Grass Roots: Xiang Yang Selected Poems

Grass Roots: Xiang Yang Selected Poems
Original work 向陽詩選
Author Xiang Yang
Translator John Balcom
Publisher Zephyr Press
Publication year 2014
   Page 123
Language English
ISBN/ISSN 978-1-938890-07-9
  • Abstract
  • Content

Xiang Yang, the pen name of Lin Chi-yang, was born in Nantou, Taiwan, in 1955. Besides being a famous poet, he is also an essayist, woodblock print artist, and prominent scholar of Taiwan literature. Influenced by the classical Chinese literary masterpieces and contemporary poetry, this collection first presents Xiang Yang’s experimental ten-line poems whose compositional techniques derive from the fu (narrative), bi (metaphor), and xing (affective images) employed by The Book of Songs. Xiang Yang also composes poems in Taiwanese (Tâi-gí), his native language. The second section of this poetry collection consists of four Taiwanese poems which deal with rural life, labor, and politics. The major section of this collection contains Xiang Yang's magnum opus to date: The Four Seasons (1986). The twenty-four poems in this sequence, one for each of the twenty-four solar terms of the traditional Chinese agricultural calendar, present a comprehensive picture of Taiwan encompassing local landscape, cultural details, socioeconomic development, and the whole spectrum of human moods and emotions. The translator of this poetry collection, professor John Balcom is an expert on Chinese literature and has translated numerous Chinese literary works into English.

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