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      1. Poems by Gu Cheng (1956-)


        Good-bye

        You turn in silence aside
        your face to the night.

        In the places where the night grows darkest
        lamps crowd together.

        They are always there together;
        we will meet again, sooner or later.

        Good-bye now
        so that we see each other again.

        translated by Gordon T. Osing and De-An Wu Swihart


        This Generation 

        The dark nights gave me my dark eyes;
        I, however, use them to look for light.

        translated by Gordon T. Osing and De-An Wu Swihart


        In Sunset's Glow 

        In the evening's glow,
        your lips tightly closed,
        you say, "There are only fifteen minutes left,"
        meaning the sorrow has already begun.

        "We might be apart for ten or a hundred years;
        we must be thousands, ten-thousand miles apart."
        But then you smile playfully
        showing your real age.

        You say, "I forgot to say even the one sentence."
        I say, "Yes, you seem to have forgotten that one sentence."
        We never got around to that sentence all evening;
        but before we'd noticed, anyway, the sun set in silence.

        translated by Gordon T. Osing and De-An Wu Swihart


        Far and Near 

        You,
        you look at me one moment
        and at clouds the next.

        I feel
        when you're looking at me, you're far away,
        but when you're looking at the clouds, how could we be nearer!

        translated by Gordon T. Osing and De-An Wu Swihart


        The Origins of the Moon and Stars 

        Branches of trees try to shred the sky
        but succeed only in poking so many tiny holes,
        through which pierce lights from beyond the sky
        that people simply name Moon and Stars.

        translated by Gordon T. Osing and De-An Wu Swihart


        In the Twinkling of the Eyes 
        --During those wrong years I had this kind of "illusion"

        I firmly believed
        I watched the world with utmost concentration.

        A rainbow
        swam in the fountain,
        searching among the passers-by silently.
        I blinked my eyes
        and it turned into the shape of a viper.

        A clock
        reposed on a church
        marking the time steadily;
        I blinked my eyes
        and it became a bottomless well.

        A red blossom
        opened on the movie screen
        inviting the excitements of Spring;
        I blinked my eyes
        and it turned to glistening blood.

        Now to keep my beliefs solid
        I keep my eyes wide open all the time.

        translated by Gordon T. Osing and De-An Wu Swihart


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