Friday, January 11, 2013

NeverEnding Story: Call for Submissions


With the beginning of the year, Chen-ou Liu, the fine Chinese-Canadian poet, started a new web-based project, NeverEnding Story, the first English-Chinese haiku and tanka blog. Chen-ou has been posting regularly from the first of the year, sometimes twice a day. I would urge you to start with the first post, in the haibun form, so you get a feel for what Chen-ou is about.

In addition, to get a general idea about the various projects coming out of his new blog, you can't do any better than checking out this About page from the blog. 

One aspect of the project is the posting of haiku and tanka which Chen-ou translates into Chinese. You will find a call for haiku submissions here and a call for tanka submissions here. There is also an associated anthology project comprising the best of the work published on the blog. 

But really you need to be experiencing the blog for yourself. It is itself a unique, creative act by an important poet/critic of Eastern forms in English. I am honored, indeed, to have a poem featured there.  


 Photo by Sabrina

garden butterfly--
the child crawls, it flies
crawls, it flies...
 translated by David G. Lanoue 


Send a single haiku for the Wednesday Haiku feature. Here's how.

Go to the LitRock web site for a list of all 151 songs  


Anonymous said...

Invaluable information, to be shared across the four corners. Thanks greatly, Don!

Charles Gramlich said...

Thanks for the heads up. I'll check it out.

Chen-ou Liu, 劉鎮歐 said...

Dear Don:

Many thanks for your support of my translation project and for your encouraging comment on my work.

NeverEnding Story was established to fulfill my butterfly dream portrayed in the haibun, entitled “To Liv(e),” which was published in Frogpond, 34:3, Fall 2011.

Below is the concluding one-line haiku, which alludes to Zhuangzi’s butterfly dream (vividly portrayed in your first picture)

falling off a dream I become a butterfly

Zhuangzi’s butterfly dream is viewed as the foundational text for Japanese butterfly haiku. Here is a relevant excerpt from my Simply Haiku essay, Waking from Zhuangzi's Butterfly Dream -- Plagiarism or Honkadori

For those who are well versed in Japanese haiku and Chinese Daoist (Wade-Giles: Taoist) literature, especially in the Zhuangzi (Wade-Giles: Chuang Tzu), 12 the butterfly imagery in Buson’s haiku is “not original or fresh,” rather it belongs to a massive, communally shared Japanese butterfly haiku based on Zhuangzi’s butterfly dream, a famous story recorded in the Zhuangzi:

“Once [Zhuangzi] dreamt he was a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. He didn't know he was [Zhuangzi.] Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable [Zhuangzi]. But he didn't know if he was [Zhuangzi] who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was [Zhuangzi.] Between [Zhuangzi] and a butterfly there must be some distinction! This is called the Transformation of Things.” 13

In the first haiku lexicon, Yama no I (Mountain Spring published in 1647), there is an explanatory passage under the entry titled Butterfly: “Butterfly. The scene of a butterfly alighting on rape blossoms, napping among flowers with no worries. Its appearance as it flutters its feathery wings, dancing like whirling snowflakes. Also the image is associated with [Zhuangzi’s] dream, suggesting that one hundred years pass as a gleam in a butterfly’s dream.” 14 To demonstrate how to use this butterfly imagery, the compiler Kigin gives the following example:

Scattering blossoms:
the dream of a butterfly –
one hundred years in a gleam 15

Since then, the penetration of Zhuangzi’s butterfly dream into themes and images has clearly been seen in Japanese haiku.


Ed Baker said...


"Chuang Tzu" has morphed into someone called
"Zhuangzi" ?

no wonder that he cld't
distinguish a "butterfly"
from an hole-in-the-ground

Greg said...

sounds pretty cool, thanks for mentioning it.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Always a pleasure, Donna.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

It's a great blog, Charles. Do take a look see.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...


Thanks so much for taking the time to post this further info here for folks.

Once again, here's the link to check it.


Issa's Untidy Hut said...


Change, change ... pupa to butterfly to ...


Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Cheers, Greg ...

... and if you are Greg W., you should get some (belated) mail from me this week.