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, November 22, 2012

Zwerftocht 2 (gedichten)



(1) BOSWANDELING


De weg ertússen –
die verbindt.

Bos links, rechts akker –
middenin is deze gang

die groeit, lengt,
nergens nog ligt.

Staande stam, liggende wortel,
geen van beide beide:

beide ben pas ik
die hier passeer,

zie, niet zeg:
want woord zal worden wet:

houdt in,
houdt tegen.

Zien is zaaien:

wat ik om mij weet zal wassen,
worden.

Waar oog op terug,
hart op terug

in overvloed zal keren:
dáár ten leste stijgt het licht

uit aarde op:
stam en stoppel samen,

alle aar in ere,
alle blad in beeld:

warm op het dampende veulen,
hier als grind in het gras.




(2) DICHTERS WEEKLACHT


Er zijn meer woorden dan er dingen zijn.
Ziedaar, hoor
daarin onze pijn.

Wij met onze lippen –
enige die zeggen kunnen,
kussen –

die altijd minder moeten dan ze kunnen,
opengaand al bijna dicht,
eenmaal dicht ten enen male.

Maar na ons,
waar we uitgebrabbeld blijven –
waar zal de naam in wonen
van het huis dat niet bestond?

--Lloyd Haft