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.



Friday, May 6, 2016

Antwoord op Ming Govaars (gedicht)



Ming Govaars (Dr. M.T.N. Govaars-Tjia, 1922-2016) is onlangs op 93-jarige leeftijd overleden. Zij was een wereldberoemde wetenschapper, een unieke persoonlijkheid, en een inspirerend mens. Na haar overlijden werden annonces rondgestuurd waarop zij al maanden tevoren met de hand een citaat had geschreven: ‘Het vuur rust in zijn as’.
Als iemand die haar al sinds 1974 kende, had ik er geen vrede – geen ‘rust’ – mee dat dit haar laatste woorden zouden zijn. Zij was geen type voor rust, als ideaal of in de praktijk. Een van haar favoriete motto’s was: ‘If you have nothing to do, don’t do it here!’
Ik schreef in antwoord de volgende regels:

Laat de as
nu eindelijk
voor wat as was:

het vuur
is allang
verder.


--Lloyd Haft
mei 2016