Meet Clara Hsu

Many of you know Xu Zhimo (1897-1931), one of the most distinguished Chinese poets in the twentieth century. In the September 2010 issue of Cha, Clara Hsu, whose poem “Pigeon Cage Blues” was published by us in 2008, will be presenting a new translation of, dare we say, Xu’s most famous poem. Can you guess which one? It has a river in it.

One editor commented on Clara’s translation:

When I read this, I heard an echo of Seamus Heaney’s “The Underground”: ‘I come as Handsel came on the moonlit stones /Retracing the path back, lifting the buttons.” Some readers will find Clara’s poem too ethereal, sentimental; but I feel it works very well in the piece.

Bio: Clara Hsu was a nominee for the Pushcart Prize in poetry. Her first book of poems, Mystique, received honorable mention at the San Francisco Book Festival (2010). Her collection of short stories titled Babouche Impromptu and Other Moroccan Sketches is available at Hsu co-hosts a monthly poetry TV show with fellow poet John Rhodes. Her unusual poetry performance duo Lunation combines Chinese and original poetry with Asian traditional instruments. As keeper of the Poetry Hotel, Hsu organizes free social activities for the poet community in the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit her website for more detail.

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