Yang Mu was born in 1940 in the small coastal city of Huilan in east Taiwan as Ching-hsien Wang. He received his BA in English from Tunghai University in Taiwan, his MFA from the University of Iowa, and his PhD in comparative literature from the University of California at Berkeley. He has taught at many universities in North America, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, but he spent most of his academic career at the University of Washington, Seattle. He has also served in important administrative positions, including the founding dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the National Dong Hwa University in his hometown of Hualian and the founding director of the Institute of Literature and Philosophy at Academia Sinica, the premiere national research institution in Taiwan. He currently holds an endowed chair at Dong Hwa.

Yang Mu has been writing poetry continuously for sixty years. The longevity of his career is matched by his extraordinary creativity, which has exerted a transformative influence on Taiwanese poetry in general from the 1950s to the present. His poetry assimilates the best that the Chinese and the Western traditions have to offer, deftly blending classicism and surrealism, romanticism and modernism. His poetry may be lyrical or dramatic, contemplative or defiant, elegiac or erotic. In an age when poetry is indisputably considered to be minority literature, Yang Mu enjoys enduring popularity among readers of several generations. His accomplishments beyond the realm of poetry are demonstrable in prose, literary criticism, scholarship on classical Chinese poetry, comparative literature, and editing, as well as the translation of poetry.

Yang Mu has been married to Ying-ying Hsia for thirty-five years; they have a son, Bruce.────Michelle Yeh

Works

時光命題(1997)


《時光命題》(Propositions in Temporality: Collected Poems)(台北:洪範,1997)


本書下列三首詩選收錄在Chinese Literature Today (另有一首選自《介殼蟲》)

〈用韻Philip Glassw, Metamorphosis 2〉導讀/曾珍珍
選自《時光命題》

假如潮水不斷以記憶的速度
我以同樣的心,假如潮水曾經
曾經在我們分離的日與夜
將故事完完整整講過一遍了
迴旋的曲律,纏綿的
論述,生死俯仰
一種迢迢趕赴的姿勢

在持續轉涼的海面上
如白鳥飛越船行殘留的痕跡
深入季節微弱的氣息
假如潮水曾經
我以同樣的心

這首詩寫於1994年,像一封短簡,致遠方知音,懷念曾經聚首清水灣為人文理想同心付出的時光。楊牧當時在剛成立不久的香港科技大學任教,從學人宿舍陽台俯瞰清水灣,遠近海景一覽無遺。詩題下附註:用韻Philip Glass, Metamorphosis 2,點明朗讀〈故事〉,宜以譜於1988年的這首鋼琴名曲盈耳伴奏。詩的結構企圖模擬樂曲。樂曲的背景旋律以同組音符複沓湧現,如潮水,如記憶一波波回返,如綿綿的思念縈迴不已。「假如潮水…/我以同樣的心」首尾封緘,複沓、迴旋,居中的詩行狀若主旋律鏗鏘往前推進,時疾時徐,宛如回憶裡一則故事完整的再現,激切處若敞開的胸懷彼此以美學論辯相互激盪,而音符此起彼落、波谷跌宕,更像各自為詩歌、為人文志業長期傾注心魂,屢仆履起的存在姿勢。第二段拉回當下目擊海景,船行殘留的痕跡再度喚回過往聚首光陰,而白鳥正是詩人也是知音的寫照,「飛越深入」,向著未來果敢追尋,迢迢趕赴讓人生死俯仰的精神嚮往。這是詩背後具體情境的蜘絲馬跡,但這首詩神妙之處在於靈巧仿效了音樂的特性,用象徵的語言、潮水般的旋律,適度將故事抽象化,只給出可以引起讀者/聽者共鳴的情思、琴韻。然而,詩畢竟不同於音樂。詩首段反映了詩可以敘事、抒情、言志,次段則更細膩地透過海景的描述轉涼的海面(溫覺)、白鳥與船痕(視覺/色覺)、季節微弱的氣息(觸覺與嗅覺),再現身體官覺,最後匯聚於「心」,統攝感覺的樞紐。分章佈局,匠心獨運,卻因文字音律渾然天成,讀來不落言詮、鑿痕。值得一提的,白鳥飛越船痕的意象讓人想起狄瑾蓀有首詩,寫人生聚散匆匆,如馬戲拆棚、盛會散場,正是以同樣的象徵作結。葉慈早期詩作〈白鳥〉終章也有如此動人的詩句:「我心縈繞無數的島嶼,和許多丹黯海灘,/那裏時間將把我們遺忘,憂鬱也不再來接近,/很快我們就要遠離薔薇和百合,和火焰煩心,/假若我們果然是白鳥,愛人,在海波上浮沉。」(楊牧譯)。異代詩人同心契合使用白鳥象徵,恰恰印證了這首詩所詠頌的:知音,知音,靈犀相通!

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