Brief bio sketch

Lloyd Haft (1946- ) was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin USA and lived as a boy in Wisconsin, Louisiana and Kansas. In 1968 he graduated from Harvard College and went to Leiden, The Netherlands for graduate study in Chinese (M. A. 1973, Ph. D. 1981). From 1973 to 2004 he taught Chinese language and literature, mostly poetry, at Leiden. His sinological publications include Pien Chih-lin: A Study in Modern Chinese Poetry (1983/2011; published in Chinese translation as 发现卞之琳: 一位西方学者的探索之旅 in 2010) and Zhou Mengdie’s Poetry of Consciousness (2006). His most recent book, a liberal modern Dutch reading of Laozi's Daode jing, was published as Lau-tze's vele wegen by Synthese in September 2017.



He has translated extensively into English from the Dutch of Herman Gorter and Willem Hussem, and from the Chinese of various poets including Lo Fu, Yang Lingye, Bian Zhilin and Zhou Mengdie.



Since the 1980s he has also been active as a poet writing in Dutch and English. He was awarded the Jan Campert Prize for his 1993 bilingual volume Atlantis and the Ida Gerhardt Prize for his 2003 Dutch free-verse readings of the Psalms (republished by Uitgeverij Vesuvius in 2011). His newer poems are published (some republished) on this blog.



After early retirement in 2004, for a number of years Lloyd Haft spent much of his time in Taiwan with his wife Katie Su. In addition to writing and translating, his interests include Song-dynasty philosophy and taiji quan. He sings in the choir of a Roman Catholic church of the Eastern Rite in The Hague.



Wednesday, February 23, 2011

以此齋詩譜四首

漢樂逸荷語詩作、徐天就合譯

  
(一)中途站

我把手放在你膝蓋上
膝蓋就不見了。我只是
把手放在空氣中,

下午的事情總是這樣。
唉,我希望能做到,
不觸摸你,

不填補那偶爾會展出膝蓋的
一片虛空,
在下午的一瞬間。


(二)吸新鮮空氣

是否要告訴你
我們的散步令
盲人重見光明
痲瘋患者痊癒?

還是說:「我們經過的地方仍是兒童樂園」?
(小女孩,坐蹺蹺板
升至最高之處,向你驚笑。)

從行人道上的裂痕,你能見
地球口渴,懇求,
崩裂,和我們的到達。

「一個星球的危機
是否依然應著我們的慢步而起?」
爾言之矣
小女孩又腳踏實地了。


(三)跳欄比賽

如悲傷是一種體育運動
而不是生存方式,

你的離去
便是一塊滿佈障礙的空地
而不是空氣。

連我,
按我的本性,也起步,我,
「越弱越強」──

會跳過所有欄架。或一敗塗地。
如我在柔軟的跑道上
絆倒──當然會躺下──

我會仰望
彩雲,像虞美人
一樣美,滿天。

可惜,我不是這樣躺著,我在
呼吸,綠草也
離去了,你沒有留下任何障礙。


(四)賣蘋菓的女小販
-寫於上海


第一次讀到,
片刻不能呼吸──

這古代詩
涉及一隻雌鹿在森林
死於地上,在
三春來臨之際

你販賣蘋菓
與其無關:
我想吃一隻
在你的攤子,你的條箱上
沒有掛著銅鈴,
沒有玉佩

我需要的只是一隻蘋菓,
一隻金黃,普通的:
請幫我包起來

如許可的話,請把它放在
落葉之間,白蘆葦
在下,在上


轉載自焦風月刊第422期,1989年元月
荷語原文1984年登載於荷蘭Querido出版社之《Brandende lisdodden,香蒲在燃燒》。