In the morning, a word
from someone else's
dream peeks at me
like a conspiracy.
The minute I open my eyes
the word,
with an elegant gesture,
takes me.

The lonely word
is a terminal patient:
pain and screaming,
possibly lethal.
But I’m envious—it flies up
the minute it takes me.

6.28.1995

某天早晨
一个词
好像一个阴谋
躲在别人的梦中窥视着我
就在我睁开眼睛的一瞬间
它以优雅的姿态
占据了我

孤独的词
如同绝症
疼痛并且尖利
可以置人于死地
我真羡慕这个词
占有了我
然后生机勃勃

1995.6.28.




Liu XiaLiu Xia

Liu Xia (1961- ), Chinese poet, artist, and photographer, was born and grew up in Beijing, and worked as a civil servant for the Beijing tax bureau. She started writing poetry in 1982 and met Liu Xiaobo at a literary gathering. She married Xiaobo when he was imprisoned in 1996. Liu Xia has been under house arrest since her husband was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, while Liu Xiaobo himself is serving the eleven-year sentence in a prison in the northeast China.

Translated from ChineseChinese by Ming DiMing Di and by Jennifer SternJennifer Stern

Ming Di is a Chinese poet and translator, and the author of six collections of poetry published in China. She went to Boston for graduate studies and currently lives in California. She has translated four books of poetry from English to Chinese, including Dancing in Odessa—Poems and Essays by Ilya Kaminsky (Shanghai Arts and Literature Publishing House, 2013). She has also edited and cotranslated four books of poetry from Chinese to English, including New Cathay—Contemporary Chinese Poetry (Tupelo Press, 2013) and Empty Chairs (Graywolf Press, 2015). Empty Chairs was a finalist for the Best Translated Book Award in 2016. She has received translation fellowships from the Henry Luce Foundation and a translation award (with Jennifer Stern) from the Poetry Foundation. Her own poetry has been translated into several languages: River Merchant’s Wife (Marick Press, 2012), Luna fracturada (Valparaíso/Spain, 2014), Histoire de famille (Transignum/France, 2015), Livre de sept vies (Recours au Poème éditeurs/France, 2015), and Distracción (forthcoming in Costa Rica.)

Jennifer Stern is an American poet and translator.