Asia Literary Review — Let’s have some flora in the poems

There are some wonderful poems in the Winter 2010 issue of Asia Literary Review (this is their “China’ issue) and it is interesting to see that many of them feature flora imagery.1 

  • Landscape Above Zero | Bei Dao | “It was the pen that bloomed in despair / It was the flower that refused the necessary journey”
  • Tonight We Sow | Duo Duo | “Tulips, last days and the ferrying / and bed after bed piled up with seed, nourishes lovers.”
  • Snow Without Subject (2)Yang Lian | “Flowers meticulously etched on a bowl by a dead bird – / drinking from the bright red stream at the picnic.”
  • A Few Memories | Shu Ting | “… pressed down / A lost red mountain flower / Eucalyptus trees turn”
  • The Future | Bai Hua | “Birds, beasts, flowers, wood, spring, summer, autumn, winter – / all are surprised by this crazy little man.”
  • In the Mirror | Zhang Zao | “As long as there are thoughts that bring regret / plum blossoms fall” 
  • Wild Temple | Chen Dongdong | “An old monk | Acrid pines”
  • PhoenixZheng Danyi | “Like a basketful of pears, with soft-jade core, one // Another, for her I peel the fruits”
The issue also includes Liu Xiaobo’s poem for his wife “You Wait for Me with Dust“. There is no flora in it. No sunlight.  
1Two of the translators, Martin Alexander (who is also the poetry editor of ALR) and Shirley Lee, have previously contributed to Cha.

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