Yang Lian – Stone / Feather

Y Lian LE P&W Eng-Chin Jan 2023

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing English-Chinese Edition January 2023

Stone/Feather,  poem by Yang Lian.

Stone / Feather

for Christiana Biron

Dante’s triple-rhymed poetry
hand by hand the daughter is taught to collage an inferno
stone steps cascade down the destruction theory

a paper as thin as flesh skin
a skull of a mother of pearl a dead fish’s horizon
the rhythm of biting glued by the rhythm within

through closed eyes one can discern the darkness
decaying into a baby the barbed wire stops sea waves
a hand from a volcanic crater caresses a zither

death exposes a butterfly embedded in the eye
that’s the reality Bosnian gunshots are too close
the child kneels tiny breasts, mud occupied

in a vacuumed feather the mother hides
tears shed like milk a drop of beauty distilled from her body
lets you suckle the darkest side of life

the steps of catastrophe cascade down how much further can they reach?
the human trap the speech trap each step enters the present
never reaching the bottom of the sea yet all are deep down in the sea

a blueprint of horror only one page
has already written the whole poem of flesh and blood the ode of stone
an aethereal feather has summed up the future

石头 · 羽毛

for Christiana Biron

石头台阶层层向下 毁灭的方程式

一枚头骨珍珠母 一条死鱼的地平线

闭起眼睛才看见 那黑暗
腐烂成婴儿 那铁丝网刹住海浪
火山口探出的手 轻撫琴弦

死亡裸露一只蝴蝶 嵌进眼眶
那就是现实 波斯尼亚的枪声太近
孩子跪着 小小的乳房里灌满泥浆

流泪就是流奶 一滴体内分泌的美
让你吮 人生最黑的一部分

灾难台阶层层向下 还能多幽邃?
人的陷阱 辞的陷阱 每一步踏入现在
从未抵达海底 到处深陷于海底

一幅恐惧的蓝图 只一页
已经写完血肉之诗 石头之诗

English translation © Anna Yin/© Yan Lian


Yang Lian was born in Switzerland in 1955, one of the earliest poets of Misty Poetry. His works have been translated into more than thirty languages, and he has received awards such as the Nonino International Literary Award, the first Pacific International Poetry Prize in Taiwan etc. He is regarded as one of the most representative voices for contemporary Chinese poetry in the world. Yang Lian is currently Writer-in-Residence and a lecture at Shantou University in China.

2 Replies to “Yang Lian – Stone / Feather”

  1. Dear Yang Lian,

    Your poems are very intriguing. I am glad that you like my translation. Sure, we can try more. It is great to read fine poems and introduce them by another language!


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