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.



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Twee danswijsjes (gedichten)

(1) Wind die daar waait

Buiten het mensenwoordengieren om –     
buitenspel van hun gedoe, gedag

wil ik nog raken, klinken,
dansen in de wind die nergens hoort:

wind die kent
geen plaats, geen vaste vrede,

hoeft niet te weten want
‘alle weten is van wind’,

hoeft geen mond want
spreekt zich nergens uit,

doet geen oog want
hoeft zich niet te zoeken,

huist al nergens,
strooit zelf met daken,

lacht zich
(zo zou ik willen lachen)

aan onderdakse weters weg.            


(2) Mens die daar danst

Toen ging ik bij mijn armen,
benen, leden te rade,

zei tegen ze jongens
of jongen,

gaan we nog eens
samen? –

Zij zeiden niets,
zij waren,

wachtten nog het meest,
wachtten meer dan ik,

hadden meer van doen
met om ons heen al schaduw,

naderend allang.
Zij deinsden niet,

het was mij of zij dansten.
Zo was het mij:

waar alle wens,
alle mens gaat over

in de mens die danst.