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Blossoming Blossoms of Poetry

Blossoming Blossoms of Poetry

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Published by Ram Krishna Singh
The article reviews a volume of Hsu Chicheng's selected poems published in 2012.
The article reviews a volume of Hsu Chicheng's selected poems published in 2012.

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Categories:Types, Reviews, Book
Published by: Ram Krishna Singh on Oct 03, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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04/16/2013

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BOOK REVIEW: Dr R.K. SINGHHsu Chicheng. Blossoming Blossoms of Poetry: Selected Poems of Hsu Chicheng (Chinese – English). Translated by Zhang Zhizhong. Chongqing City: The Earth CulturePress (USA), 2012. Pages 382. Price CNY 50.00 , US $ 25.00. ISBN 978-0-9637599-6-2/E.009The volume of Selected Poems of Hsu Chicheng seeks to present his poetic excellence, or, as the poet would like to say, “a new starting point” in his life after 70. Hsu Chicheng has been writing poetry for the past five decades, celebratingnature and humanity: His poems depict native landscape, idyllic life, and humanvalues with respect for Chinese tradition and culture:“—I am determined to devote myself to human beingsAnd I don’t care about whether you eat up my flesh or drink up my blood.” (p. 361)and“The fire of strength shall never die outAnd shall burn more wildly, wildly…” (p. 359)Since I do not know Chinese, I cannot say whether he follows the traditional Chinese poetic forms and styles, too, but he is modern in his outlook and true to his personal experiences and vision. As he notes in his prefatory:“My pieces are written in more blood than in ink. Humanism is the basic point in my writing; with the usual subjects of countryside, landscape, and nature, to eulogize the sunny side of human life and to spur people onward, so as to finallybring benefit to my readers… In the past 50 years, the poetry forum of Taiwan hasbeen an animated scene: various styles and various schools of poems. But I do not follow any other school than my own pastoral school. I go my own way by tilling my own land, sowing my own seeds, and cultivating my own crops….” (p 13)Obviously, Hsu Chicheng writes with a commitment. His poetic sensibility is rooted in nature, the sea and rivers, the hills and mountains, the winds and rains,the fields and agricultural activities, the docile domestic birds and animals, the sincerity and simplicity of the rural folks, their honesty and tolerance, andthe hardships of rural and urban life, etc. He is also aware of the transitions experienced at various points of time in his career as teacher, journalist, military judge, and post-retirement pursuits as a poet, translator and editor. His poetic imagination exudes a sense of history.While he puts up with challenges of various sociopolitical nature and ups and downs in his own life, his visionary orientation is ‘self’-ward despite the disappointing political and economic climate outside. The fighter in him exhorts: “Hold fastto the will/Never let go of the target/Afraid of no bitterness/Afraid of no loneliness/He shall go his own way by himself alone/To tread ruggedness even/To dispel haze/Walking out of winds and rains/To embrace sunshine” p. 357), just as themeditator in him rejoices: “Sitting silent/Quietude is here/Quietude accompaniesme/Only two: she and me” (p 369). Hsu yearns for peace and enjoys it through innerquietude “in the depth of night”.In fact poetry is his spiritual aspiration and fulfillment.At 73, Hsu exults in hope and faith:“There is nothing bad about retirementThere is nothing bad about duskI can paint still--Though it is painting the afterglowIt can paint better” (p. 165)and“Now dusk! Twilight is gathering

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