Hawk of the Mind

Collected Poems

Yang Mu. Edited by Michelle Yeh

Columbia University Press

Hawk of the Mind

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Pub Date: April 2018

ISBN: 9780231184694

248 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $25.00£20.00

Pub Date: April 2018

ISBN: 9780231184687

248 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $75.00£58.00

Pub Date: March 2018

ISBN: 9780231545617

248 Pages

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List Price: $24.99£20.00

Hawk of the Mind

Collected Poems

Yang Mu. Edited by Michelle Yeh

Columbia University Press

Yang Mu is a towering figure in modern Chinese poetry. His poetic voice is subtle and lyrical, and his work is rich with precise images and crystalline thoughts invoking temporality and remembrance. A bold innovator and superb craftsman, he elegantly combines cosmopolitan experimentation with poetic forms and an allusive reverence for classical Chinese poetry while remaining rooted in his native Taiwan and its colonial history.

Hawk of the Mind is a comprehensive collection of Yang Mu’s poetry that presents crucial works from the many stages of his long creative career, rendered into English by a team of distinguished translators. It conveys the complexity and beauty of Yang Mu’s work in a stately and lucid English poetic register that displays his ability to range from meditative to playful and colloquial to archaic. The volume includes an editor’s introduction and definitive commentary that offer insights into the poet’s major themes and motifs, explaining how he draws on deep engagement with Chinese and Western literary traditions, history, and art as well as mythology, philosophy, and music and a profound love for the natural world to create a nuanced and multifaceted artistic universe. It also contains translations of prefaces and afterwords written by Yang Mu for collections of his poetry. Hawk of the Mind demonstrates the breadth and depth of Yang Mu’s oeuvre, illustrating the distinctive style and affective power of a great poet.
The work of Taiwanese poet Yang Mu brings vivid and playful pastoral imagery. He examines both Chinese and Western literary and cultural traditions through his personal lens, and his writing retains its beautifully lyrical nature through the translation. World Literature Today
Braiding images of nature with self-aware literary reference and linguistic terminology, Yang Mu shifts between intimate and expansive realms as he adopts personae. Occasionally retaining in their rich and piquant translations some of the nonspecific agency that typifies Chinese grammar, the translators deftly lavish attention not only on semantic meanings but on meanings made by sounds and tonal sequences. Forrest Gander, author of Core Samples from the World
An expertly translated, edited, and introduced collection, showcasing the distinctive craft of a consummate lyricist. “Poetry is insistence, not compromise,” writes Yang Mu. What a sumptuous feast he has served us in that remarkable spirit! Rey Chow, author of Not Like a Native Speaker: On Languaging as a Postcolonial Experience
Widely recognized as the most significant lyrical voice now writing in Chinese, Yang Mu is a national figure in Taiwan who has been recently promoted as a candidate for the Nobel Prize. Moreover, the translators are undoubtedly the very best in the English world. The renditions are superb and meet the linguistic challenges of the originals with dexterity and imagination. William Tay, University of California, San Diego
Yang Mu is always at or near the top of any list of contemporary modernist Chinese-language poets. Thanks to Michelle Yeh and her colleagues, the translations of his poems in this collection offer a generous selection of his lifetime of erudite engagement with both Chinese and Western cultures. Edward Gunn, Cornell University
These are superb translations of a sovereign poetic oeuvre. Yang Mu’s writing is at once delicate and forceful, reasoned and imaginative, cosmopolitan and grounded. Sixty years of poetry unfurl through a voice that breaks new ground time and again yet retains its constancy. Hawk of the Mind is a major achievement—and a delight. Maghiel van Crevel, Leiden University
Acknowledgments
Burning and Diffusing Through Eternity: An Introduction to Yang Mu
Poems
The Star Is the Only Guide 1
Water’s Edge
To Time
Fragment
Folding Screen
A Sequel to Han Yu’s “Mountain Rocks,” a Seven-Character Poem in the Old Style
Snake: A Rondo
Jizi of Yanling Hangs Up His Sword
King Wu’s Night Encampment: A Suite
Etudes: The Twelve Earthly Branches
Sailing to Ireland
Ireland
Let the Wind Recite
Manuscript in a Bottle
Lines of the Hand
Bring You Home to Hualian
Solitude
Forbidden Games 1
Paddy Field Region
Light Rain
To the Ancient
Minor Realization
Sonnet: The Travelers
Tree in the College
Looking Down
Someone Asks Me a Question About Justice and Righteousness
Tree
Miaoyu Sits in Meditation
Departing the Grasslands
Sonnets on The Book of Changes
Leaving a Banquet Early in Summer Heat
Lama Reincarnated
Village Sonnets
In Lieu of a Letter
Fable Number 2: Yellow Sparrow
Variation on “A Traveler’s Heart”
Hawk of the Mind
Remembering Berkeley
Written on Returning to the Northwest
Dusk from an Upper Floor
Episodic Capriccio for Solo
Six Quatrains, Written in Fun
Propositions of Temporality
Chang’an
A Lyric
To the Angel
Afternoon of a Gladiolus
Lakeview
Tale (In the meter of “Metamorphosis Two” by Philip Glass)
Bohori (Khabarovsk, 1994)
Midnight
Solitude. 1910
St. Petersburg
Grain Buds
Ars Poetica
Gazing Up
New Songs
Symbol
A Flurry of Snow
Seven Stars Bay
The Previous Life
Under the Pine
Rabbits
Rays of the Fading Sun
The Vacated Seat
Portrait of a Lady
Song of Floss Flower
Composed for the Lyrical Oboe
Subject
Misimpression
Pheasant
A Draw in a Game of Chess
The Water Nymph
Pindar’s Ode
Fallen Leaves
The Lost Ring—for Chechnya
Written at Daybreak
No Time Difference
Ancient Banyan Tree in Tainan
The Rite of Passage
Ziye Extemporizes in Song
War
Forgotten
The Heart Wavers
Substitution
Untitled 1
Untitled 2
The Fog and My Other Self
Cycad Aulacaspis Scale
Dragonfly
Since You Went Away
Betel Creek, Chinan Lakefront #2: Partita per Violoncello
Pine Garden
To the Tune “Behind the Soochow Curtain”
Title Unknown
Zuocang: Sakor
Cloud Ship
On Solitude
Greece
Discussing Poetry Writing with Someone
Substance, Shadow, and Spirit
Fern Songs
Reading Dante at Year’s End
Fluctuating Rhythm
As Yet Unattained
Written for a Meeting
Lectures
Variations on Zither Melodies No. 9
Listening to the Wind
Autumn
Preface to Manuscript in a Bottle
Afterword to Someone: Poetry Is Written for People
Afterword to Propositions of Temporality
Afterword to Cycad Aulacaspis Scale
Select Bibliography
Translators

About the Author

Yang Mu (the pen name of Wang Ching-hsien) was born and raised in Taiwan. He is the author of more than two dozen poetry and prose collections, including Propositions of Temporality, Interventions, Long and Short Ballads, and the memoir Memories of Mount Qilai: The Education of a Young Poet (Columbia, 2015). Among the many literary prizes he has received are the Newman Prize for Chinese Literature and the Cikada Prize (Sweden).

Michelle Yeh is Distinguished Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Davis. She is coeditor and cotranslator of No Trace of the Gardener: Poems of Yang Mu (1998) and The Columbia Sourcebook of Literary Taiwan (Columbia, 2014), among others.