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, April 27, 2011

Naar Psalm 138

Als ik u prijs
is mijn hart heel,
ook waar duizend beelden
mij blijven aanstaren.
Ik groet in de richting
van uw verborgenheid,
zeg dat uw naam
licht is en waarheid:
boven alle dingen uit
blijft uw naam.
Op de dag dat ik schreide
hoorde ik in de sterkte van mijn schreeuw
uw antwoord.
Wisten zij wat ik zoek
ook koningen zouden u prijzen
en zingen van uw wegen
dat deze gloed groot is
want u laat mij levend
door benauwdheden lopen.
Ik kom op de ziende uit,
in ziens blijvende band.
Het gluren van de hekelaar
raakt mij niet,
wat mij raakt
noem ik uw hand.

--Lloyd Haft (uit De Psalmen in de bewerking van Lloyd Haft, Querido 2003; herdruk Uitgeverij Vesuvius 2011)