Chen-ou Liu's Translation Project: First English-Chinese Haiku and Tanka Blog

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Book Review of My Chapbook

A Hundred Gourds just published Book Review: Following the Moon to the Maple Land by John McManus, British poet and Expositions Editor

The following is an excerpt:

As you can tell from the poem Chen-ou's move from [Taiwan] to Canada has left him feeling trapped between the opposing cultures of his past and his present.

the bat
flitting here and there . . .
Chen-ou or Eric

in my borrowed tongue
plum blossoms

In the first poem Liu tries to find a way out of his cultural dislocation by giving himself a new English name, but in the second poem he demonstrates how despite his efforts he still feels very much an outsider in his adopted home.

an African man
holds out his hands . . .

Here Liu identifies with another traveller and skilfully captures a profound moment of their experience in a land which is harsh but beautiful.

to tell or not to tell the secret day moon

See the full text here, A Hundred Gourds, 1:1, December 2011