5. Though please, before you judge, reader, recall John Dryden: “But slaves we [translators] are, and labour on another man’s plantation; we dress the vineyard, but the wine is the owner’s: if the soil be sometimes barren, then we are sure of being scourged; if it be fruitful, and our care succeeds, we are not thanked; for the proud reader will say, the poor drudge has done his duty…” (Preface to Ovid’s Epistles, 1680)
6. This particular example is, as they say ‘written to’ Langtao Sha or Waves on the Sand: note that the content normally bears no resemblance to the title. It’s as if we were to write a new set of words to the tune of a well-known song.
7. Personal communication: e-mail 4.12.04. Yang explains this and much more (in Chinese) at http://www.poemlife.com.cn/forum/add.jsp?forumID=31&page=1&msgID=2147483420
9. The system for making new Chinese characters is no longer productive (with the possible exception of names for chemical elements), so it is a radical and shocking step to attempt to add a new character to the corpus. How can we render that innovative boldness in the text?
11. Yang Lian, trans. Mabel Lee (2002)Yi. Los Angeles: Green Integer, p343. In a personal communication, Yang also says “the reason I put the character I invented for YI at the center of the ring-characters, is to point out the link between the two most important works of mine (Yi and Concentric Circles), in order to build up the inner-structured Poetry-world of mine: it is another level of ‘Concentric Circles’ --- Inside and Outside of China, Inside and Outside of one's own languages --- the real journey toward to the open-ended question of Poetry ---------------- POETRY IS.” (e-mail, 4.12.04)
14. Personal communication: email 4.12.04. Yang has also written an interesting discussion and exegesis of this poem (in English), in the Capstone Journal, 2003: see http://inside.bard.edu/capstonejounal/2003/df-index.htm