Over Autumn Rooftops

poetry by Hai Zi
translated by Dan Murphy

8.5" x 5.5"
271 pages

Praise for Over Autumn Rooftops:

Murphy has chosen almost 100 poems to translate and include here. The original Chinese appears face-en-face. Since my Cantonese is a little rusty, I cannot judge the originals. But what appears here is so ravishing that if Murphy made it all up, he is obviously a genius.

– - The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities

Hai Zi is considered one of the most important Chinese poets of the twentieth century. Born in 1964 to a peasant family in rural Anhui province, his early life took place during the chaos and economic disarray of the Cultural Revolution. At age fifteen he was accepted at China's most prestigious institution, Peking University, and four years later he became a professor at China University of Political Science and Law. In 1989, at the age of twenty-five, he ended his own life by throwing himself in front of a train near Shanhaiguan, outside of Beijing.

In the six years prior to his death, Hai Zi wrote over 250 short poems, a number of poetic plays, long poems totaling over 400 pages, and several short stories. His verse illuminates the poverty and desperation of his peasant upbringing, reflects on China's literary and cultural history, and touches down on the grasslands and wheat fields of western China, but he is not simply a cultural poet or a nature poet – his poetry transcends all of this. In Over Autumn Rooftops, Host Publications is proud to make available to English-speaking audiences the work of this profound and beloved poet.

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