Poetry


Mo Du 莫独

Translated by Sheng Qu


Mo Du was born in 1965. He is a writer and poet of the Hani ethnic group in China. A member of the Chinese Writers’ Association, he won the Sixth China Minority Literature Award for his major work Watching the Village. His other well-known works include the prose poetry collections A Village Gate (Galheiq Galtuv in Hani romanization), Silence, and Go Out in Spring.

A Village Gate

A village, a gate.
A strand of straw rope serving as the village gate hangs by the village entrance halfway up the
             mountain, sometimes with a pheasant head, sometimes with a dog tail: mysterious, quaint,
             simple, and sincere.
These kind-hearted people were once displaced and suffered from calamities, praying for peace,
              health, descendants, and strength.
Close the gate and don’t let illness come inside.
Close the gate and don’t let evil come inside.
Close the gate and don’t let hideousness come inside.
Simple wishes were born inside this old threshold, caring for broken hearts and giving birth to
             beautiful yearnings.
Year after year, fellow countrymen sow in spring and reap in autumn halfway up the mountain,
             caring for the chimney smoke that used to be thin, strengthening the families of the village.
The footsteps passing through the gate will grow louder and stronger.
In this world, no gate can be simpler than this one: only a straw rope hanging over two thin
             bamboo poles.
In this world, no gate can be firmer than this one: built by the united hearts of the entire people.
Time passes like water, yet the gate remains the same.
The village gate leaves an imprint on the hearts of all who left their roots inside.

 

寨门

一个寨子,一道门。
以一股稻绳的形式挂在半山腰的村口,有时附带只鸡头,有时夹吊条狗尾,神秘、古朴、简洁、坦荡。
这是一个善良厚道而曾经颠沛流离、多灾多难的民族,企望安宁、健康、繁衍、壮大。
就把病魔拒之门外。
就把邪气拒之门外。
就把丑恶拒之门外。
朴实的愿望在古老的门槛里生生息息,把曾经受伤的心尽心呵护,孕育美好的向往。
父老乡亲一年年在半山腰的坡地上春播秋收,把曾经贫弱的炊烟用心喂养,壮实山寨的人家。
出进寨门的脚步声也就越来越响亮,越来越有力。
这世上再也没有比这更简易的门了,仅仅是一根稻绳挂在两棵细竹竿上。
这世上再也没有比这更牢固的门了,用整个民族凝聚的心铸造。
岁月如水,寨门依旧。
寨门,塑在每一个把根留在山寨族人的心坎上。

11/9/1998

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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