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 16, 2011

Snijdingen (uit Anthropos)


Ik wilde God geen dreun op de kop geven: paar
steentjes over het water keilen alleen, een klein
jongetje laten zien: je laat ze los waar
water en wind het overnemen. Maar onder mijn

weke worp bleek een meeuw, stille passant
zwart gewiekt, in ongebroken lei gekield.
Zijn ogen zochten vissen, niet mijn open hand.
Raak! en toen klapte hij lijfelijk om, hield

grote vleugels slaande, hersenen hangend – gierde
schuin af en ademde, schoot zijn laatste ronde
in, stom lucht van de plaats schokkend en zwierde
af op het einde van zijn cirkel, waar wij stonden.

Hij zou mijn ogen treffen. Ik richtte een tweede steen
maar hij was erboven, recht en onbetwist alleen.

--Lloyd Haft (uit Anthropos, Querido 1996)