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from the August 2019 issue

Angels

天使们

Divine and mortal love intertwine in this poem by Li Hao, one of a handful of contemporary Chinese poets writing forcefully and overtly about Christian themes.
 

I invited you too soon
to my city, because I wanted to live
with you, because I wanted

to find in your songs 
the Almighty’s power and love. Because I wanted
to know how you loved Him, and your

sweet former lives. I know your
bodies are the language the Lord bestowed upon me.
I see your unfamiliar riverbank

and walk toward you. I decide that I and the rows
of poplars will surround your place of prayer 
in a circle wider than the eye can see,

and the quiet lawn is like the sky, invisibly
rippling. On the lambs’ pasture, 

you play music, hover, fly out from the light 
to protect our fallen loves,
the injured Father in our souls.
 

"天使们"  © Li Hao. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2019 by Eleanor Goodman. All rights reserved.

天使们

我过早地将你们邀请到我的

城市里来,因为我想和你们

生活在一起,因为我想

 

从你们的歌声里,获得来自

上主的能力和爱情。因为我想

知道你们如何爱神,你们

 

过去的甜蜜生活。我知道你们的

身体,是天主恩赐给我的语言。

我看着你们不熟悉的河岸,

 

向你们走来。我确定我和一排排

杨树,在你们祈祷的地点,

围成一个圆  目极千里,

 

平静的草坪好像蓝天,看不见

点点微澜。你们在羔羊的草原上

 

奏乐,你们低飞,你们从光明中飞来

守护我们跌倒的爱人,

和我们心灵里受伤的父神。

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