YE WEILIAN, A.K.A. WAI-LIM YIP (1937— ) - The Dictionary

Chinese Literature - Li-hua Ying 2010

The Dictionary

YE WEILIAN, A.K.A. WAI-LIM YIP (1937— ). Poet, essayist, translator, and scholar. Born in Zhongshan, Guangdong Province, Ye Weilian received his B.A. from National Taiwan University, his M.A. from the University of Iowa, and his Ph.D. from Princeton University. He currently teaches comparative literature at the University of California, San Diego. A poet and scholar, Ye has authored numerous books in Chinese and in English. In 1978, the media in Taiwan named him one of the 10 greatest modern Chinese poets. Ye is a poet of modernist sensibilities who also exhibits Taoist and Buddhist aesthetics; his poems are expressions of spontaneous feelings as well as philosophical and intellectual inquiries. Written in a variety of styles and on a wide range of themes, they capitalize on the poet’s deep cultural roots and solid learning, both Chinese and Western. His essays, like his poems, are examples of belles lettres.

Ye is an influential scholar in comparative poetics. He is also a noted translator and scholar of Chinese poetry. His translation of Wang Wei’s poetry, Hiding the Universe: Poems of Wang Wei, and particularly his anthology, Chinese Poetry: Major Modes and Genres, both published in the early 1970s, have been widely adopted in the classrooms of American colleges. Two other books of translations, Modern Chinese Poetry, 1955—1965 and Lyrics from Shelters: Modern Chinese Poetry 1930—1950, which appeared respectively in 1976 and 1992, are also important scholarly contributions. He introduced Western modernist poets, including T. S. Eliot, to Chinese readers in the 1970s, helping launch Taiwan’s modernist poetry. See also HONG KONG; MODERN POETRY MOVEMENT IN TAIWAN.