Mercury Rising is the latest in the Mänoa series featuring contemporary literature from Asia, the Pacific, and the Americas. This volume presents new poetry from Taiwan, edited by Arthur Sze and Michelle Yeh, along with work from Viet Nam, the Philippines, New Zealand, Japan, and the United States. The title Mercury Rising alludes to "The Mercury That We Raised So Carefully," a poem by Taiwan poet Hsia Yu that was translated by Andrea ¨ Lingenfelter and published in the anthology Frontier Taiwan: crossing black ruined swings seeping out from the borders a drawn-out dance pressing near the antechamber of the flesh at six in the morning a faint moon comes out Surrealistic, elusive, international in its sensibility, Yu's poem presents a ¨ nearly ego-less perspective in a world simultaneously interior and exterior. A "drawn-out dance" glides across borders, lingers in the rooms inside the body; a silvery moon spills its light into the dawn. A tranquil image, and yet in the rising, mercury-colored moon there is latent instability: when dropped, mercury spills into a thousand copies of itself. How frangible, then, is that moon with its paradoxical essences--perhaps like Taiwan itself, with its unity an amalgam of many
Manoa – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: May 19, 2003
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