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Migrating to Chongqing

  • Na Ye
  • 02 September 2019


Four poems by Na Ye
Translated by Ouyang Yu
Read original language versions



To wash down the north-western wind with liquor, like the dishes

To wash down the north-western wind with liquor, like the dishes

With no stray lambs coming up to ask for directions


We are talking about the width and cleanness of a river and its meaning to all the

mountains and rivers

And the meaning of the other shore to the heart and soul


After the middle age

We refrain ourselves from the bad habit of sighing about life


And we have stopped looking in the direction that others point

Wooden effigies, of course, can also be placed where God's images are placed


You clap your hands

Only for the purpose of improving your health


True and falsehood are an endless litigation

But you only have one life


Times are speeding up we are in no hurry

We pour ourselves a drink and drink it and, occasionally, we talk to ourselves


Lights in the distance strike a righteous attitude but lack a kind heart

And we no longer have the passion for getting drunk, once and for all


In a floating life, gatherings and departures are like the clouds

Only heavens know


Every time I sing praise of the green mountains and waters on my journey

I miss the vast desolation of the plateau in the northwest





Migrating to Chongqing

Getting further away now ...


All right, Chongqing

Let my dry skin fall in love with your moisture

My eyes, used to the desolation and wind and sand, have grown used to your green

mountains and waters

The French plane-trees

The gingko trees

Your sudden flashes of lightning and thunder

Commotion of dripping water

And the heaving quietness

The fate of history, one step higher, one step lower here — it with us mankind

Having no experience of tomorrow

When together with your heavy fog

With heaven and earth merged in a chaos

I hold my shoulders, looking about me and talking to myself: getting further away ...






The ancient flame is so trustworthy

These potatoes bok choy with mud and roots

The steam on this steamed bread

The frost on the turnip


Among them

I'm no longer a stranger to myself

And I no longer live elsewhere


I experience what is said in the Buddhist scriptures: pleasure


The sunflower on my apron, like love, twists my body:

Old sun how are you going?

As good as in an agricultural era?

Sadness, like a wisp of chimney smoke, comes surging out of whose eyes


The old sun

I do not love a violently speeding age

These rooms that are connected, like rails, with the world ...


Morning dew and sweat and echoes of the roaring mountain wind — I love

A kitchen smelling of farming and its

Empty bottles at dusk


Me on a small stool






Praise the existence of soul and the entanglement of quantum

Praise dark matter and the nameless grass on the rooftiles

Praise the two fluffy birds in my study

    that have acquired eternity in the mountains and waters of a painting

Praise an empty jail

    for having turned into a stone, forgotten by the earth

    the way wind and sands have turned into sesames

Praise this generation for what it has experienced ...

    the ginkgo leaves flying and dancing next life

    and for their wish to become golden butterflies

Praise the sun in Chongqing

    although I sometimes side with the big fog

Praise such a God:

    Please treat kids and poets well

    because they are my messengers ...

    in the Harvard Art Museums in America

    I praised Monk Wang from my hometown

    And the Dunhuang cultural relics, dispersed around world museums

    — it's good as long as they are there




Na YeAn important and representative poet of contemporary Chinese women's poetry, Na Ye graduated from the Department of Chinese Language, Nanjing University. She is now based in Chongqing. She began writing in 1985, has worked as a journalist for a long time and is now a professional writer and a member of China Writers Association. 

Topic tags: Poetry, Na Ye, Ouyang Yu



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