sufferings of his countrymen before their liberation from Turkish rule. Under Our Heaven ( (1900), Songs of Macedonia ( (1916), and It Will Not Perish ( (1920) contain some of his best poetry. His novel Under the Yoke (1893, tr. 1893) is internationally famous. Vagabonds ( (1894) is his best-known play. Among his other works are the novels New Country ( (1894) and The Empress of Kazalar ( (1902) and the plays Borislav ( (1909) and Ivaylo ( (1911). Vazov's political views forced him to flee Bulgaria many times.
Wang Wei (701 – 761) was a great poet, painter, and musician. He is best known for his highly condensed and powerful chüeh-chü (quatrains). His late work, The Wang River Sequence, has still not been fully appreciated for its remarkable combination of lyric, dramatic, and symbolic elements that form an interior journey.
James Wren, born in Chicago, educated in the States, as well as in Europe and in Asia, holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature from The University of Washington and a D. Lit. in modern Japanese literature from Niigata University (Japan). He has published a number of scholarly articles, reviews, translations and book-length manuscripts in the areas of modern Japanese and Indonesian literature, as well as in medical history and narrative. At the age of 41, he has taught at The University of Hawai'i and has only recently retired as Professor of Modern Japanese Literature at San Jose State University. Currently battling lupus and Parkinson's Disease, he resides in an assisted-living situation in Birmingham, Alabama. His poetry also appeared in Spring 2001.