These are unusual times. These poets are tale-tellers of their world. Their poems are for real people.
ISBN 978-1-939426-20-8

Selected Poems of Zhang Fanxiu (JULY 2015)

This book contains 30 poems by Zhang Fanxiu (张凡修).

Zhang Fanxiu was born in 1958 in Hebei Province, and has been a farmer since graduating from high school. In 2007, he moved to western Liaoning Province, and has since produced many poems that reveal a unique insight into nature, the land, and rural life. He has published three books of poetry: Writings from the Moors, The Spirit of the Earth, and Only the Earth.

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    * Paperback edition is bi-lingual. (印刷版:中英对照); Kindle edition is English translation only. (电子版:英文)

Contents


  • If At All Possible  |  容 若
  • Mother’s Cotton Flowers  |  母亲的棉花
  • A Train Comes Through the Sorghum Field  |  火车开进高粱地
  • Gazes  |  凝 视
  • The Spectacles  |  被看见
  • Innermost Being  |  心内
  • Wine on Horseback  |  马背上的酒
  • The Sound of the Wind  |  风 声
  • Avoidance  |  规 避
  • Last Ear of Corn  |  仅剩一株玉米
  • The Autumn Wind Is Cooling  |  秋风凉
  • Rotting  |  剥 蚀
  • Wind Gust with a Long Face  |  风声阴着脸
  • Seeing Through  |  洞 悉
  • Passing Through  |  穿 越
  • Perpetuity  |  不 息
  • Frozen Earth  |  冻 土
  • Winter Days  |  冬 日
  • Letter to My Son  |  与子书
  • Painted Vase  |  画 瓶
  • Hallway Wind  |  穿堂风
  • Darkness Is Mine  |  我有黑暗
  • No Peace  |  不 安
  • Criminal  |  罪 人
  • Returning to Earth  |  土为止

From Selected Poems of Zhang Fanxiu

  • INNERMOST BEING
  • Under the tranquil ice,
  • the fish pond is breathing, but no one sees or feels it;
  • one can only listen.
  • Press an ear to the corn stalks,
  • bundled and buried before freezing,
  • you will hear what happens in the eelgrass.
  • Fish frantically swim around the roots,
  • scraping their fins,
  • digging with their lips.
  • Come to think of it, the fish and I breathe the same way.
  • Getting up at dawn, everyone sees me brushing off wood chips from my shoulders,
  • but very few heard me
  • frantically sawing back and forth through the night.
  • THE SOUND OF THE WIND
  • Throughout the summer,
  • the wind rushes on and on,
  • even the scarecrow has bundled up tightly
  • in his old black jacket.
  • Sometimes the wind lets up,
  • the scarecrow’s thick jacket comes off.
  • The white lining shows a broken seam,
  • where a bunch of bugs crawl out.
  • First he feels a dull itch, an awkward itch,
  • then relief.
  • His rounded belly feels soft
  • by the time the grain ripens gracefully in the field.
  • The scarecrow doesn’t know what is happening.
  • The sound of the wind
  • reveals nothing unusual.
  • But someone in a windbreaker comes and puts a windbreaker on him.
  • She folds up his cuffs, leaving two fingernails out,
  • and buttons him up.
  • This flirting makes the wind blush,
  • turning red, and turning white.
  • LAST EAR OF CORN
  • When I noticed it, the upper floret of the corn
  • had already grown mildew after the rain,
  • with speckles as thick as cricket droppings.
  • I slowly approached it, going down the slippery slope,
  • stooping lower and lower with each step.
  • Only one ear of corn remained,
  • standing in a hollow surrounded by hills.
  • “So lonely, it looks like the world’s last shack”,
  • like a hut with one man standing inside—
  • old and new shoulder patches
  • on his brown cotton coat,
  • worn over loose pants with calf straps.
  • The hand-made shoes reveal only their gaiters
  • with dangling laces
  • tied above the calves.
  • Has dirt got into his shoes? I can’t see.
  • His white waistband, half a foot wide,
  • dazzles my eyes.