I had a pleasant surprise at an "upstairs bookshop" yesterday. I discovered a book about a Taiwanese poet whose poems I like. The poet studied first in Japan and then in America and is presumably now teaching literature at some university in the PRC. Perhaps Beijing or Chekiang. He is Du Guoqing 杜國清. According to the materials from the internet, he was born in 1941 in Feng Yuan in Central Taiwan, studied foreign language at the U of Taiwan, obtained an MA in Kansai University (關西大學), Japan and then moved to Stanford University where he obtained a Ph D in 1974 and taught for a while at University of California, Santa Barbara. At the time that the book was published, he was teaching at Beijing University. The book," A Voyager for Beauty" (transiteration) (尋美的旅人) (1993) is a collaborative effort by 王景壽, 白舒榮 and 楊正犁. I have no idea what he is doing now. Whatever he may be doing, I would like to share one of his poems I found within the book which I enjoyed enormously.
The following poem was written by Du in the late 1960's whilst he was still a student at Taiwan University. My own English translation follows.
枯葉 杜國清 Withered Leaf Du Guoqing
黃蝴蝶啊 Oh, yellow butterfly
昨天的心愁在下降 The heart's blue of ere was falling
鳳凰樹的彩色在下降 The flame tree's color was falling
等待最後凋落的消息 Waiting for news of the final fall
翩翩地，妳舞著羽葉來臨 Gracefully, you were dancing in feather-like leaves
黃蝴蝶啊 Oh yellow butterfly
閑步在清幽的草坪上 In leisurely gaits on the quiet lawn
枯葉已落 The withered leaf has fallen
落在草坪上讓妳輕踩 Landing on the lawn for you to tread on
跚跚地，閑步在草坪上啊 Swaying, its leisurely gaits on the lawn
純黃的羽葉飄來季節 Feather-like leaves in pure yellow fluttering in the season
春來春去，我的等待如一 Spring came and went, my waiting unwavering
蝴蝶啊，讓思念吸吮葉綠 Oh butterfly, let my thoughts suckle upon the verdure of the leaves
我的枯葉，心已憔悴 My withered leaf, its heart tired
只因我愛妳的純黃 From naught but love of the purity of your yellow
愛伴著妳一起飄揚…… Love was fluttering with you.....
(選自《蛙鳴集》） (from The Frog's Croaks)
I understand that he has written a number of collected poems like "The Frog's Croaks" ＜蛙鳴集＞ 、"Avalanche" ＜雪崩＞、"Clouds of the Heart" ＜心雲集＞ and " Moon Gazing ＜望月＞ and translated T. S Eliot's "Collected Literary Criticism", Baudelaire's "Les Fleurs du Mal", 西協順三郎's "Poetics" and , 劉若愚's( his Ph D thesis supervisor at Stanford) "Chinese Poetics" ( 中國詩學) and "Chinese Literary Theory" ( 中國文學理論).
I like his simplicity, his parallels in slightly altered contexts and the unity of his imagery.