Posts Tagged ‘horse’


七月 19, 2017

Hung Hung

one man dies
one country awakes from a dream

actually it wasn’t sleeping
the country was just pretending to dream
it keeps its eyes open behind its mosquito net
watching who dares to dream their own dream
who dares in their dreams to sing their own song
who dares to call each stag a stag, each horse a horse

this country never sleeps
its atm’s count their money 24 hours
its warriors patrol on the net day and night
to bury alive every weathercock showing his head

this country infects with its disease
the livers that aren’t asleep
so they can’t detox anymore
they can’t tell the limbs to move around freely
the case history of this country is painted as poetry
everyone of the people it calls its citizens
must memorize and recite without rest

just like that hottest summer 28 years ago
a summer that seems to go on forever
one person dies
and the blood that was washed off
flows out steaming again on the square
to jump the dark floodgate

only when this sick country dies
every person can finally wake up alive

Translated by Martin Winter, July 2017




Hung Hung

Ein Mensch stirbt.
Ein Land erwacht aus einem Traum.

Eigentlich hat das Land gar nicht geschlafen.
Es hat nur so getan, als würde es träumen.
Hinter seinem Moskitonetz sperrt es die Augen auf:
Wer wagt es und träumt seinen eigenen Traum?
Wer wagts, singt im Traum sein eigenes Lied?
Wer nennt einen Hirsch einen Hirsch, und ein Pferd auch ein Pferd?

Dieses Land kann nicht schlafen.
Seine Bankomaten zählen sein Geld Tag und Nacht.
Seine Krieger patrouillieren 24 Stunden im Netz:
jeder Wetterhahn der seinen Kopf hebt
wird lebendig begraben.

Dieses Land steckt mit seiner Krankheit
jede Leber an, die nicht schläft:
sie können alle nicht länger entgiften
oder Glieder anstiften, sich frei zu rühren.
Es malt seine Krankengeschichte aus als Gedicht
und befiehlt allen jenen, die es seine Bürger nennt
das Gedicht vorzutragen bis sie nicht mehr können.

So wie in jenem heißesten Sommer vor 28 Jahren.
Der Sommer geht offenbar nie vorüber.
Ein Mensch ist gestorben:
Das abgewaschene Blut
spritzt wieder heiß hervor auf dem Platz,
schlägt gegen das finstere Schleusentor.

Nur wenn das schwerkranke Land endlich stirbt
kann jeder Mensch erst lebendig erwachen.

13. Juni 2017
Übersetzt von MW am 13. Juni 2017








二月 25, 2016

Da Duo

Da Duo

It has been a year.
I ask my mother
how father is doing over there.

Mother says my younger brother’s wife
has asked a wise woman,
who says father rides a yellow horse
to the market,
gets along with the neighbours,
he is content.

I ask her why
father went back to former times?
Didn’t we burn a paper car for him?

Mother says with a bitter smile,
“Maybe he can’t drive!”

Tr. MW, Febr. 2016

Da Duo family ritual


三月 26, 2014

hai zi 14 face the sea spring in bloom

Hai Zi

from tomorrow, let me be happy
feed horses, chop wood, let me travel the world
from tomorrow, vegetables, grain
I have a house, face the sea, spring in bloom
from tomorrow, writing my family
tell everyone how I am happy
this lightning happiness tells me
what I will tell everyone
give every creek every peak a warm name
stranger, I want to bless you also
may your future be bright
may your lover become your family
may you find happiness in this world
I only want to face the sea, spring in bloom

Tr. MW, 2014/3

hai zi

Hai Zi



ab morgen bin ich ein glücklicher mensch

hacke holz, füttere pferde, bereise die welt

ab morgen mag ich gemüse, getreide

ich hab ein haus, schau ins meer, frühling blüht

ab morgen schreibe ich allen verwandten

schreibe von warmem blitzendem glück

was dieser blitz mir jetzt gesagt hat

ich sag es jedem einzelnen menschen

geb jedem fluss, jedem berg warme namen

fremder, mögest auch du glücklich werden

ich wünsch’ dir eine leuchtende zukunft

aus deiner liebe werde familie

finde dein glück in diesem leben

ich will nur schauen ins meer, frühling blüht


Peking, März 1989

Übersetzt von MW im März 2014

新年好!Happy Year of the Horse!

二月 1, 2014


Photo0113 Photo0114 Photo0115

Photo0107 Photo0108 Photo0112

And one more Happy New Year of the Horse

一月 31, 2014


YAN LI! Yesterday I posted his THREE POEMS FROM THE 1980s. Prominent words and themes in GIVE IT BACK (1986), YOU (1987) and YOU (1989) are “love” and “citizen”. The most prominent news story from China in January 2014 was the trial and sentencing of XU ZHIYONG 许志永, a legal scholar and leading activist of the New Citizen movement. Trials, everything connected with rule of law has been very much in the news for a long time in China. See Han Zongbao’s poem 韩宗宝 from fall 2013, for example.

