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  • 女婴
  • 杨 炼 (bio)
    Translated by Brian Holton (bio)


你小得不值得那阵冷 水呛进袖珍版的肺 袖珍的爆炸鲜而嫩你小得不值得一种碎 只一瞬血丝洇开红花 缕缕迎着母亲

被溅湿的手 仍是世界上最美丽的手 水滴刻着牙印的咬伤浸没一半时 你的雪堆在塌方死死按在水底 小得不抽动的汪洋

直接连着子宫 你的眼睛没睁开才看清末日 你的命是一串否认的水泡 凸出哭叫的性一道印在你所有器官上的禁令

你必须死 为了可能生的弟弟立刻死 水快于爱 掐紧这周期小小的浑浊被更小的四肢搅起又静了 母亲溶解成剧毒的名字 [End Page 36]

Baby Girl

Yang Lian

to a deliberately drowned baby girl

you're so small you're not worth that chill    water chokingpocket-sized lungs    pocket-sized explosions fresh and tenderyou're so small you're not worth breaking    in an eyeblinkbloody streaks diffuse into red flowers    each one welcoming mother

splashed hands    still the loveliesthands in the world    each droplet a toothmarkwhen you're half-sunk    your snowdrift collapsespressed under water    a sea so small it doesn't shudder

tied to the womb    your eyesclosed to witness your final moment    your fateis a chain of bubbles of denial    the wailing bulge of your sexall of your organs stamped prohibited

you have to die    for the possibility of a younger brotherdie right away    water quicker than love    nip off this cyclesmall eddy stirred by smaller limbsand silenced    mother dissolves into a toxic epithet [End Page 37]

杨 炼

Yang Lian 杨炼 (1955-) was born in Switzerland and grew up in Beijing. In the 1970s, he began writing when he was sent to the countryside for "re-education" during the Cultural Revolution. On his return to Beijing, he became one of the founders of the Misty school. In 1988, he was invited to visit Australia and New Zealand; in June 1989, the Tian'anmen Square demonstrations took place, and he became a poet-in-exile. He has continued to write and speak out on world literature, politics, and culture and has published eleven collections of poetry, two of prose, and one of essays. Along with Scottish poet W. N. Herbert and translator Brian Holton, Yang Lian is the coeditor of Jade Ladder, a 2011 anthology of contemporary Chinese poetry translated into English. His latest work is The Narrative Poem, a book-length poem based on his experiences. The first edition of the book was confiscated and destroyed by Chinese officials because of its inclusion of "Reality Elegy," a poem with references to the Tian'anmen Square events. Since 2005, he has been the artistic director of Unique Mother Tongue, an international seminar series based in London.

Brian Holton

Brian Holton was educated in Chinese studies at the University of Edinburgh and did postgraduate research at Durham University. He was the Leverhulme research associate in the Department of Chinese at the University of Edinburgh, working on the Jin Shengtan Project from 1985 to 1988, and later taught Chinese at the University of Edinburgh. He has held many university posts in the PRC, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere. Among his current projects is the translation of T'ang poet Du Fu into Scottish.



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