Archive for the ‘April 2012’ Category

9/11, 20 years on

9月 12, 2021


9/11 is like 1989.
People will remember.
20, 30, a hundred years after.
One such year is more than enough
in a lifetime, if you were there
among the carnage
or when the wall came down,
or was opened​, at first.
I was on a beach in 1989,
in the winter.
Weeks on a beach,
and Romania burned,
after Czechoslovakia didn’t,
and so on and so on.
A beach in Thailand, sunset beach.
Sunrise is on the other side
of the peninsula.
There is a mountain in between,
and there was one water buffalo left,
as far as I remember.
Krabi, Krabi! crie the boatsmen,
we didn’t go back to Krabi, the nearest town,
for quite a while.
Newspapers were from days ago, a week ago.
It was a marvelous year.
In 1989, I was in Taiwan, and in between, in the US and in Thailand.
In 2001, I was in Beijing.
Jackie worked in the Austrian embassy.
I was teaching and translating.
We saw it on TV, not right away,
as far as I remember.
We talked to friends and relatives
on the phone.
It was two years after 1999,
when Belgrade was bombarded.
They bombed the Chinese embassy,
it’s still not clear why.
I was in China then too,
in Chongqing.
I cried when I saw the towns over there on TV,
it looked too much like home.
They did to Belgrade what the Serbian side
had done to Sarajewo, and other cities,
and there was the massacre of Srebrenica
and so on and so on.
Yugoslavia is the place in Europa
that had no walls coming down in 1989,
rather some going up, more and more.
In 2012 we did a magazine issue here in Vienna,
Headfirst through the Great Wall of China,
or something like that.
It was crazy.
We had Yan Jun for reciting poetry and drama,
and we had Hui Ye, a very versatile local artist, mostly based in Austria.
Yan Jun is a famous poet and experimental musician from Lanzhou,
lives mostly in Beijing, very much on the fringe.
So we were doing a small local magazine,
but we were so excited, we told all the world!
I did, mostly. It was really great.
We had Yugoslavia, mainland China, Taiwan
and a Turkish German author wrote
the Great Wall was a sleeping dragon
that woke up once in a few centuries
and people came to grief.
And the magazine editor wanted to kill that,
thought it was disrespectful.
I don’t think he knew anyone from China.
How is this about 9/11?
9/11 was like 1989, in a way.
Everyone knows what happened in 1989,
or everyone doesn’t,
depends where you are.
There are still thousands of people
who died in New York on that day,
but there are no remnants.
They are still searching for traces.

MW September 2021




10 YEARS – NPC十岁了!NPC德语第一本目录

4月 3, 2021

10 YEARS – NPC十岁了!

10 years ago, Yi Sha 伊沙 began to present one poem each day on Chinese social media. This has become a representative collection of new poetry in the new century, aptly named NPC, New Poetry Canon 新世纪诗典.
Eight years ago I began to look for NPC poems each day, translating more and more into German and English. In 2014 my own poetry appeared on NPC for the first time. After two books of Yi Sha’s poetry, I have now published, along with Juliane Adler, the first book of a 4-volume-series of NPC poetry in Chinese and German. Here are the contents:

NPC-Anthologie 新世纪诗典
Band 1: A–J. Gedichte
Übersetzt von Martin Winter
Herausgegeben von Juliane Adler und Martin Winter
ISBN 978-3-903267-00-8
€ 24.00










WINTER – 伊沙 Yi Sha

4月 3, 2021

Yi Sha

On my way to the vegetable supermarket
in our compound
I see a small girl
on a big rock at the artificial lake
right above the ice going to
I am shouting:
„Don’t jump! Danger!“
But in this time
she has jumped already,
landing on the thick surface.
She turns around to me,
makes a ballet move
and becomes a small white swan.

Translated by MW, 4/3/2021

Yi Sha

Ich geh zum Gemüsesupermarkt
in der Wohnhausanlage,
seh auf dem Weg ein kleines Mädchen
auf einem Felsen am künstlichen See,
sie will auf das Eis hinunter
Ich schrei:
„Achtung! Nicht springen!“
aber in der Zeit
ist sie schon gesprungen,
ganz leicht
und sicher
auf dem festen Eis gelandet.
Sie dreht sich zu mir um
in einer Bewegung aus dem Ballett
und wird ein kleiner weißer Schwan.

