Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
John McAuliffeBill Manhire in Conversation with John McAuliffe
(PN Review 259)
Patricia CraigVal Warner: A Reminiscence
(PN Review 259)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Christopher MiddletonNotes on a Viking Prow
(PN Review 10)
Next Issue Gwyneth Lewis ‘Spiderings’ Ian Thomson ‘Fires were started: Tallinn, 1944’ Adrian May ‘Traditionalism and Tradition’ Judith Herzberg ‘Poems’ translated by Margitt Lehbert Horatio Morpurgo ‘What is a Book?’
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Reader Survey
PN Review Substack

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.

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image