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, July 27, 2011

Naar Psalm 42

Als een hert naar het water
hijgt mijn hart:
ik wil u levend weten, niet
dood zoals zij zeggen.
In mijn dorst is mijn ziel,
mijn dorst naar de levende
in wie ik op zou gaan,
ik die zou voorgaan:
op naar uw huis.
Niemand die u loven zou
als ik, als ik kon.
Ben ik hier in dieptes
die u nog niet ziet?
Boven mijn hoofd gaat altijd
hun gebulder, gebaren.
Ik wil het aan de stenen vragen:
word ik hier geweten?
Dieper dan een dolk
in mijn merg steekt uw stilte -
dood zouden zij zeggen, maar ik hoop:
niemand die u loven zal als ik.

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