Übersetzt von MW am 3. April 2021


Yi Sha, orig. name Wu Wenjian. Well-known poet, writer, critic, translator, editor. Born in 1966 in Chengdu, lives in Xi’an. Graduated from Beijing Normal University in 1989. Has written over 20,000 poems, published, translated and edited 122 books. Received the Henry Luce prize for contemporary Chinese poetry and many other awards. Invited to poetry festivals in China, Sweden, England, Netherlands, South Korea etc., incl. the 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th Qinghai Lake international poetry festival, the 50th Struga poetry festival in Macedonia and many more. Vermont Studio Center fellow 2014. He has recited at the University of Vienna, at Arizona University etc. 《新诗典》小档案:伊沙,原名吴文健,男,当代著名诗人、作家、批评家、翻译家、编选家。 1966年生于四川成都。1989年毕业于北京师范大学中文系。写诗逾两万首,出版著、译、编122部作品。获美国亨利•鲁斯基金会中文诗歌奖金、韩国“亚洲诗人奖”以及中国国内数十项诗歌奖项。应邀出席瑞典第16届奈舍国际诗歌节、荷兰第38届鹿特丹国际诗歌节、英国第20届奥尔德堡国际诗歌节、马其顿第50届斯特鲁加国际诗歌节、中国第二、三、四、五届青海湖国际诗歌节、第二届澳门文学节、美国佛蒙特创作中心驻站作家、奥地利梅朵艺术中心驻站作家、美国亚利桑那大学为其举办的朗诵会、奥地利两校一刊为其举办的朗诵会与研讨会、2021年世界诗歌日线上国际诗歌节等国际交流活动。


3月 25, 2021
BRETT VOLLER NÄGEL 布满钉子的木板 NPC-Anthologie 新世纪诗典 Band 1: A–J.

NPC-Anthologie 新世纪诗典
Band 1: A–J

NPC stands for New Poetry Canon, or New Century Poetry Canon 新世纪诗典, presented by Yi Sha 伊沙 in Chinese social media each day since spring 2011. NPC outside of poetry is National People’s Congress, China’s parliament that convenes in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing for two weeks each March. Yi Sha’s NPC poem of the day on Sina Weibo 新浪微博, Tencent WeChat 微信 and other platforms gets clicked, forwarded, commented 10,000 times or more, each day. Each year a book comes out, about every week there are events in Xi’an, Beijing and many, many places all over China and beyond. All produced independently from among the people 民间, not by any state organizations. This book contains poems by 81 poets listed below. This is the first volume (A-J) in a series of four books. Compiled and edited by Juliane Adler and Martin Winter, translated by Martin Winter.


NPC steht für New Poetry Canon, eigentlich New Century Poetry Canon, 新世纪诗典. Abgekürzt als NPC. NPC steht sonst für National People’s Congress, also der Nationale Volkskongress, Chinas Parlament, das allerdings nur einmal im Jahr im März zwei Wochen lang zusammentritt. Seit 2011 wird von Yi Sha 伊沙 im NPC-新世纪诗典 jeden Tag ein Gedicht vorgestellt, in mehreren chinesischen sozialen Medien zugleich. Oft wird ein einziges Gedicht schon in den ersten zwei Tagen zehntausende Male angeklickt, kommentiert und weitergeleitet. Ein nationaler Poesiekongress und eine umfangreiche Studie der heutigen Gesellschaft. Band 1 präsentiert 81 Autorinnen und Autoren. Wird fortgesetzt.

