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This poem is taken from PN Review 250, Volume 46 Number 2, November - December 2019.

Two Poems
translated by Wang Fang and Yvonne Reddick
Yu Xiuhua
Confession of Love

I try hard at life: I carry water, cook, and take all my pills on time.
I throw myself into it, like putting a piece of dried orange peel in my tea when the sun is warm and bright.
I drink my different teas in turn: chrysanthemum, jasmine, rose and lemon –
all these lovely things bring me to the path that leads to spring.
So again and again I press down the snow in my heart –
it’s too pure and close to spring.
I read your poems in a clean yard. All the world’s love-affairs
are a blur, like sparrows darting by,
and the years are pure as moonlight. No, I’m not being sentimental –
if I send you a book, it won’t be poetry.
I’ll send you a book about plants and crops,
telling you the difference between rice and grass,
telling you how the grasses that look like rice are afraid of spring.


My Dog Xiaowu

I limped out of the yard: she trotted at my heels.
...


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