“America Used to be America (for Me)”: A Poem

I suppose this is my personal homage to Langston Hughes’s great poem, “Let America be America Again,” about which I’ve written on my other blog. Perhaps it’s also my personal update to that poem, my own “creative misprision”–to borrow Harold Bloom’s term–through which I’m trying to say where I think we are and where I hope we’re going. Continue reading ““America Used to be America (for Me)”: A Poem”

Breaking the “Great Taboo”: A Translation of Li Bai’s 李白 “Drinking Alone Beneath the Moon 月下獨酌”

There is a tradition among English-language translators of Chinese poetry to translate all Chinese poems as unrhymed free-verse. This tradition goes back at least as far as Ezra Pound–whose “translations” bear little resemblance to their originals–and is very much alive and kicking. So much so that I am borrowing Nathan Sivin’s term, “The Great Taboo,” to describe it. Continue reading “Breaking the “Great Taboo”: A Translation of Li Bai’s 李白 “Drinking Alone Beneath the Moon 月下獨酌””