Free for All has been temporarily displaced to share the following translations by S. Ye Laird, born in Shanghai, district of Family Xu's gathering place, survived a quarter century of cultural clashes in America since 1992 Thanksgiving, dreamed of returning to family Xu's burial ground one day, in spirit of the word, if not in bodily form.
Dai, Wangshu ( 1905 - 1950) Chinese poet and proponent of all things old or for the Chinese alone in light of new universal ideas during 1930s.
by Dai Wangshu
(originally published in 1932, in a magazine "Modernity")
Emptied thoughts on Poetics (I)
Poetry should not borrow heavily from music, it ought to rid itself from its influence.
Poetry should not borrow heavily from the vantage points of painting.
Merely piling up witty and pretty words is pointless in poetry.
Impressionists say " Mother nature is like a courtesan, having been penetrated a thousand times." Yet new comers don't know for sure she can't be penetrated ten thousdand times more. Number of penetrations is of no concern to us, we must discover new loving subjects and new paths to Elysium.
Poetry's tempo and melody isn't about words' tonal rising and falling, withholding or outpouring, but the emotional fugue carrying within words, or the variations of their intensity.
The most importance of free-form poetry is the nuance of poetic feelings, not at all about nuance in words and sentences.
Harmoniously uniformed words and sentences can block the flow of poetic emotion, or turn the emotion into monstrous formations. By forcing poetic emotion to suit rigid, superficial and old formality, is like binding one's feet to fit in other's shoes. Foolish or deviant folks chop up their feet to fit in shoes, smarter ones chose suitable shoes for their feet, but the wise creates a pair of shoes that is most natural to his feet.
Poetics is not to please one sense but in all sensible beings or transcend all sensibilities.
New form in poetics must have new emotion or new expression of such motion. What we say about formality, is never about superficial orders of words, nor making new definitions by exhaustively sipping and piling up words.
It is not necessary to use new things as currents for poetic motion ( I am not against using new things), from old events and old things, we can bring forth new emotion of poetics.
Re-applying old classical form isn't apt for opposition, if it grants us fresh emotion and juxtaposition.
Do not overtly obsessed with what is exotic and grotesque, for those won't last long.
Poetics needs to have its own dialect on originality, but one must also embed it with cosmopolite, both can't be without the other.
Poetics is based in reality, polished by imagination, it isn't realistic, nor imaginitive.
Poetics must be expressive in one's emotion, moving the other along with compassion, poetics is a living being by itself, not a non-living thing.
Emotion is hardly what's captured by photography. Emotion can be etched out by poetic scapel. Retouching of raw emotions enlivened thousands and ten thousands manifestations.
Poem written in one language, praised only by those who speak the same language, is not poetry of poetics, that only amounts to linguistic magic at most. Goodness in true poetics lives not in the longevity of one particular lingua.