Renditions no. 66 (Autumn 2006)​

Special Section: Hong Kong Essays

Hong Kong is perhaps best represented by the essay, a form that has flourished and taken on a uniquely local flavour, especially in the last half-century. This special section includes some of the most notable works from the last half-century by a diverse group of writers. Renditions, itself a Hong Kong institution, provides here a glimpse into the ever-changing society of this vibrant city. A selection of classical poetry rounds out the issue.

127 pages


Table of Contents

Editor’s Page 5
———— Shijing: Thirteen Poems
Translated by Michael E. Farman
———— Shijing: One Poem
Translated by David Lunde
———— Two Anonymous Poems from North-eastern China
Translated by De-nin D. Lee
———— Four Tang Poems
Translated by Louise Ho
Wang Wei: Two Poems
Jia Dao: Heavy Clouds
Du Fu: Thoughts on Drifting
Du Mu Four Poems
Translated by Cornelius Medvei
Ouyang Xiu Four Poems
Translated by Li C. Tien and John Palen
———— Ten Poems on Yangzhou
Translated by Mark Stevenson
Du Mu: Four Poems
Liu Changqing: Climbing the Pagoda at Spirit Lodge Monastery, Yangzhou
Zhang Hu: Exploring Huainan
Xu Ning: Thoughts of Yangzhou
Wang Jian: Taking in Yangzhou Market One Night
Wei Zhuang: Returning Through Yangzhou
Gong Zizhen: Passing Through Yangzhou
———— Four Classical Poems
Translated by Jianqing Zheng and Angela Ball
Han Yu: Listening to Master Ying Playing the Zither
Meng Haoran: Mooring on the Jiande River
Zhang Ji: Night Moor by the Maple Bridge
Li Zhiyi: To the Tune of Fortune-teller
Hanshan Deqing Six Zen Poems
Translated by Mary M. Y. Fung and David Lunde
Chang Hsiu-ya Two Poems
Translated by Herbert Batt and Sheldon P. Zitner
Cao Juren Having Adrifted over the Sea of Life: excerpts
Translated by Brian Holton
Si Guo Unemployed
Translated by David E. Pollard
Xia Guo The Emotional Appeal of Wonton Noodles
Translated by Heidi Chan
Zhao Tao My Life with Mirrors
Translated by Simon Patton
Joseph S. M. Lau Potato-eating Days: excerpts
Translated by Chu Chiyu
Du Du Going to the Movies
Translated by Eva Hung
Chung Ling Ling Those Aches and Pains
Translated by Simon Patton
Hui Tik Cheung Falling
Translated by Florence Li and Janice Wickeri
Yuan Yuan Good Work Undone
Translated by Heidi Chan
Chan Tak Kam Blind Fortune-tellers
Translated by Caroline Mason
Wu Yin Ching High Street
Translated by Janice Wickeri
Dung Kai Cheung Spring Garden Lane
Translated by Bonnie S. McDougall with Wong Nim Yan
Ye Si (P. K. Leung) Photographing the New Territories
Translated by Chi-yin Ip
Notes on Authors 117
Notes on Contributors 124

Sample Reading

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Thoughts on Drifting
By Du Fu
Translated by Louise Ho

Fine grass and a gentle breeze on the bank,

Tall mast and my solitary boat this night,

Stars descending sweep the great wide plain,

The Moon boils up from the flowing river.

My pen, will it ever bring me fame?

Aged and ill, make I

My office to forego.

Drifting, ever drifting, what I am like:

Between the heavens and the earth one solitary gull.










Going to the Movies
By Du Du
Translated by Eva Hung

AS A CHILD I often went with my elder brother to the cinema for the late afternoon shows. The medium priced seats cost forty cents, and the two of us could go in on just one ticket and share a seat in the cinema. Since I was quite young, I sat on the arm of our seat. That way my brother could sit more comfortably, while my elevated position afforded me a full view of the screen. We saw Burt Lancaster in Apache and The Crimson Pirate, and Ingrid Bergman in Joan of Arc. Though my brother was terribly moved by Bergman’s performance, the film did not leave any strong impression on me. All I remember was that before she died, Joan held two sticks in her hands to form a cross.

I also remember that as the movies played, I would keep asking my brother: ‘Who are the bad guys? Who are the good guys?’ To a child, people had to be either black or white. Dividing everyone into two neat categories-our side and the enemy side-meant that everything would fall into place, and I could then go on watching the movies with peace of mind. But I don’t recall very clearly whether my brother ever answered my questions.