Poetry


Burao Yilu 布饶依露

Translated by Mark Bender


Buraro Yilu
Burao Yilu in traditional dress of Wa ethnic group, Yunnan
Province. Photo courtesy of Burao Yilu.

Burao Yilu, of the Wa ethnic group in Yunnan Province, began writing in 1986. Her works include numerous poems, many on ethnic minority themes, and the prose collection Pledge to the Sacred Tree: Songs from the Heart of a Wa Woman. In recent years, several of her poems have been translated into English and French. She is a member of the Chinese Writer’s Association.

Cowbells

Retracing the steps of the ancestors
on those ancient caravan trails
Hard not to slip on the winding traces,
On the long road, it is hard to have steady footing.

Some hoarse cowbells
Bellow like buffalos
It’s difficult to touch the ears of the sky
Or to cause a cackling silver pheasant to flush.
That ringing of the cowbells
Is like the yellow raspberries of the Wa Mountains—
Knowing only how to grow,
Never contemplating a harvest.

The sound of footsteps soaks into the horse-trodden earth
on those ancient trails in western Yunnan,
over years of hardships
Cowbells dangle from the necks of cattle
Those simple, honest cowbells
Those ding-dang tinkling cowbells
Not trying to draw attention,
Just doing it for the pay.

The mountain rain arrives loquaciously
The wild winds dash in peals of thunder
Chilling and wracking, rousing the animal herds
Yet not silencing the cowbells
In the Wa Mountains
If cowbells ring, then life can be imagined,
With cowbells, as the warmth of humanity

Cowbell, ah
No matter how the trails twist,
the sounds are a chorus
Cowbell, ah
No matter how long the route,
It leads to the bosom of the village.

牛铃

在马帮路上复制祖先的足迹
山路曲折 步子难得挪稳
路途遥远 跨越很少如常

有些沙哑的牛铃
像老牛的哼鸣
很难触动蓝天的耳朵
也不曾惊飞白鹇的鸟语
那牛铃的铃声
如同佤山野生的黄泡果
只顾生长 生长
不懂收成 收成

浸透红土地驮队的足音
在滇西古道上留下岁月的沧桑
牛脖子上悬挂的牛铃
那朴实憨厚的牛铃
那叮咚作响的牛铃
没有炫耀 炫耀……
只有付出 付出……

山雨赶路来洋洋洒洒
暴风奔跑来雷鸣风行
寒潮与强压对动物种群的打搅
没有隔断佤山牛的铃声
大山中
有牛铃的响动就有生活的想象
有牛铃的存在就有人间的温暖

牛铃啊
再弯的山道也能集合响声
牛铃啊
再长的旅程也能通向寨心

 

 

 

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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