Blossoming Blossoms of Poetry: Selected Poems of Hsu Chicheng – Life-style


Hsu Chicheng. Blossoming Blossoms of Poetry: Picked Poems of Hsu Chicheng (Chinese – English). Translated by Zhang Zhizhong. Chongqing City: The Earth Lifestyle Press (United states), 2012. Pages 382. Price tag CNY 50.00, US $ 25.00. ISBN 978–9637599-6-2/E.009

The quantity of Picked Poems of Hsu Chicheng seeks to current his poetic excellence, or, as the poet would like to say, “a new beginning stage” in his life following 70. Hsu Chicheng has been writing poetry for the previous five many years, celebrating nature and humanity: His poems depict native landscape, idyllic life, and human values with regard for Chinese custom and tradition:

“-I am established to devote myself to human beings
And I do not treatment about no matter if you eat up my flesh or consume up my blood.” (p. 361)
“The fireplace of energy shall by no means die out
And shall melt away additional wildly, wildly… ” (p. 359)

Since I do not know Chinese, I are unable to say whether or not he follows the classic Chinese poetic forms and kinds, much too, but he is modern-day in his outlook and genuine to his own ordeals and vision. As he notes in his prefatory:

“My parts are written in much more blood than in ink. Humanism is the primary level in my writing with the common subjects of countryside, landscape, and mother nature, to eulogize the sunny facet of human existence and to spur persons onward, so as to lastly carry reward to my visitors… In the earlier 50 several years, the poetry forum of Taiwan has been an animated scene: numerous types and various universities of poems. But I do not follow any other university than my own pastoral school. I go my own way by tilling my have land, sowing my very own seeds, and cultivating my have crops… ” (p. 13)

Obviously, Hsu Chicheng writes with a determination. His poetic sensibility is rooted in nature, the sea and rivers, the hills and mountains, the winds and rains, the fields and agricultural things to do, the docile domestic birds and animals, the sincerity and simplicity of the rural people, their honesty and tolerance, and the hardships of rural and city daily life, and so forth. He is also knowledgeable of the transitions seasoned at several points of time in his occupation as teacher, journalist, army judge, and post-retirement pursuits as a poet, translator and editor. His poetic imagination exudes a perception of record.

While he puts up with troubles of many sociopolitical nature and ups and downs in his possess life, his visionary orientation is ‘self’-ward inspite of the disappointing political and financial local weather outdoors. The fighter in him exhorts: “Hold quick to the will/By no means enable go of the goal/Fearful of no bitterness/Frightened of no loneliness/He shall go his personal way by himself on your own/To tread ruggedness even/To dispel haze/Strolling out of winds and rains/To embrace sunshine” p. 357), just as the meditator in him rejoices: “Sitting down silent/Quietude is here/Quietude accompanies me/Only two: she and me” (p. 369). Hsu yearns for peace and enjoys it through interior quietude “in the depth of night”. In simple fact poetry is his religious aspiration and achievement.

At 73, Hsu exults in hope and faith:

“There is almost nothing terrible about retirement
There is absolutely nothing negative about dusk
I can paint even now
–Although it is portray the afterglow
It can paint much better” (p. 165)


“Now dusk! Twilight is gathering
What is the size of the extended lane ahead?
Is the lane clean or hard of going for walks?
In spite of uncertainty
In spite of tiredness and issues in walking
No stop and no relaxation
One’s bravery has to be taken in equally palms
To respect and attract the colorful sunset glow” (p. 475)


“Continue to he does not abandon his hope
He is on the in search of with no sparing any hard work
… (p. 367)

Hsu loves brightness (p. 355) and sees hope in winter season, “Under no circumstances eliminate your religion/And hold out patiently” (p. 353),as he says. To him, aging is a bliss, a new opportunity:

“This time to be additional steady and additional steadfast
Spiritually oneself will have to be totally remoulded
To prevail over corporeal growing older
To shoulder the load of several years
To be walking in scorching heat, critical coldness, and winds & rains
To overstep myriads of hills and rills, as perfectly as bumpiness of roads… ”
(‘Seventy Yrs as Spring’, p. 351)


“We increase our heads and overlook, expecting yet another entire world
We increase our heads and overlook, expecting a further spring”
(‘Reappearance’, p. 347)
Hsu Chicheng as a delicate observer of himself, other individuals, and nature, voices a cost-free spirit with consciousness of the cycle of variations and reminiscences of childhood, expansion, and getting older. His poems are as authentic as his silvery hair and maintain the fireplace of hope and religion burning (cf. pp. 333, 299, 271, 257).

Poet editor Zhang Zhizhong ‘s word for phrase literal translation, as it appears to me, effectively demonstrates the progress of Hsu’s thoughts and personality and areas him in the forefront of up to date Chinese poetry. He is ably joined by a pair of other translator poets, namely Yang Zongze, Yang Xu, and Hsu Chicheng himself who translate some of the best poems in the assortment. I also feel that with their near looking at of Hsu’s poetic texts and/or their presentation in correct contexts, Zhang Zhizhong and some others have served open up new spaces in Chinese poetry, be it from major land China, or from Hong Kong and Taiwan. The translators are worthy of congrats for their professional rendering of Hsu’s inspiring and refreshing texts and contexts.

Write-up Resource by Ram Krishna Singh

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