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  • The Man Who Cuts Firewood for the Winter
  • Wang Jiaxin (bio)
    Translated by Ming Di (bio) and Frank Stewart (bio)

The man who cuts firewood for the winterbrings more life to usthan the low-lying sun.The man who cuts firewood for the winteris quick and precise with his hands—the way he cuts wood astonishes me.

As the cold weather approaches,the man who cuts firewoodis more patient than the season over his shoulder.He is calm and focused

—then the ax comes down. Even morethan a revolution, it prevents mefrom writing.

I look out and see him in the yardas he straightens up, thendeparts.I know he can survive the winter,more than the winter. [End Page 122]

Wang Jiaxin

Wang Jiaxin 王家新 was born in Danjiangkou, Hubei province, in 1957. His first collection of poems in English is Darkening Mirror: New and Selected Poems (2016). He is currently a professor of literature at Renmin University in Beijing.

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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