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  • Look What I Have
  • Li Nan (bio)
    Translated by Ming Di (bio) and Frank Stewart (bio)

I have anger that looks decent as black satin.I have patience that drips like water through stones.I have the hesitancy of a kind personwhen he or she occasionally lies.I have sadness and its twin daughters:one is called sorrowful and the other softhearted.I have the appearance of the poor,gestures of the rich.I have the quietness of a woman knitting a sweater,and wildness as when she stays in a farmhouse overnight.I pass under a suspension bridgewhere a clown is staging a performance.Look, death has seized me but I go my usual way,tasting a new wine while laughing.I have the temperament of a fool who's also lazy.I live in the field under an old eucalyptus tree.I have a singing voice deep and winding—no one dares take it, or anythingfrom me. [End Page 62]

Li Nan

Li Nan 李南 was born in 1952. He is a painter as well as a poet. His books include Meeting of the Swords (1977) and In Memory of My Mother (1978).

Ming Di

Ming Di 明迪 is a Chinese poet based in the U.S. She attended Boston College and Boston University, where she taught Chinese. She has published six books of poetry in Chinese along with a collaborative translation, River Merchant's Wife (2012). She co-translated The Book of Cranes by Zang Di (2015) with Neil Aitken, and Empty Chairs: Selected Poems by Liu Xia (2015) with Jennifer Stern, which was a finalist for the 2016 Best Translation Book Award. She edited and co-translated New Cathay: Contemporary Chinese Poetry (2013) and New Poetry from China 1917–2017 (2019). In 2013 and 2014, she received Henry Luce Foundation fellowships. A co-founder of Poetry East West journal, she serves as the China editor for Poetry International Rotterdam. She has also translates from English into Chinese, most recently Observations by Marianne Moore (2018).

Frank Stewart

Frank Stewart is a recipient of the Whiting Writers Award. His edited books include The Poem Behind the Poem: Translating Asian Poetry (2004). His translations, with Michelle Yeh, are included in Hawk of the Mind: Collected Poems of Yang Mu (2018). He has also translated I, Snow Leopard by Jidi Majia (2016); other translations have appeared in Chinese Poetry Today, World Literature Today, and Harvard Review On-line: "Omniglots."



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