A companion volume to Lo Fu's book-length poem "Driftwood" (Zephyr Press, 2006), "Stone Cell" compiles writing from every decade of his celebrated literary career.
"Do you know why rivers cling to their banks?"
"Because they only have one way of dying"
"Even with two banks, the ferries have no choice"
"We'd prefer an incendiary bomb"
"To smelling the scorched stench of the setting sun"
"As long as I live I'm destined to swallow those awful sonnets"
"Turning to the last page--"
"Still those damned sonnets"
"This is a cemetery where a single voice is buried"
"It echoes in the heart, an eagle circles the brink"
"If it's a thorn, let it pierce blood with love"
"If it's a poppy, let a smile blossom on the lips"
"The poet's philosophy of life"
"is an unwillingness to die"
Lo Fu is the author of twelve volumes of poetry. He has won all the major literary awards in Taiwan, including the "China Times" Literary Award and the National Literary Award. Zephyr's previous book by Lo Fu, "Driftwood," was noted as one of the "poetry books of the year" on the Poetry Foundation's blog Harriet.
John Balcom has translated more than a dozen books into English from Chinese. He is an associate professor and head of the Chinese program at the Monterey Institute. Balcom's recent publications include "Taiwan's Indigenous Writers: An Anthology of Stories, Essays, and Poems," which received the 2006 Northern California Book Award.