Tang Xin

At the height of summer, Olympics in Spain
Crazed citizens, day & night watching TV
Disgusting extremes, disturbing my dreams
I’d rather stay calm, you could say
I would not be in spasms
I prefer gentle exertions
Instead of tiring yourself spitting blood
Like some kind of monster. I hate repetition.
I don’t want to watch people shouting exulted
Like raging idiots, lunatic movements
Nazis, Cultural Revolution

Although I’m yearning for the old Greeks
Natural people, clear autumn skies
Beautiful bodies, running in freedom
Nothing like that today I’m afraid

I don’t yearn for the strong, for the muscled
For the nimble champions
No, to be strong and mighty means in my language
You could be frail and weak in your body
But if you are like Hu Shi, Zhou Zuoren
You are a hero, a really great person

Go to sleep, my compatriots
Or is the national anthem your opium?
After they win three hundred gold medals
You are an invalid just like before
Go cook yourself a mung bean soup
To clear your senses

At the height of summer, Lanzhou is not too bad
Ignore the papers, no idle talking
Crickets at noon, frogs in the night
With time for reading, and a good sleep

Tr. MW, April 2014

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