Poetry


Altai 阿尔泰

Translated by Mark Bender


Altai (A’ertai) was born in Xilingol League, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. His most representative works include the poem “Immaculate White Yurt,” the long poem “Cowherd,” and the poetry collection Primrose of the Soul.

Deep into the Steppe

Haven’t come here in a long time.
That’s a sin for a grassland poet.
Here
There’s everything.
Here
There’s nothing.

Heading deep
Into the steppe;
Heading toward
A mother’s sorrow . . .

Is this a lesson
Or the
Wizened tears of the ancestors?
Is this a lingering moment
Or the
Burnt ashes of a page from history?

Haven’t come here in a long time.
That’s a sin for a grassland poet.
Here
There is no steppe.
Here
There is only steppe.

Heading deep
Into the steppe.
Heading into the very
Substance of the steppe
Going
really
deep . . .

 

草原深处

好久没来了,
这是
草原诗人的
罪过。
这里。
应有尽有。
这里。
一无所有。

走向了——
草原的深处;
走向了——
母亲的忧愁……

这就是教训?
或者——
祖先干瘪的泪珠?
这可是余音?
或者
史册焚毁的残页?

好久没来了,
这是——
草原诗人的,
罪过。
这里——
没有草原。
这里——
只有草原。

走向了——
草原的深处,
走向了——
质的深处,
走向了——
真的深处……

7/1994

From Chinese Literature Today Vol. 4 No. 1

Current Issue
March 2011 Issue

Table of Contents

VOLUME 4, NUMBER 1

FEATURED AUTHOR: Ge Fei

  • 6 Ring Flower, by Ge Fei
  • 12 Time in Imagery, by Ge Fei
  • 16 The Psychic Split in Chinese Contemporary Literature: Ge Fei and Zhang Ning in Dialogue, by Zhang Ning
  • 24 Song of Liangzhou, by Ge Fei
  • 29 The Myriad Things Retain Their Mystery for Me, by Jing Wendong

SECTION TWO: Selected Works

  • 32 Reminiscing about My Childhood, by Yang Jiang
  • 36 Five Poems, by Yang Jian

SECTION THREE: New Works on
Chinese Literature

  • 39 Whether to Write Classical or Modern Poems: A Speech Given at the Gulangyu, Xiamen Poetry Festival, by Lü Yue
  • 44 Writers’ Exchange, by Sun Yu and Zhang Ning

SECTION FOUR: 2013 Newman Prize for Chinese Literature: Yang Mu (Guest Editor: Michelle Yeh)

  • 48 Introduction to the Newman Prize
  • 50 The Newman Prize for Chinese Literature: Nomination Statement for Yang Mu, by Michelle Yeh
  • 54 The Wellsprings of Poetry in Taiwan, by Yang Mu
  • 56 “Imagine a Symbol in a Dream”: Translating Yang Mu, by Andrea Lingenfelter
  • 64 “Language Is Our Religion”: An Interview with Yang Mu, by Zhai Yueqin
  • 69 Selected Poems, by Yang Mu

SECTION FIVE: Special Feature on Chinese Minority Poetry (Guest Editor: Mark Bende)

SECTION SIX: Special Memorial Feature
for C. T. Hsia

IN EVERY ISSUE

  • 3 Editor’s Note
  • 4 Contributors
  • 128 Chinese Literature in Review
  • 156 Pacific Bridge

ON THE COVER Xiao Wu Ji (detail), by
Chen Fei, 2012

 

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