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.



Thursday, March 31, 2011

uit Brandende lisdodden 1 (gedichten)

 

(1)     De schaatsers

--Peking 1979

Al wat schaatsen draagt
noemt zich ik, kiest zich één baan
onder de banen,

met de kringen mee
langs zoveel grijze jassen
geen twee dezelfde.


(2)     Diapositief

Vanuit een gevoel
dat eens in je buik leefde
vind je paarden mooi.

Achter een wit hek
in het zonlicht lijken ze
wit, onvoorbedacht.

Het veld waarop ze
lopen ziet helemaal wit
van madeliefjes –

paarden die lopen
zoals kinderen domweg
bloemen weggaven.


(3)     Gemeentewerken

Wie hier de Beuk geveld heeft
laat tanden in de aarde na –
de mijne. En klauwen. En ’t Zware

dat zaaide, dat botte tot de tafel
kraakte van zoet –
woelt, woedt,

wortelt van verweer. Háár kaakbeen
klinkt in het mijne. Geen aardse spade
houdt haar hout van m’n ader.

Noem het tevergeefs: ik noem,
ik geef te kennen liefde
in verlies gekend –

en langs eenzelfde snelweg
één U minder.

--Lloyd Haft (uit Brandende lisdodden, Querido 1984)