Cover/Umschlag etc: Neue Arche von Kuang Biao 邝飚 und 3 Grafiken von: An Qi 安琪

Autorinnen und Autoren:

A Ti 阿嚏, A Wen 阿文, A Wu 阿吾, A Yu 阿煜, AAA (3A) 三个A, Ai Hao 艾蒿, Ai Mi 艾米, An Qi 安琪, Ao Yuntao 敖运涛, Bai Diu 摆丢, Bai Li 白立, Bei Dao 北岛, Bei Lang 北浪, Benben S. K. 笨笨. S. K, Cai Xiyin 蔡喜印, Caiwong Namjack 才旺南杰, Caomu Xin 草木心, Cha Wenjin 查文瑾, Chang Yuchun 常遇春, Chao Hui 朝晖, Che Qianzi 车前子, Chen Moshi 陈默实, Chen Yanqiang 陈衍强, Chen Yulun 陈玉伦, Chen Yunfeng 陈云峰, Cheng Bei 成倍, Cheng Tao 程涛, Chun Sue 春树, Cong Rong 从容, Da Duo 大朵, Da You 大友, Dai Guanglei 代光磊, Dechen Pakme 德乾恒美, Denis Mair 梅丹理, Di Guanglong 第广龙, Dong Yue 东岳, Du Qin 独禽, Du Sishang 杜思尚, Du Zhongmin 杜中民, Duo Er 朵儿, Eryue Lan 二月蓝, Ezher 艾孜哈尔, Fa Xing 发星, Fei Qin 秦菲, Feng Xuan 冯谖, Gang Jumu 冈居木, Gao Ge 高歌, Geng Zhankun 耿占坤, Gong Zhijian 龚志坚, Gongzi Qin 公子琹, Gu Juxiu 谷驹休, Guangtou 光头, Gui Shi 鬼石, Hai An 海岸, Hai Jing 海菁, Hai Qing 海青, Han Dong 韩东, Han Jingyuan 韩敬源, Han Yongheng 韩永恒, Hong Junzhi 洪君植, Hou Ma 侯马,Houhou Jing 后后井, Hu Bo 胡泊, Hu Zanhui 胡赞辉, Huang Hai 黄海, Huang Kaibing 黄开兵, Huang Lihai 黃禮孩, Huang Xiang 黄翔, Hung Hung 鴻鴻, Huzi 虎子, Ji Yanfeng 纪彦峰, Jian Tianping 簡天平, Jiang Caiyun 蒋彩云, Jiang Erman 姜二嫚, Jiang Rui 江睿, Jiang Tao 蔣濤, Jiang Xinhe 姜馨贺, Jiang Xuefeng 蔣雪峰, Jianghu Hai 江湖海, Jin Shan 金山, Jun Er 君儿

BRETT VOLLER NÄGEL 布满钉子的木板 NPC-Anthologie 新世纪诗典 Band 1: A–J

BRETT VOLLER NÄGEL 布满钉子的木板 NPC-Anthologie 新世纪诗典 Band 1: A–J

Die chinesischen Gedichte sind hauptsächlich erschienen in:

NPC 新世纪诗典 1-6,伊沙 编选 著,磨铁图书 (Xiron), Zhejiang People‘s Publishing 浙江人民出版社, Bände 1-6, herausgegeben von Yi Sha. Hangzhou 2012-2018

NPC 新世纪诗典 7,伊沙 编选 著,磨铁图书 (Xiron), China Youth Publishing 中国青年出版社, Band 7, herausgegeben von Yi Sha. Beijing 2018

NPC 新世纪诗典 8,伊沙 编选 著,磨铁图书 (Xiron), China Friendship Publishing 中国友谊出版公司, Band 8, herausgegeben von Yi Sha. Beijing 2020

Die restlichen Texte stammen aus Internetquellen (Soziale Medien: Sina Weibo, Tencent Weixin etc.) mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Autorinnen und Autoren. Die Texte aus 2019 und 2020-2021 werden in den Büchern NPC 9 und 10 erscheinen.

BRETT VOLLER NÄGEL 布满钉子的木板 NPC-Anthologie 新世纪诗典 Band 1: A–J

BRETT VOLLER NÄGEL 布满钉子的木板 NPC-Anthologie 新世纪诗典 Band 1: A–J







WHAT COULD ALSO BE SAID – for Günther Grass

4月 18, 2015


for Günther Grass

why do they print, why do they distribute
what grass has said, weapons for israel
what will they do with german submarines
built for nuclear missiles?

many who grew up beneath those missiles
with fathers who knew or didn’t know
where their fathers went or what they did,

many who grew up under the weapons
they might understand those who are afraid.

grass didn’t say who should bomb whom.

he asked for observation of weapons
and nuclear reactors at the same time.

what are poems for? what is easter for?
what should have been done in 2012?

