A Lifetime Is a Promise to Keep

A Lifetime Is a Promise to Keep

Poems of Huang Xiang (CRM 63)

Michelle Yeh, ed., Huang Xiang

Publication date: 2009
ISBN-13 (print): 978-1-55729-096-0
ISBN-10 (print): 1-55729-096-2
ISBN-13 (e-book): 978-1-55729-152-3

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Huang Xiang—poet, painter, and performer—is a native of the People's Republic of China living in the United States in exile. A Lifetime Is a Promise to Keep provides an introduction to Huang Xiang and his poetry. This volume makes Huang Xiang's poems accessible to readers of English and Chinese—the original Chinese poems are placed on pages facing their English translations.

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Title information

Huang Xiang—poet, painter, and performer—is a native of the People's Republic of China living in the United States in exile. In his homeland, where his work has been banned, he was sentenced to labor reform multiple times on the charge of being a counterrevolutionary. Although he is a pioneer of the underground poetry movement in China, his poems are only now being appreciated by a wider audience. A Lifetime Is a Promise to Keep provides an introduction to Huang Xiang and his poetry. According to the translator, Michelle Yeh, "As a poet, he addresses the perennial concerns with the inner self and the meaning of life." Regarding form, "Huang Xiang's prose poetry often begins as a pedestrian narrative, but as it unfolds, unexpected twists and turns are introduced, establishing roadblocks for readers and forcing them to read between the lines."

This volume makes Huang Xiang's poems accessible to readers of English and Chinese—the original Chinese poems are placed on pages facing their English translations. A reviewer explains: "Students who have no Chinese knowledge can read the English; students who have some but not enough can use the English to help them understand the Chinese; advanced graduate students can read the Chinese and see the choices a veteran translator makes in rendering the original into English."

Pages: 94
Language: English, Chinese
Publisher: Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley
OCLC: 316513796

Michelle Yeh, ed.

Michelle Yeh is professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Davis. A leading scholar of modern Chinese poetry, she has edited and translated many works of the same, including Anthology of Modern Chinese Poetry and Modern Chinese Poetry: Theory and Practice since 1911.

Education: Ph.D., Comparative Literature, University of Southern California

Huang Xiang

Huang Xiang is a Chinese poet and calligrapher. Born in 1941 in Hunan Province, he is now living in New York in exile. He continues to write and perform; his current project is a collaboration with the artist William Rock on the Century Mountain Project.

A Lifetime is a Promise to Keep

Acknowledgments – v
A Chronology of Huang Xiang – vii
Another Kind of Vastness: An Introduction to Huang Xiang’s Poetry – viii
Examples of Huang Xiang’s Calligraphy – xxiii

Poems
獨唱 – 2
Singing Solo – 3

鵝卵石的回憶 (選 5) – 4
Memories of Goose-egg Pebbles (5 selections) – 5

從死中覺醒 (選 7) – 6
Awake from Death (7 selections) – 7

我 – 10
I – 11

大地 – 12
Great Earth – 13

發狂的孩子 – 16
Children Gone Mad – 17

感覺的雕塑 – 18
The Statue of Feeling – 19

復仇 – 20
Revenge – 21

生之床 – 24
The Bed of Life – 25

棄嬰 – 30
Abandoned Infant – 31

遭遇  – 34
Encounter – 35

最初的暗示  – 36
The First Intimation – 37

黑太陽  – 38
Black Sun – 39

我相信  – 40
I Believe – 41

夢墓  – 44
Dream-Tomb – 45

憂傷  – 46
Sadness – 47

一瞬  – 46
A Wink 47

雪嬰  ­– 48
Snow Baby – 49

故里  – 50
Old Hometown – 51

鐵窗聼山  – 52
Listening to Mountains from behind Iron Bars – 53

思想者  – 54
The Thinker – 55

庭院  – 56
Courtyard – 57

禪  – 58
Zen – 59

東方詩人  – 60
Poets of the East – 61

漂泊之魂  – 64
A Wandering Soul – 65

瀰留之際  – 68
The Moment of Passing – 69

詩 – 68
Poetry – 69

簡單言說 – 70
Simple Words – 71

白日將盡 – 74
The Wisp of Light – 75

性情書寫 – 76
Writing Freely – 77

簡單活著 – 78
Living Simply – 79

今生有約 – 82
A Promise to Meet in This Life – 83

生死宗卷 – 84
Files of Life and Death – 85

宇宙人體 – 86
The Cosmic Human Body – 87

形骸之外 – 88
Beyond Form – 89

Notes to the Poems – 93