- Dusk, and: A Gift, and: Twilight
The pony kicks the stump in the stable,The fish thrashes in the basket,The dog barks in the yard,How they love and cherish themselves,The very source of pain,The still pulse of the moon,The ceaseless river. . .
The leaf, not resisting, falls,And when the wind
Spins it around again,It rustles, without resisting.
In its tiny wizened body, love breathesMore passionately than when on the tree.
Yes, I will not die,A gift from these leaves. [End Page 142]
When a child, from the riverbank:The sun a slow ember over water.Grown up, my entombment in itWill surely not hurtThe light well of my being.
Certainly I can live more delicately,Say, in an old urn on the wall stumpCovered by dried grass,A tiny eye in the lid of that container,That thin beam of twilight, dusk. [End Page 143]
Yang Jian 杨健 was born in Anhui province in 1967. His books include Ancient Bridge (2007) and Remorse (2009). His honors include the Liu Li'an Poetry Award, Rougang Poetry Prize, Yulong Poetry Prize, and the Chinese Literature Media Award.
Stephen Nashef was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and lives in Guangzhou, where he translates and writes. His translations have appeared in Pathlight and Tender Buds: 21st Century Chinese Poems, and he has written for the U.S. journal Chinese Literature and Culture. He is a founding editor of the UK poetry magazine Kaffeeklatsch.
Li Yongyi 李永毅 is a professor of English at Chongquing University. His books include Catullus' Carmina (2008), A Study of Catullus (2009), Selected Poems of Horace (2015), On the Art of Horace (2016), and The Complete Poetry of Horace (2017). He received the 2014–2017 Lu Xun Literature Prize for translation.