Poetry Translations with S. Ye Laird
by A Xiang
translation Fan, Jinghua
Then the sky becomes brighter and brighter,
but there are still things in formation
She does not speak,
Eyes intent on me.
White hair drops over the forehead.
She has watched her palms for a long time,
from which pleasing scent perspires.
Sound and dust float in the air
until I extricate myself from a shadow
and tread off on dewdrops.
Most of the time, birds would swoop down in the yard
And before their arrival
There lies an expansion of quiet sunlight.
Also trees and lilies, and a lawn she loves.
She came from the East of the Mountains,
now feeling obscurer and obscurer.
She refuses to engage in a dialogue with me.
March 20, 2008
Translator Dr. Jinghua Fan is a professor at the Singapore Center for Chinese language. His M.A thesis was on Sylvia Plath, and his Ph.D dissertation on John Barryman, both at National University of Singapore.
A-Xiang was born in 1970s in Anhui Province, a wandering poet to different parts of China; he was hailed among the top ten website poets in contemporary China.
Cien sonetos de amor – XII
Plena mujer, manzana carnal
by Pablo Neruda
Plena mujer, manzana carnal, luna caliente,
espeso aroma de algas, lodo y luz machacados,
qué oscura claridad se abre entre tus columnas?
Qué antigua noche el hombre toca con sus sentidos?
Ay, amar es un viaje con agua y con estrellas,
con aire ahogado y bruscas tempestades de harina:
amar es un combate de relámpagos
y dos cuerpos por una sola miel derrotados.
Beso a beso recorro tu pequeño infinito,
tus márgenes, tus ríos, tus pueblos diminutos,
y el fuego genital transformado en delicia
corre por los delgados caminos de la sangre
hasta precipitarse como un clavel nocturno,
hasta ser y no ser sino un rayo en la sombra.
ONE HUNDRED LOVE SONNETS: XII
Complete woman, meaty apple
translation by Karen Poppy
Complete woman, meaty apple, hot moon,
ample smell of seaweed, mashed mud and light,
what shadowed clarity opens between your columns?
What ancient night touched by man with his senses?
Oh, to love is a voyage with water and with stars,
with drowning air and brusque tempests of flour:
to love is a combat of bolted lightening
and two bodies defeated by a singular honey.
Kiss by kiss, I cover your small infinity,
your images, your rivers, diminutive towns,
and the genital fire transforming in delight
runs through the narrow passages of the blood,
until it rushes like a carnation at night,
until being and not being but a flash in the shadow.
I Like When You Speak
by Karen Poppy
(A poem for how I think one should be with one's lover or partner—in response to Pablo Neruda's poem Me gustas cuando callas/I like you when you're quiet.)
I like when you speak. When you tell stories
That my distant self can recognize. That pull me in,
A living seduction of laughter and longing. As you breathe
And your cheeks turn pink, I want to kiss, but I listen.
You fill my soul with what is real.
More persistent than dreams. What I recognize
In a locked glance, the smooth feel
Of your neck, what you confide.
You speak your own words, and I don’t take your silence,
Turn it into my own speech. I wait,
As is only right. No insistence
Because love can pause, hesitate, shyly brush my lips.
I like when you speak. When you are here
Saying all that you want to say, and nothing more.
When you are enveloping and near,
Or drawing me in from afar, a house with an open door.
Karen Poppy has work published or forthcoming in ArLiJo, Wallace Stevens Journal, Parody Poetry Journal, Young Ravens Literary Review, and Voices de la Luna, among others. She has recently written her first novel.