Tuesday, September 08, 2009

one word blues: anxiety

you said you wouldn't
cop to the plea,
passing round
the anxiety
of never doing,
of never seeing,
of never redeeming
for the price
of this pain.
the waterfront calls,
her coffees grinding,
calls in
the afterdark,
the morning cool
around your
lurking wisdom.
Gathered, she did,
shelter for
your storms,
riddled, we are,
for the means
to be born.



Blogger jsd said...

Having read Bones of the Sky's latest post - I couldn't help but think of her, and of us all as we stare out into the waterfront just one step away from the possibility of something grand.

8:27 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

jsd: All calls should have the smell of coffee, no?

11:20 AM  
Blogger Dee Martin said...

Man you were up early and here I am sneaking in at lunch. Hope you have a huge fridge because this one goes there - right in the middle, at the top. Loved this one. It will heal my morning and send me into the afternoon with peace.

11:55 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Dee: It sez 4:03, but I think I'm calibrated to Mt. Shasta time: it was 6:03 when I was nodding in front of the screen for this one. Procrastinating away the minutes before leaving for the escuela. Thank you for the props; we've banned stuff on the fridge (looks really weird, but it had gotten to where we couldn't see the thang itself), but I'll wear it on my forehead (haven't banned that yet).

1:41 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

I liked this one, too, Murat. Favorite lines at the end: "riddled, we are, / for the means / to be born." I bet the estudiantes would love to see you walking around with a sheet of poetry pasted to your forehead. Go for it! then you can have them do the one word prompt, too.

My escuela is closed for a "budget furlough day". Just got back from immigration. now i'm off to the wonderful world of martial arts thanks for the pick-me-up!

3:14 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

T: Ah, those vacationing budgets! Martial arts, too? Clearly, you operate on 28/8/888 schedule: no way you could fit it all in a 24/7/365.

4:12 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

no, my thesis on kung fu (martial arts) novels. I just practice a couple of basic tai qi/qi gong forms at home with video tapes since leaving taiwan. I did study with a real teacher for a year there before I was married. it's just that reading for my thesis is as good as playing!

4:34 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Well done on your thesis choice! And your thesis, more specifically? Sounds like you're in for some mighty tesseracting. I suspect you're reading them in the original, but might you recommend some in translation - for me, for Walden and friends, for my upper schoolers?

5:53 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

Well, I am doing my thesis on the works of Jin Yong (Louis Cha). He is the top author of Chinese martial arts novels of the 20th century. He wrote a total of 15 martial arts novels and novellas while publishing two papers(one in HK and one in Singapore) and writing political commentary. Only two of his novels have been translated to date: "Fox Volant of Snowy Mountain" and "Book and Sword, Gratitude and Revenge". I will be doing a paper on one of the English translations for my LitCrit class so I can count the credits towards my MA (can't count pure English LitCrit towards an Asian Studies master's). Oh, there is a third novel, The Deer and the Cauldron, but it is out of print on Amazon and in three volumes. The second and third volumes were starting at $90 and $99 respectively. I would recommend Fox Volant. It has good pictures of the weapons and some of the paralysis points as well as family trees and lineages of the martial arts schools featured in the story. The translator used real English words instead of just pinyin Chinese, so it's easier to keep track of Fox, Jade, Phoenix than to think about Hu Fei, Miao Ren Feng, stuff like that.

His best novels haven't been translated, but there are DVDs of the Chinese serial dramas for some of them with pretty good English subtitles, especially on the HK versions. The best ones of the DVDs for story line would be The Proud, Smiling Wanderer, The Eagle-Shooting Heroes, and The Giant Eagle and its Companion. I've seen the serial dramas on Chinese tv. They are some of the stories that got me hooked on kung fu novels.

Eventually (post-thesis), I hope to translate some of the really good ones (like Proud, Smiling Wanderer). Unfortunately, Jin Yong's Chinese prose is semi-archaic and hard to put into English. The easy ones to translate have all been done. Although that really won't stop me when I have the time to focus. That may be part of a doctoral dissertation--doing a fully annotated translation of one of the best works.

For my thesis, I'm thinking of comparing the Mandarin Duck-Butterfly School of Chinese literature that flourished in Shanghai prior to WWII and was also published serially in newspapers and periodicals with Jin Yong's works. Both stand opposite to the May Fourth movement's New Literature that tried to Westernize Chinese as fast as possible (the May Fourth authors even wanted to do away with the characters). MDB School and Jin Yong incorporate the tradition, but reinvent it and make it usable in a modern urban setting. But it comes out in a uniquely Chinese way that subverts Westernization. Hence the claim by some translators that his works cannot be rendered effectively in English.

That's probably more than you wanted to know. Never ask a person what they are specifically doing for a thesis unless you REALLY want to know!

6:19 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

T: Of course, I wanted to know. And you can sign me up for your thesis, too. Sounds very intriguing - just the kind of out of the ordinary world, full of its own fully developed microcosmos, that I love to wander around in. I like the idea that you're already thinking on down the line for translating and your dissertation. Sounds wonderful.

I'm off in search of the Fox...

6:57 PM  
Anonymous Teresa said...

Be careful if you tree him. He is one bad dude, a master at slipping in and wiping people out in less than three moves!

8:39 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

T: I ain't treein' the dude, though I did run him down at the Trinity Library here in town. Tres Leches Public Library is not hip, though they did have him in Vietnamese, which, I suppose, is actually hipper than hip. The interlibrary folks should have the Fox over this way in a week or so.

6:04 AM  
Blogger Teresa said...

Well, at the least the librarians will disarm him before allowing him into your home...

4:09 PM  

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