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Translate my poetry, she said. I have written 500 poems since last November; you can publish them.

Yeah, right. 500 poems, at the same time as a novella/cookbook and making her face look more lovely in a painting. No worries. Who cares that I do’t recognise a character of Chinese (except my name, Dai: 大)?

They do seem to have some excellent imagery and cover a wide range of ideas and feelings, sometimes quite enigmatically.

Here’s one of her latest (yes, they’re still coming)

夕阳美

血色残阳
地平一线
稻谷成熟的远方
没有晚霞
满是山的轮廓
村的线条
无尽余晖正脉脉含情

公路往西
向着鄱阳湖靠近
冬天观天鹅
夏天用长焦去打鸟
行摄把痛的膨胀
身的压榨
释放,还原,归零
现实世界又充满能量

 

and this is how google translate renders it.

Sunset beauty

Blood color
Ground level
Rice matures far away
No sunset
Full of mountain outlines
Village line
Endless afterglow

Highway west
Approaching Poyang Lake
Winter view swan
Playing birds with telephoto in summer
Taking a picture of the pain
Squeezing
Release, restore, zero
The real world is full of energy

It’s going to be a strange process of iteration, word for word, check back, does it really mean that?! and trying to tune my poetic sensibilities to her idiosycratic ones.

I’ll need some of that energy.

 

PS Poyang Lake in Jiangxi province is the largest freshwater lake in China.