Denis Mair holds an M.A. in Chinese from Ohio State University and has taught at University of Pennsylvania. He is currently a research fellow at Hanching Academy, Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan. He translated autobiographies by the philosopher Feng Youlan (Hawaii University Press) and the Buddhist monk Shih Chen-hua (SUNY Press). His translation of art criticism by Zhu Zhu was published by Hunan Fine Arts Press (2009). He also translated essays by design critic Tang Keyang and art historian Lü Peng for exhibitions they curated respectively in 2009 and 2011 at the Venice Biennial. (See Lü Peng, From San Servolo to Amalfi, Charta Books, Milan, 2011). His book of poetry Man Cut in Wood was published by Valley Contemporary Poets in 2003.
梅丹理(Denis Mair)， 美国诗人，中英文译者，俄亥俄州立大学中文硕士。曾担任美国宾州大学东亚语文系讲师，现任北京中坤基金翻译顾问、台湾日月潭涵静书院研究员。译作包括冯友兰的《三松堂全集自序》（夏威夷大学出版社）、真华法师的《参学琐谭》（纽约州立大学出版社）、朱朱的《一幅画的诞生》（湖南美术出版社）。诗歌翻译包括《麦城诗选》（Shearsman Books,，2009）; 奚密、马悦然编的《台湾新诗选》（哥伦比亚大学出版社，2005）; 杨四平编的《当代中文诗歌选》（上海文艺出版社，2007）; 吉狄马加的《黑色狂欢曲》（俄克拉荷马大学出版社, 2014）。他的个人英文诗集《刻在木头里的人》(Man Cut in Wood)2003年由美国当代山谷出版社(Valley Contemporary Poets)出版。
Hao Wang teaches English at Yunnan University in his hometown, Kunming. Holder of a Ph.D. in literary theories. He has translated several books including Accounting for the Past: 1650-2000 (the 5th volume of the Dutch Culture in a European Perspective series edited by Douwe Fokkema and Frans Grijzenhout, translated in collaboration with Zhang Xiaohong and Xie Yongxiang, and published by Guangxi Normal University Press, 2007), Chinese Windmill (poetry anthology of Chinese poet Li Sen, translated in collaboration with Steven Schroeder, and published by Virtual Artists Collective, 2007), Dreams of the Terraced Fields (by Zhang Han & Wu Yu, and published by Yunnan People's Publishing House, 2011), The Third Pole (compiled by Guo Xin and published by China Intercontinental Press, 2015). His other translations mostly appeared in New Poetry Appreciation.
So Says The Peacock
Get a look at this ornament. You can hardly take your eyes
off it, can you?
See how my eyespots gather you in from all angles. See how
kaleidoscopically I enjoy the beauty of your crest from
the compass points of my tail.
With all these eyes we surely can find the best seeds. Come
and I will show you my favorite forage spots.
All these eyespots sway gently in the breeze. Imagine how we
will gaze together on the perfect garden!
The interference pattern reflected from my feathers gives
them a look of liquid depth. My neck-color reminds you of
a pond seen through the trees at twilight, or your nighttime
hideaway in a thicket.
My tail feathers snap closed, then suddenly fan out again;
I've been told the sensory effect can be overwhelming.
It takes a lot of testosterone to keep these feathers growing
long and bright. It's said that testosterone in my blood increases
my risk of infection, but my constitution is strong enough to
parade these feathers before you.
If you select a well-ornamented specimen like me, rest assured
that the tails of your sons will hypnotize many peahens
in the future. As their father, I'll give them this gorgeous
Even the humans who keep this garden have taken a cue
from us. (That poet in L.A. who calls himself 'Bowerbird' has
the right idea.) Ludicrous apes, they suppose that with gibbering
sounds they can mimic the effect of our resplendent tails!
(Translated by Hao Wang)
Mowing Them Down
I'd like to thank the farmer
Who left the yard of lush second growth
Where all my memories date back to,
With gooseberries growing by the mailbox,
And a large toad living under the porch
And me behind a roaring machine
Mowing down an acre of meadow plants.
We had thistles and violets
We had clover and queen anne's lace,
And it went down in my concentric squares.
I liked mowing over the fairy rings
That sprouted up in circles overnight;
I would shred the white insides of puffballs
Or send up a puff of brown spores;
Mow down lushness from an old chicken coop,
Release the scent of bee balm and chamomile,
Hard to detect through gasoline fumes;
Mow down that fungus most obscene, Mutinus caninus
Which exactly resembled my dog's erection
Claimed by my brother to have been severed in a mowing accident;
Mow over the toadstools in the sawdust pit
Where my brother practiced his decathalon!
Buzz and snarl through afternoons of years,
While the grape arbor is torn down,
While my brother who cannot tell a lie
Chops down our final senile cherry tree
And goes off to be a conservative;
Mow down the dandelions, and of course grass
Until the last outbuilding comes down
Until my mother has moved to another town,
Until the lawn looks like someone's crew-cut,
And the muskrat ditch turns into a culvert
And I am entering my college years.
(Translated by Yuan Zhao)
Riddles In Green
The central pillar is so solid and definite
The tier above consists of firm supports, each shaped like half of an arch
Above that, tiers are hypothetical, each limber tip bowed by its own weight
The furthest ends are held up and out toward the light
So delicate that the light shines into their interior
Though flat, there is depth in their will to gather light
They are a slow fountain expressing the quest for light
Where have I seen this shape? It looks familiar to me
As if it comes from somewhere inside me.
I sit on the stump of a chopped-down forest giant
It is hard to imagine the sturdy pillar that once stood here
Or to see a ghost canopy spreading above my head
The pillar's firmness was a virtue in the plan of a living thing
Now wrenched into a different scheme, it becomes a trial
To my posterior, an armless armchair of discomfort
Why does it seem familiar, and why did I gravitate to such a seat
As if I too had gone through a history of being chopped down?
The gash in a steep mountainside in Chiapas
Is the big brown scream of patient lives that once anchored this slope
Is the big brown scream of farmers who can't take products to market
Is the big brown scream of fields in the valley, now buried under mud
Further down the valley, a whole mountain buckled and slid into basin land
Because green canopies were wrenched from dreams of gradual growth
Why do they seem so familiar, those howling machines with steel teeth?
Now on the valley floor, smashed by boulders from a landslide they set loose?
The samaras whirl down in bucketfuls I gathered as a child
Seeds with wings, or packets of possibility are otherwise spread
Into caches, to be forgotten by scrambling scavengers
Or to fall from lips that were licking sweet pulp
Most of the pips and nuts have to be squandered;
So only a few can lodge in special folds of earth
Why does it seem familiar, seeing all the living nuggets
Hurled with hopeful intent into the maw of void?
(Translated by Hao Wang)