Reports Tribute to Jack Hirschman
Death is Unavoidable, But Poets Will Live Forever
—A Tribute to Jack Hirschman at the “Resisting Barriers, Embracing World Poets” Poetry Reading
By Jidi Majia
Translated by Jami Proctor Xu
For a long time, I’ve had an ineffable worry, because Jack Hirschman looked as if he had aged a bit more. Each time I saw him, there were some obvious changes. First it was a slightly unsteady gait, then it was needing a walking stick when going out, and later it was needing a wheelchair when going up or down stairs. I remember the last time he came to China was when he was invited to participate in the Third Chengdu International Poetry Week. When we went to Du Fu’s Thatched Cottage, Kuanzhai Alley, and the Jinsha Museum, we made special arrangements ahead of time to prepare a wheelchair and to have one of our male volunteers be in charge of taking care of him. Perhaps due to the powerful charisma he had as a poet, each time he got on stage to read or give a speech, or when he gave group media interviews, his eyes would immediately emit vibrant rays of light that radiated in all directions. In this way, he was similar to the Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Especially when listening to his deep, resonant voice reading poetry in English, that ineffable worry would completely disappear from my consciousness.