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

Friday, August 30, 2013

My Fourth Book: Politics/Poetics of Re-Homing

Based on the principles of progression and association employed in Japanese court poetry (for more information, see my "To the Lighthouse" post, titled "Principles of Progression and Association in Tanka Sequences" ),  Politics/Poetics of Re-Homing is the first English language tanka sequence about diasporic experiences. In the sequence, I adopt an intersectional approach to exploring a wide range of issues related to immigration, English learning, racialized identity, racism, job seeking, colonization, acculturation, ...etc. You can read the whole sequence in the form of an e-book

Politics/Poetics of Re-Homing was first published in Atlas Poetica, 15, July, 2013. Thanks to M. Kei's continued support of my work.

The Irish writer Seamus Heaney, who won the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature, died today at the age of 74.
"inner émigré" in the fifth tanka of the sequence below comes from his work:

inner émigré
rolling off my tongue...
the professor's
right eye flickers
in a long shadow

Below is an excerpt from George Morgan's interview with Seamus Heaney :

— You once wrote of yourself as an “inner émigré,” a term that has been bandied about a lot since then. Do you still think of yourself in this way?

8As far as possible, you try to remain a mystery to yourself. Living in Ireland, not being an exile, living in Ireland as a social creature, as a familiar citizen, I think there is a great danger that one’s social persona might overwhelm one’s daimon — if you’ll permit me such a grand term… And so what one is always trying to do is displace oneself to another place or space. In my case, I’ve been very lucky to have had a cottage in Wicklow where I am literally displaced from my usual Dublin suroundings and indeed Wicklow is where I first thought of myself as being an inner émigré. Since 1988, thanks to the great kindness of Ann Saddlemyer, I’ve been able to own the cottage and to think of it as my “place of writing.” When I said “inner émigré,” I meant to suggest a state of poetic stand-off, as it were, a state where you have slipped out of your usual social persona and have entered more creatively and fluently into your inner being. I think it is necessary to shed, at least to some extent, the social profile that you maintain elsewhere. “Inner émigré” once had a specific meaning, of course, in the 1920s and 30s in Soviet Russia. It referred to someone who had not actually gone into exile but who lived at home disaffected from the system. Well, to some extent that was true of myself. Certainly, in relation to Northern Ireland.