MW April 2015

Moroccan Fountain

10月 3, 2012

Moroccan Fountain, Vienna
Marokkanergasse, Vienna

the sun is streaming
against the mosaic.
the fountain’s broken,
turned off.
the people are busy, most of them.
it’s 9 am.
shopping, smoking.
high heels. maybe productive.
in jackets and scarves.
it’s chilly compared with a few days ago.
for a moment, the sun.
the warm morning sun.

MW August 2012

From August 28. 周二,8月28日。 The sun was on the door at eight or nine. In the afternoon it’s around the corner. The door to the street is over 100 years old, like the house. Military officer’s quarters, originally. Our apartment is downstairs, ground floor. Still expensive, inner city. The picture is from May. The pictures below are from Beijing. Click on them and get to a song of healthy food.

Magazine presentation in Vienna

4月 25, 2012

Mit dem Kopf durch die Chinesische Mauer

Wienzeile, a literature magazine coming out in Vienna, Austria, with entries in Chinese, English and German. Lots of new literature by Hsia Yü 夏宇、Yan Jun 顏峻、Hung Hung 鴻鴻、Zheng Xiaoqiong 鄭小瓊、Yu Jian 于堅、Ma Lan 馬蘭、Qi Ge 七格、Wu Yinning 吳音寧、Lin Weifu 林維甫、Tong Yali 彤雅立、 Pang Pei 龐培、Liao Yiwu 廖亦武 and many others.

Art work and photos by Linda Bilda, Yang Jinsong 楊勁松, Chen Xi 陳熹, Emy Ya 葉宛玲 and others. 

Articles by Han Han 韓寒 and Hu Yong 胡泳. And an article comparing Charter 08 to Charter 77, written by Helena Nejedla, Czech Republic. If you get hungry while reading, we have a recipe for 四川鍋盔.


Two books in German

4月 25, 2012

Two books in German

Simon Urban’s Plan D appeared in August 2011, Bei Ling’s Ausgewiesen has come out in March 2012. Both are tied to my experiences in Taiwan, in different ways. Simon Urban is a young German author. He is not from the East, the former GDR, and there seems to be nothing in his biography to make him destined for writing a novel on history. And yet he belongs to a continuing thread of history in German literature, told in various forms, often through family stories. Female authors tell family stories, and there are many immigrants writing in German. Their writings are often set in the regions where they come from, and many tell histories of families. History is a topic that just doesn’t seem to go away in Germany and Austria. Nobel prize laureates Elfriede Jelinek and Herta Müller both write about painful topics from the recent histories of their countries. Herta Müller is from Romania. She is a Romanian author writing in German, mostly about Romanian contemporary history. And she’s living in Germany, for historical reasons. Elfriede Jelinek writes on Austria’s contemporary history, through her plays and novels. She writes in a very special language, a language that unmasks the thoughtless style of the media and contemporary discourse throughout Austrian society. One of her plays is called Winterreise, evoking Schubert, in her own special way. Another play relives a murderous party in the small town of Rechnitz in 1944.

Simon Urban’s novel is a thriller. It is the story of an East German police officer who has to find the murderer of a mysterious man, hanged near the Berlin Wall. The wall still exists, the GDR still exists, in 2011. Agents and counter-agents, state security and the Energy Ministry. Don’t trust anyone. Including your colleagues from the West. It’s a thick book, bursting with very evocative descriptions of situations in Berlin inside a frustrated policeman’s mind. Often funny, as well as haunting.

Simon Urban attended a creative writing academy in Leipzig. One of his teachers was the Austrian Writer Josef Haslinger, who also became famous through writing a thriller. It’s about a terrorist coup at the Opera Ball, related to Austrian contemporary history, of course. But Mr. Haslinger was not supportive of Mr. Urban’s project. “The GDR is deader than dead”, he used to say. Mr. Urban has proven him wrong. Plan D will come out in English in early 2013.

