Month: January 2015

Zhou Yaping’s handwriting of the poem “Secret Garden” 秘密花园

Recently, Zhou Yaping presents many of his poems under his own handwriting. What is shown here is his handwriting of the poem “Secret Garden.” Although Zhou Yaping writes colloquial verses and distances himself from any traditional or even conventionally modern styles of poetry, he writes many Chinese characters in the traditional forms 繁体. I’m not sure if this is because he was exposed to too many Taiwanese publications or because he was deeply embedded in the traditional culture making documentaries related to pre-modern Chinese history. When someone asked why he wrote traditional characters, he said frustratedly he couldn’t tell which characters were simplified and which ones were traditional. The handwritten poem brings the author closer to us and I think it looks nice. The following “Secret Garden” 秘密花园 is one of my favorite poems by Zhou Yaping. The translation is a cooperation of Me and Paul Manfredi. 

Secret Garden

I live with a herd of animals,

the only one dressed neat and tidy.

They walk back and forth

No one to be disgusted with my beauty.

The dark cloud in the distance dissipates   and gathers again

Thunder is pressed down

searching constantly in the gaps of buildings

for emancipation

The animals   are walking

The animals     are walking

The animals     are still walking.

Finally a great big animal

lying by my side, lets me touch with hand

its icy-cold face

秘密花园

我和一群动物居住在一起

就我一个穿得干干净净。

它们走来走去

没人嫌弃我的美丽。

远处的乌云走了,又来了

雷声被压抑着

总想在楼宇的缝隙中

寻求解放。

动物,走着

动物,走着

动物,还走着。

最后一只大的动物

侧卧在我的身旁,让我用手

抚摸它冰凉的脸

秘密花园

Zhou Yaping’s new poetry collection: WITH THE PUBLIC

My speed of selecting and translating Zhou Yaping’s poems can’t catch up with the poet’s speed of writing. Zhou Yaping told me that he had three new poem collections on the way of publication recently. With the Public (Zaigongzhong 在公众) is the first one that comes into our view. It was published by Jiangsu wenyi chubanshe and now it is available online for purchase at dangdang.

I translate two new pieces from With the Public and post them here. Of course the translation is tentative. But even just from these two small pieces, we can see Zhou Yaping continues his game of playing with the abstract and the philosophical, which is his way of addressing emotional issues in his personal life or expressing his ideas about the general state of life.

.
Well-behaved Art

Three triangles sit among many triangles
my words make you dizzy. Only one triangle among these three triangles
has a downward angle, which means

Only one triangle is asleep.

.
乖艺术

有三个三角形放在许多的三角形上。

我这样说你会晕。三个三角形只有一个三角形
是箭头朝下的,也可以这么说

只有一个三角形是睡着的。

When Well-behaved Art Behaves Not Well

My game with the mysterism is not as good as the lines’ game. Lines
can be played by
every designer, artist and computer geek.

In other words, every designer, artist and computer geek
is played by lines.

A line has surrounded a pool of blood today
It doesn’t yet disperse at midnight.

乖艺术之不乖

我玩神秘主义玩不过线条。线条
是每个设计师、艺术家、电脑爱好者
都能玩的。

话反过来说,每个设计师、艺术家、电脑爱好者
都被线条玩了。

有一根线条,围住了今天的一滩血
到半夜还挥之不去。

zhou yaping_1乖艺术

Note: the illustration of the poem Well-behaved Art  is created by Bushibei@weibo.