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William Marr (Chinese-American)

William Marr was born in 1936 and educated in Taiwan. He came to the United States in 1961 and received his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Marquette University in 1963 and his PhD degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Wisconsin in 1969. After twenty seven years with Argonne National Laboratory, he retired from … Continued

William Marr was born in 1936 and educated in Taiwan. He came to the United States in 1961 and received his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Marquette University in 1963 and his PhD degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Wisconsin in 1969. After twenty seven years with Argonne National Laboratory, he retired from his engineering profession in 1996 to devote his full time and energy to his true passion — art and poetry.

Dr. Marr has published more than one hundred technical articles, ranging from nuclear reactor safety to electric hybrid vehicle development. He has also published in Taiwan, Mainland China, and Hong Kong, thirteen volumes of poetry and one book of essays, all written in his native Chinese language under the pen name Fei Ma, and several books of translations of contemporary American and European poetry. His first book of poems in English, Autumn Window, published by Arbor Hill Press in 1995 (with second edition in 1996) was greeted with critical acclaim and he was hailed as one of the collectible Chicago poets. His poems appear in over one hundred anthologies — including 300 Best New Poems 1917- 1995, published in Taiwan, and 300 Best Chinese New Poems, published in Mainland China — and are included in high school and college textbooks of Chinese Literature in Taiwan and Mainland China. Some of his poems have been translated into other languages, including Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Hebrew, Spanish, German, Slavic and Romanian. He has also edited and published several anthologies of Chinese and Taiwanese modern poetry.

Considered one of the world’s best contemporary poets writing in Chinese, Dr. Marr’s poetry has enjoyed wide readership in Taiwan, Southeast Asia, Mainland China, and North America. He has received numerous awards, including three from Taiwan for his poetry and translations. He has served in the capacity of editorial advisor and poetry contest judge to several prominent Chinese poetry journals and online poetry forums on the Internet.

War Arithmetic

Both sides claim
numerous enemies have been killed
Both sides declare
we’ve suffered no lossesNobody understands
the arithmetic of war
Only the fallen
know the number

Inspection

The cloudy sky, turned away
by the sunglasses on the reviewing stand
falls heavily on our facesThe final war has ended
so we now march toward the first Message of SpringSomeone is peddling peace on the streets
in an unseasonal springThe last flock of bombers have sown their seeds
and gone
now it’s time for frozen hopes
to sprout Still Lifethe bird
and the gun

stare at
each othersee who’s
the first
to blink Heaven and EarthIn order to shoot
an invading bird
they define an air space
with searchlightsIn order to shoot
a fleeing compatriot
they erect a paradise on earth
with tall walls
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