YU XIAOZHONG Two Poems river qi Translator’s Note: The River Qi, pronounced ch is o i, ne of the thousand tributaries of the Yangtze River in Hubei province. Located upstream, the Three Gorges Dam is the world’s largest hydroelectric-power station. In China, people are not allowed to talk about the dam’s construction, which displaced millions, caused natural disasters, damaged the envi- ronment, and destroyed the oldest archaeological sites in the country. A river you can sail alo ng is more than just a ri ver especially when you can sail with the flow—the sailin g and flowing become one stream. How long has it been like t his? Not long . Damaged and ruined for thirty y ears. Or sixty year s. All nature’s agonies converge h ere in the river of gr ief that raises the riverbed, A small tributary of the Yan gtze. A small stream of a bigger phenomen on. Many rivers run into the same fa te. Many rivers pour out their sadn ess as if the sadness upstre am isn’t sad enough, 157 as if I’ve been speaking speaking nons top with a retarded mind: if only . . . if o nly .
Manoa – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: May 10, 2019
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