- Insomnia | 失眠之夜
- Cold Silvery Rain | 凉凉的雨丝
- Alone at Night by the River | 河边独坐的晚上
- The Home of an Old Comrade | 知青旧居
- Late Afternoon in the Village | 傍晚
- On the Bus | 在车上
From 21st Century Chinese Poetry, No. 2
- No more dew, only the monotonous frost,
- and the wind returns with a frigid touch.
- Here, with the sweet scent of dry stalks
- is my soul, as smooth as porcelain.
- But the river has run dry,
- and no one expects any change.
- A tiny innocent crab climbs ashore,
- pinching my still-boyish toes...
— Ren Xianqing, Alone at Night by the River
- Plainer than your youth,
- that was how those houses looked, and their interiors
- were as empty as the soul of that era…
- but the moon always lit up your bedroom floor,
- or was it night frost? Come to think of it, it’s nothing
- less than amazing that your father and forefathers
- lived above the fray of the cities, compared to you,
- a mere bush hermit. But this house
— Liu Si, The Home of an Old Comrade
- and drifting snow has nothing to cling to
- will be lost into the vast abyss
- like traveling money squandered,
- like a flock of sheep fleeing the wolves.
- A few will remain sound asleep
- as the sun stays in its sheath.
— Wa Dao, Drifting Snow
- I feel a new round of desires springing up in me ---
- yesterday I passed by the pleasure house where
- we made love again and again, and all day I was absorbed
- in the memory and couldn't think or accomplish a thing.
- So when the night quieted down, I drew your beautiful nude body from memory
- on a large piece of paper
- and stared at it with my sleepy eyes until dawn.
— Beiling Wang, On Love Fantasy of the Lowest Kind
- Some of our friends have boarded a fire chariot
- and left on a wandering journey,
- but we still hold on to the tickets they left for us.
- No one expects the departed to return
- and give a cheerful account of the scenery.
- These are open tickets, so let's not expect
- a ticket inspection!
— Li Zhuang, Ticket Inspection
- I raised my head and, out of the blue, you were there.
- It must have been a dream. I said “Hello, Chrysanthemum” in a whisper
- for fear my voice would break the spell.
- Since we met last year, I had been preparing a path for you.
- First I cleared the snow, then removed the stones,
- and when I began to look forward to more sunny days,
- you showed up unexpectedly.
— Liu Chengyu, Early-Blooming Chrysanthemum
- Let me extract colors from the four seasons,
- starting with the first day of spring until I reach winter solstice:
- green from spring wheat, red from wolfberries,
- yellow from golden rice, and purple from sweet eggplants.
- I am now too old to climb a three-foot wall
- and age spots snuck up at night to embarrass me,
- but today I shall remodel
- and adorn myself with a rainbow.
— Zhang Zhanyuan, Remodeling
- I have the tendency of being transfixed;
- for instance, this afternoon, that seems submerged under water,
- I haven’t moved my eyes from the wall.
- My eyes stare at where the sunrays leave their marks,
- moving from the ground up the wall;
- their waves now cover a wider swath than before.
— Wang Qiang, Afternoon
- Children know many tricks.
- They take me for something soft and sweet,
- perhaps soft enough to cut up like a cake.
- Sometimes they climb on me like a tree,
- hoisting themselves up the trunk to pick fruits.
- They do as they please, I don’t mind.
- No, it doesn’t cause me pain;
- in fact, I am pleased they are the way they are.
- My comfort comes from the fact that a part of me
- is being cut and picked away.
— Meng Ye, My Good Will
- It’s after the quiet departure of a herd of sheep
- that a gusty wind pushed through the mountain gap.
- Before the wind came, I saw only the sheep
- and their noble ragged clothing,
- but the wind left a funny taste
- of death in my mouth.
— Liu Xuejun, The Mountain Gap
- Water droplets,
- at the bottom of the gorge.,
- leaping from the fall,
- crashed into the cliff wall
- and fell through
- the dark chasm.
- Winged angels of water droplets
- awakened me from a dream
- about an azalea
- receiving mist
- at the bottom of the gorge.
— Meifu Wang, Water Droplets