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Selected Poems by Chen Jingrong 陈敬容

By Chen Jingrong

Chen Jingrong
Bamboo raft. Photo by Tauno Tõhk

 

October

Outside paper windows, bamboos whisper:
“Emei, Emei,
Haunt of ancient spirits.”

Who is there, on a bamboo raft
Fingering a reed flute,
Piping of its white snow-capped peak, bright like the moon?

Translated by Andrea Lingenfelter

 

十月

纸窗外风竹切切:
“峨眉,峨眉,
古幽灵之穴。”

是谁,在竹筏上
抚着横笛,
吹山头白雪如皓月?

1935

 

Yellow

Yellow dusk, yellow sand,
Dredging from the dust these
Yellowed memories,
The shadow on the wall lets out a sigh.

Welling up in my imagination
A vast ocean like a mirror,
In its pure, translucent waves
I listen closely for my own lonely footfalls.

Translated by Andrea Lingenfelter

 

黄昏,黄沙,
尘灰里掘起
发黄的记忆,
壁上的影子叹息。

幻想里涌起
一片大海如境,
在透明的清波里
谛听自己寂寞的足音。

1936

 

Division

Often I stop for
a gust of wind that happens by
I always get lost in
the sound of a bell floating by
A cloudless blue sky
can make me wistful too
I drink in the same deep green
from a blade of grass or a stately pine

A boat poised to cast off
wings poised to beat
O arrow, the flurry of your bow
conceals your speedy flight
A night of fire alarms
is filled with fleeing shadows

Among familiar things
a sudden feeling of strangeness
divides us sharply
from the universe

Translated by Andrea Lingenfelter

 

划分

我常常停步于
偶然行过的一片风
我往往迷失于
偶然飘来的一声钟
无云的蓝空
也引起我的怅望
我啜饮同样的碧意
从一株草或是一棵松

待发的船只
待振的羽翅
箭呵,惑乱的弦上
埋藏着你的飞驰
火警之夜
有奔逃的影子

在熟悉的事物面前
突然感到的陌生
将宇宙和我们
断然地划分

3/28/1946

 

My Seventy (No. 1: Sour Fruit)

there is no tender green nor fresh red
the flowing water gurgles
brims over the bank and is gone
the splendors of the sun and the moon
shine on numberless trees
and occasionally glint on the thorny bushes
and on the silent sour fruit

acrid sour and bitter saltiness
have permeated its flesh and shell
yet the pit of the fruit is harder than ever
like stone
like iron

it was molded from liquid iron
on the top of the iron base
it was bestowed with
juicy sweet flesh
what is emitting an electric blue radiance
is still its coarse shell

Translated by Liansu Meng

 

我的七十 (一: 酸果)

没有嫩绿鲜红
流水哗哗
漫过堤岸而去
日月的光华
照耀众多树木
偶尔也洒上荆丛
洒上默默的酸果

酸涩与苦咸
浸透了果肉果壳
果核却无比坚硬
如石
如钢铁

原本是由铁水浇铸而成
在钢铁的基座上
它被赋予了
多汁的甘美果肉
那吐着青色光焰的
依旧是粗糙的果壳

9/1987

To read all eleven poems by Chen Jingrong, get the print or digital issue of CLT.

Andrea Lingenfelter is a poet, translator, and scholar of Chinese literature. Her published translations include The Changing Room: Selected Poetry of Zhai Yongming, the novels Farewell My Concubine and Candy, and numerous poems by modern and contemporary sinophone writers, which have appeared in journals and anthologies such as Granta, Chinese Literature Today, Pathlight, Zoland, Mantis, Frontier Taiwan, and Sailing to Formosa. Forthcoming works include The Kite Family (surrealistic short fiction by Hong Kong writer Hon Lai Chu) and Scent of Heaven (a historical novel by Shanghai novelist Wang Anyi). She currently teaches Chinese literature at the University of San Francisco.

Liansu Meng received her PhD in Comparative Literature in 2010 from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and is currently Assistant Professor of Chinese in the Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages at the University of Connecticut. She has published articles on Wen Yiduo’s eco-poetics both in Chinese and English, and is now working on a book project on feminism and Chinese new poetry in the twentieth century. Her research interests include modern and contemporary Chinese poetry and culture, Daoism and eco-poetics, transnational feminism and Chinese literature, and comparative poetics.

From Chinese Literature Today Vol. 5 No. 1

Current Issue
Volume 5 No. 1 Issue Cover

Table of Contents

VOLUME 5, NUMBER 1

FEATURED AUTHOR: CHEN JINGRONG

  • 7 Introduction
  • 8 Selected Poems, by Chen Jingrong
  • 18 Charming Connections: Chen Jingrong’s Translations as a Factor of Poetic Influence, by Giusi Tamburello
  • 26 A Window to the Busy Street: Noise Pollution and Chen Jingrong’s Eco-Poetry in the 1980s, by Liansu Meng

CHINESE LITERATURE / GLOBAL CONTEXTS

SPECIAL SECTION: INTERNET LITERATURE

FEATURED SCHOLAR: BAN WANG

IN EVERY ISSUE

  • 3 Editor’s Note
  • 4 Contributors
  • 104 Chinese Literature in Review
  • 120 Pacific Bridge

ON THE COVER: Liu Wei, Liberation No.1, 2013, oil on canvas, 118 x 212 1/2 in. (300 x 540 cm) Courtesy of the artist; the Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York and Hong Kong; and the Rubell Family Collection, Miami. Photo credit: Chi Lam

 

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