2016年5月8日 星期日

出版發表會合照:NEW CHINESE POETRY ( Translated and Edited by Yu Kwang-chung 1960, USIS, Taiwan)

    http://taiwaninfo.nat.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=166420&ctNode=124 筆會
Translated and Edited
by Yu Kwang-chung

The Heritage Press, Taipei, 1960. 94 pp. NT$25
Reviewed by Nancy Chang Ing

At long last we are privileged to have an excellent English translation of modern Chinese poetry. The translator, Mr. Yu Kwang-chung, is a professor of English poetry at the Provincial Normal University and a Chinese poet himself, so that he not only has a complete command of the English language, but what is more important, he has a deep understanding and appreciation of poetry in both languages. "Understanding of poetry" does not mean merely the techniques of form and matter, but what is more essential, the feeling and moods of poetry. A good prose translation from one language into another is a laborious job but one that does not involve too much imagination. But poetry! How delicately it must be handled s6 as not to lose any of the original color, the innuendos in feeling, the author's initial emotion that created the poem in the first place. 
new chinese poetry p1
The cover design of the pocket-sized New Chinese Poetry is attractively simple and modern. The presentation of the material is interesting and easily readable. Mr. Yu's introduction deals capably with the background and trends of modern Chinese poetry. Even a lay reader who is not familiar with this phase of Chinese culture can obtain some insight and comprehension from this introduction in preparation for enjoyment of the book. The short biographical sketch preceding each collection serves to give the reader some knowledge of the author as a person, thus paving the way for a better understanding of his poetry.
To really appreciate these translations one should read the originals at the same time. Only then can the depth of Mr. Yu's sympathetic perception of the poetry be comprehended to the fullest extent.

The Dragon-Fountain Sword by Ruan Nang is like an abstract painting that has lost nothing of its original strength and appeal. Ya Hsuen's Afternoon in a Bar becomes even more lucid, more vivid in the translation:

"And here we conspire to murder
The paleness of a whole afternoon,
Trampling the Persian garden
On patterned porcelain bricks.
My friend spits the chestnut husks
On the face of a nameless princess.
And we swallow our chrysanthemum tea
(Never mind who gathered the leaves)
And puff at the faintness of cheap tobacco,
And exchange scandals of ladies we know,
Murdering all the paleness of this afternoon
And part of the paleness of tomorrow."
The vividness of the imagery and the atmosphere created here remind one of T. S. Eliot, one of the great moderns.

Then those lines:

"Stars fall on the grounds as I am falling Toward the east. Down on my hair, down on the grassland,

Like faded misunderstandings fall the stars to earth."
from Yeh Shan's A Posthumous Letter. Mr. Yu has translated literally without losing any of the original touch and yet he manages to achieve a distinctive charm of his own. This is indeed an achievement to be proud of.

In Hsia Ching's short poem, Noon, some rhyme is attempted, not stilted or affected but easy and natural:

"The sun has picked up all his shadows
The air its breath does hold.
A slumber seals the green cat's pupils
With nocturnal gold.
All are profound in dream: the world
Is in virgin repose.
At last a busy, buzzing bee
Retires into a rose."

I could go on quoting from many other poems in this collection but that might detract from the pleasure of reading the selections in their entirety.

New Chinese Poetry is indeed the first collection of its kind and the fact that it has been done by a Chinese scholar who is himself a recognized poet served to enhance its value and insure its prestige in the world of letters. Let us hope that his will truly serve to introduce the promising young writers of modern China to the western world and make them aware of the fact that our culture and literature did not end with the great poets of old China. In this respect, Mr. Yu has indeed performed a great service, to his fellow poets, but also to the literary world at large. May we have the pleasure of hearing more from him.

鄭愁予宇宙遊子終歸鄉| 兩岸.亮點人物| 人間福報
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左起鄭愁予、夏菁、羅家倫、鍾鼎文、覃子豪、胡適,立其後者為莊萊德大使、莊萊德夫人,立其後者為紀弦、羅門、余光中、余光中夫人(范我存)、蓉子,立其後者為楊牧、 ...

五月六日中山大學舉行盛大的紀念五四運動詩歌朗誦及研討活動, 並印製「五四動詩興」專刊, 刊頭下方為一多人合照之盛大場面, 計有胡適, 羅家倫, 覃子豪及美國駐華大使莊萊德夫人等十七人. 此一活動實為由美新處贊助之「NEW CHINESE POETRY」一書之出版發表會. . 多人問我為什么找不到我在其中, 連譯者余光中教授昨也悄悄問我. 我躲到那裡去了, 我說1960年你自美歸來, 我即於年底赴美去研讀最新電子科技, 臨行前你還為我送行, 此書出版的盛大場面新聞照登在大華晚報上, 你還寄到美國密西西比州給我, 這裡面當然不會有我. 他也才回憶到我在照片中缺席的原因. 附圖為余光中譯「英文中國現代詩」的書影.