Poetry in translation / July 2011 (Issue 14)

Two Poems

by Shu Cai, translated from the Chinese by Gao Xing, Zhang Er and Leonard Schwartz

It's Over, Over, Over...
by Shu Cai, translated from the Chinese by Gao Xing and Leonard Schwartz
"It's over, over, over…
It’s not over, not over, not over…"

Someone are reading aloud----
This worried man is walking in the Street of Happiness.

Over, it surely will be over,
But the man's forehead is too narrow.

He is hard on himself,
While his past is already gone.

It's not over? Then try once more.
Life is to let days pass,

Just like sparrows flying at low-altitude,
Just like loaches drilling in mud,

Just like adults who can't answer children's questions,
Just like deads who don't want to tell the secret of death.

Someone is angry, someone is jealous,
just because they don't understand this truth.

It's over, over, over…
Yes, everything will pass.

But a little boy is wedged between two iron bars.
He is crying. He is struggling. His future.
by Shu Cai, translated from the Chinese by Zhang Er and Leonard Schwartz

I have spent many tranquil and desireless nights
Sitting, my legs crossed in meditation.
I breathe a human's breath— in and out—
eh, world? It hardly exists.
Another world exists…
Other winds, other sacrificial lambs,
other faces, not necessarily lively…
In other words, they belong to another space.
I spread my hands,
the only two lotus I own.
You say they are growing— but in what direction?
You say they are traveling/on their way— but where?
I'm merely learning to forget—
that huge university not seen by eyes of flesh.

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