Bei Ling’s memoir begins in 2009, the year he got famous in Germany. He was invited as an exiled Chinese writer to speak at a panel at the China-focus Frankfurt book fair, then asked not to attend, along with Dai Qing, a veteran female writer and environment activist in Beijing. Both of them gate-crashed Frankfurt, with German media support. The book then jumps back to 1979 and the Beijing Democracy Wall. Activism and literature are inseparable for Bei Ling. He gives a very personal account of the 1980’s underground poetry scene, and goes on through his years in the US and his friendship with Susan Sontag, who helps him out when he is imprisoned for printing an illegal literature journal in Beijing.

Suhrkamp deserves credit for recognizing some of Bei Ling’s potential. They certainly helped to make him known in Germany. The translation of “Ausgewiesen” is good. Most of the book reads very similar to Bei Ling’s essays in the FAZ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) and in Der Spiegel. The empathy, the little details, the very personal atmosphere. Bei Ling can make you feel as if you were there with him in Beijing in the early 1980s. Maybe you know some of the names, like all the famous Misty Poets. But nobody has  told it in such an intimate way, not even Bei Dao, in his fascinating recollections. When “Ausgewiesen” came out in March, the FAZ carried the first review. It was dominated by the complaint that Bei Ling didn’t include much, much more about all these fascinating topics. That’s the fault of his editors at Suhrkamp, of course. The original manuscript was easily twice as long. I’ve seen it. And like other publishers, they don’t have an editor who reads Chinese. Maybe you know Jung Chang, who wrote Wild Swans. I am pretty sure Bei Ling mentions her, but in the German text she becomes a man called Zhang Rong. Hu Ping, editor of Beijing Spring and one of the oldest Chinese exiles in New York, becomes Hu Pingzheng.

Plan D is a rather thick book. Well edited, nothing important peeled away. Simon Urban is a maniac for detailed descriptions, and you always feel these locations in action. Urban succeeds in creating a Berlin that can feel at least as real as the one you know. It is all there, this is how it could have turned out. How it is, behind the surface, at many places.

So how are these books related to Taiwan? Simon Urban was at the 2012 Taipei book fair. His book was very well received, and many people asked questions. They have a real life Communist country to deal with, which is related to them in various ways. Bei Ling runs a small press in Taiwan called Tendency, which grew out of the literature journal with the same name. They print works by Havel and Celan, among others. Taiwan is a place that accommodates many different ventures and makes many things possible. A long tradition of immigration, everything thrown together. They had a one-party dictatorship themselves, and an economic miracle too. But since 1987 they have an ongoing process of democratization, including recognition of their own history, their various ethnicities and so on. It makes one think of recent history and present times in parts of Europe and elsewhere. These are the connections, between the late Vaclav Havel and a fictional Undead GDR, between Paul Celan, exile and reckoning with the past, between poetry and stories of spies.

Addendum: Exiled Chinese writers, like Ma Jian and Bei Ling, have protested against official China monopolizing the China focus at the London book fair this spring. Click here for press coverage in Dutch, English and German.

廖亦武歌一首 Liao Yiwu: Moonlight going through the woods

4月 20, 2012

Liao Yiwu



Moonlight going through the woods

and I think of my beloved

resting in the yellow earth

and a shot rings far away.


I was full of arduous thoughts

shouldering my country’s fate

now my hands are hanging bare

blunt and rusty is my blade.


Moonlight going through my head

and I think of my beloved

I am wandering, growing old

you are dead, forever young.


Tr. MW, Apr. 2012


4月 10, 2012

was gesagt werden koennte

warum drucken sie, verbreiten sie alle,
was legitim ist und waffenverkaeufen
begegnet, die fragwuerdig sind?
nichts anderes tut grass. mit einem gedicht

gegen die tatsache, dass deutschland
u-boote an israel liefert,
die fuer atomraketen gebaut sind.
sollte deutschland das tun?

viele, die aufwuchsen
unter raketen
mit vaetern,
als kinder gebrannt
von verbrechen bekannter
und oder verschollener vaeter;

manche, die aufwachsen unter raketen
die immer noch da sind
verstehen wahrscheinlich
dass jemand angst hat.

ob israel anlagen im iran
aus denen atomwaffen kommen koennten
bombardieren sollte
hat grass nicht gesagt.

er wollte kontrolle
iranischer atomanlagen,
israelischer bomben.
das ist legitim.

koennen gedichte
so etwas bewirken?
ist jedenfalls da.

