Sunday, April 18, 2010

Untitled - Bei Dao

pedestrians lighting their own
lightbulb minds
the street heads for october's wild ideas

in tribute to a dog
shadow leans toward its experience

spring water's laid bare
the sleep underlying landscapes
we take turns hiding beneath
windows of endless light weeping

Li Po beats a drum and sings
calm and unhurried

(translated from the Chinese by David Hinton)

Bei Dao (b.1949) is a psuedonym for the poet Zhao Zhenkai. His assumed name means, literally, "North Island," a name which alludes to the solitude the writer prefers. He is a member of The Misty Poets a group of artists who reacted against the restrictions of the Cultural Revolution. His poems were a source of inspiration to the Tiananmen Square protesters. He was allowed to travel but has chosen to live in exile since the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

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