Verses on Bird
"... a highly developed range that's very beautiful."-Leslie ScalapinoZhang Er grasps for the spiritual through objects of the mundane, quietly detailing the wonder and desperation that courses through human lives. In these poems, the eye watches the eye so that no facet of our existence remains unexplored. "Zhang Er belongs to the generation beyond lament or anger over the hardship endured by Chinese intellectuals, from overthrown rebellion to construction, from confusion to clarity, from darkness to light (ambiguity to clarity). She walks out of suffering and uncertainty, discovers the loveliness, preciousness of life and self-respect . . ."-(New World Poetry Bimonthly)From the poem "Verses on Bird":The river is moving. The blackbird must be flying.From classical fugues to Romanticism, this effortproducedSchubert. When storms attack, the nightjar's crySwells. The noble revolution will require greatSacrifice, yet do not ask me to capture this process onthe blackAnd white keys, nor to switch to another tone.I could not find two birds with identical pitch.With nothing to induce it, innocence makes me walkInto rushing water as if I were brave. Empty space is great, but nothingRepeats itself there. Whether I doOr whether I don't; from each, the sum of the piano's voice will rise.Not to be doubted: bird writes poem, one vowel at a time.Zhang Er was born in Beijing, China and moved to the United States in 1986. Her poetry, nonfiction and essays have appeared in publications throughout the world, and she is the author of multiple books in Chinese and in English translation. She has also participated in projects sponsored by the New York Council for the Arts and by the Minetta Brook Foundation.
- Paperback | 104 pages
- 147.3 x 210.8 x 10.2mm | 113.4g
- 30 Jun 2004
- Zephyr Press
- Massachusetts, United States
About Er Zhang
Zhang Er was born in Beijing, China and moved to the United States in 1986. Her writings of poetry, non-fiction, and essays have appeared in publications in Taiwan, China, the American emigre community and in a number of American journals. She is the author of multiple books in Chinese and in English translation. She co-edits First Line and Poetry Current, which are Chinese poetry journals based in New York, and she has read from her work at international festivals, conferences, and universities in China, France, Portugal, Russia, and Peru, and in the US. She has also participated in projects sponsored by the New York Council for the Arts (a Translation Award) and by the Minetta Brook Foundation (a Film Grant). She currently resides in New York City. Eleni Sikelianos's most recent book of poems is Earliest Worlds (Coffee House Press, Minneapolis, MN: April 2001). Earlier books include The Book of Tendons and To Speak While Dreaming. She has been conferred a number of awards for her poetry, nonfiction and translations, including the National Poetry Series (for Footnote to the Lambs), a residency at Princeton University as a Seeger Fellow, a Fulbright Writer's Fellowship in Greece, a New York Foundation for the Arts Award in Nonfiction Literature, the James D. Phelan Award, two Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative American Writing, the New York Council for the Arts Translation Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry. She teaches in the MFA program at Naropa in Boulder, Colorado. Leonard Schwartz was born in 1963 in New York City. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Words Before The Articulate: New and Selected Poems, (Talisman House). In recent years he has read from his work at international festivals and conferences as well as at numerous venues in the U.S., ranging from the Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle, to the University of Hawaii, The College of Santa Fe, and the St. Marks Poetry Project in New York. In 1997 he received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry. Rachel Levitsky teaches English to immigrant members of DC9, New York City's painters union. She is the author of four chapbooks of poetry, organizes BELLADONNA*, a matrix (poetic readings, salons, chaplet press) of feminist poetics. Her long poem, Under the Sun, will be published by Futurepoem (2003). Timothy Liu's first book of poems, VOX ANGELICA (Alice James Books, 1992), received the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. His subsequent books of poems are BURNT OFFERINGS (Copper Canyon Press, 1995), SAY GOODNIGHT (Copper Canyon Press, 1998), and HARD EVIDENCE (Talisman House, 2001). He is tenured at William Paterson University.