Xu’s statement in court was titled “FOR FREEDOM, JUSTICE AND LOVE“. I was rather surprised at “love” being evoked as a core political value like “freedom” and “justice”. Liberté, Egalité, Amour? Xu’s statement and the accompanying account of how authorities had tried to warn and intimidate him before he was arrested make it clear that he is not only an activist for the rights of migrant workers and for greater openness about public servants’ financial assets. “Can you explain what you mean by Socialism?”, he asks. This is certainly a very important question. China is a Socialist country, at least by name, just like Vietnam, North Korea and Laos. Are there any others? Socialism for China is like Shiite Islam for Iran. But what does Socialism mean, apart from one-party-rule? I think it’s something to believe in, and to practice, to change the fates of working people through actions of solidarity. Isn’t that what the New Citizen movement was trying to do? But Xu has all but dismissed Socialism and has not tried to invoke it as something originally worth believing in. This is understandable, under the circumstances. But can you imagine someone standing up in court in Iran and asking “Can you explain what Islam entails?” Maybe people do it, I don’t know. They probably wouldn’t dismiss religion.

Actually, it is more complicated. I think Xu is testing what is possible. how far the system will go to crush opposition. In his obstinacy he could be compared to Shi Mingde (Shih Ming-te) 施明德 in Taiwan in the 1980s. But Xu is much younger than Shi was in the late 1980s, he was only 15 in 1989.

Xu Zhiyong

“Me:  Aren’t the communist party and socialism western products? May I ask, what is socialism? If a market economy is socialist, why is democracy and the rule of law, which we are pursuing, not socialist? Does socialism necessarily exclude democracy and the rule of law?”

我:共产党、社会主义难道不是西方的吗?请问什么是社会主义?市场经济如果是社会主义,我们追求的民主法治为什么就不是社会主义?社会主义必然和民主法治对立吗?关于反党,这个概念太极端,方针政策对的就支持,错误的就反对,而且,我对任何人都心怀善意,如果共产党经过大选继续执政,我支持。[…] 我可能比你更爱中国!你有空可以看看我写的《回到中国去》,看一个中国人在美国的经历和感想。而你们,多少贪官污吏把财产转移到了国外?



我:明天吧。[words marked by me, see below]

This dialogue between Xu and Beijing State Security official C is very interesting. There is a measure of mutual respect. Xu has spunk, he is brave and obstinate. He mentions “数千万人饿死”, tens of millions died of hunger, as one of the main reasons for not “loving the party” 爱党, as suggested by his interrogator. This dialogue should be very good material for studying Chinese. This section is from the end of the first day (June 25) of Xu’s interrogations in June 2013. You can compare the original to the translation on  In the translation, I could not access the link to Xu’s patriotic article Go Back To China 《回到中国去》, written in New York a few years ago, but it seems to be available on several blogs readily accessible in China.

I Don’t Want You to Give Up’ – a public letter by Xu Zhiyong’s wife.

Words like “citizen” and “love”, and any other words or means of expressions, actually, become something remarkably different in a work of art, different from every-day-usage, and usage in political statements. I find Xu’s use of “love” baffling. “Love” strikes me as rather imprecise, compared to “justice”, for example. Love, simply love, not compassion or caritas. Not bo’ai 博爱, just  aì 愛, as in Wo ai ni 我愛你。Imprecise, but endearing, as something obviously non-political. And thus closer to poetry, literature, art? Ubi caritas et amor, deus ibi est. All You Need is Love. And so on.

“If I had a hammer I’d hammer in the morning/  I’d hammer in the evening all over this land/  I’d hammer out danger, I’d hammer out warning/  I’d hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters/ All over this land …” Pete Seeger  (May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014)

The International Federation of Journalists has issued a report on press freedom in China in 2013. Here are two small excerpts:

“On May 3, a woman named Yuan Liya was found dead

outside Jingwen shopping centre in Beijing. Police said

Yuan had jumped from the shopping centre, but her

parents suspected she was killed after she was raped

by several security guards during the night. On May

8 the media was instructed to republish a statement

issued by the Beijing Police and further ordered that

no information could be gathered from independent

sources. All online news sites were told to downplay the

case and social microblogs were required to remove all

related news items.”

This immediately reminds me of SHENG XUE’s 盛雪 poem YOUR RED LIPS, A WORDLESS HOLE, from early 2007. The original is titled NI KONGDONG WU SHENG DE YU YAN HONG CHUN 你空洞无声的欲言红唇. The poem was translated into German by Angelika Burgsteiner and recited in early March 2013 at TIME TO SAY NO, the PEN Austria event for International Women’s Day, in cooperation with PEN Brazil.

“On May 14, media outlets disclosed that several

primary school principals were involved in scandals

involving sexual exploitation of minors. All of the alleged

victims were primary school students. Some bloggers

initiated a campaign aimed at protecting children, but

the authorities demanded that the media downplay

both the scandal and the campaign.”

Cf. Lily’s Story 丽丽传 by Zhao Siyun 赵思云, from 2012.

In China, a Young Feminist Battles Sexual Violence Step by Step

China Avantgarde




This painting courtesy of Yan Li



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