February 18, 2013

Xi Murong (Hsi Muren)


Xi Murong (Hsi Muren) [b. China/Taiwan]
1943

Born in Sichuan, China in 1943 of Mongolian royal lineage, Xi Murong moved with her family to Hong Kong in 1949 and then to Taiwan in 1955.

     Xi was educated at the Royal Academy for Science and the Arts in Brussels, and back in Taiwan began to teach painting.

     Her first major poetry collection, Qi li xiang (Seven-li scent) in 1981, causing a sensation in the Taiwanese literary scene.  Her second book, Wuyuan de qingchun (Blameless Youth), also a literary success, was published in 1983.

     In 2001 the publisher Green Integer published a translation of her work, Across the Darkness of the River, translated from the Chinese by Chang Shu-Li, who described her love poems as containing “an ironic sense of the necessity as well as the impossibility of love. But her love poems are also extended meditation on the tyranny of time and death, on the many implications of having to confront and negotiate the inevitability of loss.”

     In 2002, she published Mitu shice (A booklet of poems gone astray). She published further new work in 2009 and 2010.

 
BOOKS OF POETRY

Qi li xiang (1981); Wuyuan de qingchua (1983); Mitu shice (2002); Meng wen ke  (Bejing: Zuo jia chu ban she, 2009); Bai e ji Beijing: Ren min wen xue chu ban she, 2010)

 ENGLISH LANGUAGE TRANSLATIONS

Across the Darkness of the River, trans. by Chang Shu-Li (Los Angeles: Green Integer, 2001)


Not a Parting

Not to meet is not necessarily a parting
Not to hear is not
Necessarily to forget.
 
Simply because your sorrow has mingled with mine
As evenly as the way moonlight has blended into
      the hills. And whenever
The night feels as cold as water, it touches my old
      wound.

 

An Experiment

 
They said            put into the water
A tiny piece of alum
Can then drain out        all
The dregs.
 
Then     If
If into our heart is put
A poem
Can it also
Drain out all the     yesterdays?

 
___________
English language copyright ©2001 by Chang Shu-Li. Reprinted by permission of Green Integer.

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