MW Ostermontag, 9. April 2012

“Was gesagt werden muss” von Günter Grass hat mich inspiriert, es war in der Zeitung, zu Ostern, am Ostersonntag in Österreich, ein bisschen später als in Deutschland. Ich habe die Silben gezählt, die meisten Zeilen haben ungefähr zehn. Ich höre immer auf einen Rhythmus.

Das interessanteste an dem Gedicht von Grass- Wolf Biermann nennt es “Gedacht”– ist natürlich die Diskussion, die wochenlange Verbreitung und Diskussion durch so viele Medien, Foren etc. Maybe you know the poem by Leon de Winter, a rather violent reaction. And the interview with Marcel Reich-Ranicki in the Frankfurt FAZ, very interesting.

Mich erinnert dieser Text von Grass an die Friedensbewegung, also an die 80er Jahre, ungefähr 1984, da war ich 18. Da hab ich an meiner ersten Demo teilgenommen, mit meiner Russischlehrerin. Vielleicht war es zu Ostern, es gab die Ostermärsche der Friedensbewegung, gegen die neuerliche Aufrüstung mit Atomraketen. Auf der Seite der Rechten, also nicht nur bei den Republikanern in Amerika, sondern auch bei den Leuten, die in Deutschland, Frankreich etc. an der Macht sind- hoffentlich ändert sich das bald, hoppauf, Holland! – auf der Seite der Rechten hatte Reagan recht, der habe mit diesen Pershing-Raketen (Petting statt Pershing, ein Slogan von damals) Gorbatschow besiegt. In Wirklichkeit war Gorbatschow der Gute, und Reagan der Böse. Relativ halt. Russisch war ein Wahlpflichtfach in meiner Mittelschule. Realgymnasium, Schwerpunkt Mathematik. Leider. Latein wär besser gewesen, weiss man nachher. Russisch war gut. Aus Ungarn, die Lehrerin. Frau Professor Elisabeth Waldmann, unterrichtet noch dort, soviel ich weiss. Deutsch, hauptsächlich. Hatte sie studiert, in Ungarn. Unlängst war ein Interview im Radio, mit György Dalos, Romancier und Gorbatschow-Biograph. Dass die Auflösung des Warschauer Pakts und die Desintegration der Sowjetunion relativ unblutig waren – im Vergleich zu den Jugoslawienkriegen der 90er Jahre- , dafür müsse man Gorbatschow danken. Klang recht schlüssig. Dalos war damals sehr aktiv, als Oppositioneller in Ungarn in den 80er Jahren, mit vielen Kontakten in die DDR. Und jetzt kann er wahrscheinlich recht gut einschätzen, wieviel schöner es für Ungarn wäre, jemanden wie den jetzigen BRD-Präsidenten Gauck an der Spitze zu haben, als jemanden, der seine Doktorarbeit abgeschrieben hat und auch deshalb als schwaches Aushängeschild der rechtspopulistischen Regierung angesehen wird.

Grass regt zum Nachdenken an. Und zwar sehr viele. Das ist schon nicht wenig. Er hat halt Angst vor Atomraketen und vermisst die Ostermärsche der Friedensbewegung. Glaubt er, dass Israel den Weltfrieden bedroht? Klingt absurd, wahrscheinlich auch für ihn. Atomraketen sind böse, generell. Raketen überall, ausser auf dem Mond, vielleicht. Aber, aber ….
Nix aber. Grass hat halt Angst. Und erinnert (sich) an die 80er Jahre. Pessach und Ostern und Frieden sind halt verknüpft. Das ist nicht seine Schuld. Ausser, dass er halt im Krieg war, als Deutscher. Auf der falschen Seite, das sagt er eh. Aber er hat halt was Arges verschwiegen, und war derweil sehr viel politisch aktiv.

Und mir ist halt die Sprache wichtig, deshalb derweil. Wie bei Robert Schindel. Ciao derweil.


4月 2, 2012

reis, palmsonntag

das reis bist du
du bist der baum
du bist was keimt
was treibt was traegt
bist was sich wiegt
was liegt was steht
was wiederkommt
wenn es vergeht

MW 1. April 2012

Botanischer Garten Wien, 1. April 2012

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