Sailing to Formosa

A Poetic Companion to Taiwan

Edited by Michelle M. Yeh, N. G. D. Malmqvist, and Xu Huizhi

  • $30.00s paperback (9780295985879) Add to Cart
  • hardcover not available
  • Published: 2006
  • Subject Listing: Asian Studies / China
  • Bibliographic information: 212 pp., 9 illus., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: Not available in Asia
  • Published with: Unitas Publishing Company
  • Contents

This bilingual anthology of modern Chinese poetry from and about Taiwan is arranged in thematic sections that present contrasting views of life in Taiwan. The island's dramatic history has given modern Taiwan literature a wealth of conflicting cultural, linguistic, and ideological legacies that continue to shape it. Modern Taiwan poetry draws on the developing modernism of 1920s and 1930s China, the avant-garde movements of modern Europe, and Japan's "colonial modernism," which itself was inspired by Europe. By all standards, Taiwan has produced some of the best modern poetry in Chinese.

The forty-eight poets presented here speak on a host of topics, including family and homeland, memory of war, social justice, and the natural world. Collectively, they paint a complex picture of the trauma, travails, and beauties of life in Taiwan. They represent different generations, display different styles, and express different views and positions.

With its variety of poetic voices and facing pages of Chinese and English text, Sailing to Formosa will be enjoyed by readers of foreign literature in English translation and by students of Chinese literature and language.
Michelle Yeh is professor of Chinese at the University of California at Davis. Among her publications is Modern Chinese Poetry: Theory and Practice since 1917. N. G. D. Malmqvist is professor emeritus at Stockholm University and a member of the Swedish Academy. He has translated numerous works into Swedish and English, including the fiction and plays of the Nobel laureate Gao Xingjian. Xu Huizhi is a poet and executive editor of the Taiwan literary monthly Unitas (Lianhe wenxue).
Map of Taiwan

Beautiful Island
Beautiful Island / Yang Huan
The Subtropics / Lin Hengtai
Communion between My Heart and the Island (five selections) / Duo Si
Hometown, You Are My Likeness / Su Shaolian
Infatuation / Wu Jingcheng
Sailing to Formosa / Xu Huizhi

My Island
Manuscript in a Bottle / Yang Mu
Fallen Leaves / Monaneng
My Island / Zhang Guozhi
Jinmen Gaoliang Spirits / Ji Xian
On the Island of Bijia / Yang Ze

Historical Memories
Discovering / Xiang Yang
On hearing the claim that "comfort women" were volunteers / Bai Ling
Wounded Mother Tongue / Lin Fan
Vermilion Cabinet / Du Ye
My Pen / Chen Xiuxi
The Orphan of Asia / Luo Dayou

Hometown Vignettes
Narrow-Gauge Train / Lu Hanxiu
Preface to Hometown Vignettes / Wu Sheng
Strange Tales of Nanjing Street / Chen Kehua
On the Train, Tied Up in Two Knots / Chen Li
Lake Dabi, April 21st / Chen Yizhi
Jigsaw Puzzle / Yan Ailin

Nostalgia for the Mainland
A Sick Man / Zeng Guihai
Two Trunks / Guan Guan
Wearing Chinese Clothes / Lin Yaode
The Sea / Luo Renling
Give Me Back My Homeland / Jiao Tong

Political Justice
The Promised Land / Wang Tianyuan
Fasting / Zheng Jiongming
The Square / Bai Qiu
Door / Jiang Xun
Nightmare / Li Minyong

Mountains and Rivers
Great Mountain at South Lake: A Sequence (two selections) / Zheng Chouyu
Central Ranges of Bear Cub Laheyuan / Liu Kexiang
Fresco on Mt. Ali / Luo Zhicheng
Upon Rising at Dawn, Gazing on the Central Mountain Range / Yang Han
Aria of Turtle Hill Island / Ling Yu

Social Critique
A Hymn to Hualian / Hong Hong
Flying Garbage / Shang Qin
Tomb Sweeping / Xu Wenwei
The Epitaph of a Meteorite / Zhan Che
I won't write poems for you anymore / Li Kuixian

Everyday Life
Husband-Gazing Stone / Walis Nogan
White Peony / Feng Qing
Changing Trains / Sun Weimin
A Bird Flies Past / Luo Fu
An Ordinary Song / Ya Xian