In Yao Feng’s spare lyric poetry, the Other isn’t a slippery manifestation, it is the self. The collection holds up a mirror to the most complex human relationship—that of the poet to the poet. In poetry that marries imagism with humor, moments of lightheartedness serve to heighten the gravity of Yao Feng’s subject matter.“So much did I use the face/ that no longer loves me,” he writes, “the face became a mask.” The poet fixes a gaze on his own image and lands in the precarious middle between total love and annihilation.
Yao Feng, the pen-name of Yao Jingming, was born in Beijing in 1958. He studied Portuguese at university and worked as a diplomat for a time, but is now based in the former Portuguese colony of Macao. In additon to writing poetry in Chinese, he also writes in Portuguese and translates Portuguese poerty into Chinese. In 2006, he was awarded the Ordem Militar de Santiago de Espada medal by the President of Portugal. His Selected Poems came out in 2009.
Yao Feng, One Love Only Until Death 2017. deciBels series 2.ISBN978-1-922181-81-7 102mm x 154mm. 42pp.