Dislocating Language into Meaning: Difficult Anglophone Poetry and Chinese Poetics in Translation—Toward a Culturally Translatable Li Shangyin

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1 Scopus citations

Abstract

T. S. Eliot wrote, “We can only say that it appears likely that poets in our civilization, as it exists at present, must be difficult” (“The Metaphysical Poets” 248). But what of poets outside “our” civilization? This article considers the translation of the famously—or infamously—difficult poet Li Shangyin (c. 813–858) in light of the history of poetry translation from Chinese into English, which, from Coleridge to Prynne, coincides with and even helped create the history of poetic difficulty in English. My argument here concerns the elements of Li Shangyin that can be crystallized and made relevant for the present through translation into English.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-142
Number of pages10
JournalSymposium - Quarterly Journal in Modern Literatures
Volume70
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Chinese poetry
  • difficulty
  • English and American poetry
  • translation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory

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