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Hawk of the Mind: Collected Poems of Yang Mu

UC Davis's Distinguished Professor from the Department of East Asian Languages and Culture, Michelle Yeh, had the book she edited, "Hawk of the Mind: Collected Poems of Yang Mu," published in April 2018.

Yang Mu is a towering figure in modern Chinese poetry. His poetic voice is subtle and lyrical, and his work is rich with precise images and crystalline thoughts invoking temporality and remembrance. A bold innovator and superb craftsman, he elegantly combines cosmopolitan experimentation with poetic forms and an allusive reverence for classical Chinese poetry while remaining rooted in his native Taiwan and its colonial history.

Hawk of the Mind is a comprehensive collection of Yang Mu’s poetry that presents crucial works from the many stages of his long creative career, rendered into English by a team of distinguished translators. It conveys the complexity and beauty of Yang Mu’s work in a stately and lucid English poetic register that displays his ability to range from meditative to playful and colloquial to archaic. The volume includes an editor’s introduction and definitive commentary that offer insights into the poet’s major themes and motifs, explaining how he draws on deep engagement with Chinese and Western literary traditions, history, and art as well as mythology, philosophy, and music and a profound love for the natural world to create a nuanced and multifaceted artistic universe. It also contains translations of prefaces and afterwords written by Yang Mu for collections of his poetry. Hawk of the Mind demonstrates the breadth and depth of Yang Mu’s oeuvre, illustrating the distinctive style and effective power of a great poet.


About the Author: 

Yang Mu (the pen name of Wang Ching-hsien) was born and raised in Taiwan. He is the author of more than two dozen poetry and prose collections, including Propositions of Temporality, Interventions, Long and Short Ballads, and the memoir Memories of Mount Qilai: The Education of a Young Poet (Columbia, 2015). Among the many literary prizes he has received are the Newman Prize for Chinese Literature and the Cikada Prize (Sweden).

Michelle Yeh is Distinguished Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Davis. She is coeditor and cotranslator of No Trace of the Gardener: Poems of Yang Mu (1998) and The Columbia Sourcebook of Literary Taiwan (Columbia, 2014), among others.


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