“America Used to be America to 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 to Me”: A Poem”

A Sample Chapter from my Novel The Land of Imaginary Things

The Land of Imaginary Things is my young-adult fantasy novel. Elanor, twelve, has lost her father, and with him her first and favorite playmate and fellow lover of stories. Her chest is tight and her life is cold. One morning she wakes to find herself in the Land of Imaginary Things, the land where all the things humans imagine—talking animals, cursed forests, immortal librarians—are real and alive. Continue reading “A Sample Chapter from my Novel The Land of Imaginary Things

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””