Xu Zhimo as world poet

List members who welcomed last year’s two items about Xu Zhimo as a world poet (November 18 & 19, 2017) will be pleased to hear about the anthology Into English, edited by Martha Collins and Kevin Prufer (Graywolf Press, Minneapolis, 2017), which includes Xu Zhimo as one of twenty-five world poets whose work in translation is featured. Contributors were asked to select a poem that has been translated into English at least three times and to comment on these translations. I chose Xu Zhimo and his “Zai bie Kangqiao” [A Second Farewell to Cambridge], probably the best known poem in modern Chinese, and compared translations by Kai-yu Hsu, Michelle Yeh and Hugh Grigg. I’ve never translated any of Xu Zhimo’s poems for publication but have enjoyed reading and teaching them for many years. This anthology is a tribute to the lasting value of poets and poetry around the world and an acknowledgement of the deep pleasure to be gained by translating and reading translations of their works.

Bonnie S. McDougall FAHA
Honorary Associate, School of Languages and Cultures,
University of Sydney A18;
Professor Emeritus of Chinese, The University of Edinburgh

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