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  • Return of the Exiles
  • Huang Fan (bio) and
    Translation from Chinese by Ming Di and Frank Stewart
    Translated by Ming Di (bio)

Before the sunrise, I already wanted to go home—back to the mind-winding streets,the rural town that's not quite not impolite.

Here I'm like a wounded soldier, missing my loved ones.I miss them from my wounds.I can't say that I love the old barren land, or lovethe disasters that circulate like currency.

I'm just an ant, knowing the craving of earth cracks for rain.I'm but a footprint, not afraid of taking a long walkon a road already long. I know spring has not yet arrived,only fake flowers are blooming.

I want to send myself back, like sending a plague back to myhometown where diseases break out one after another.I want to prepare for loneliness, never yearning for a reunionlike the mythological cowherd meeting with the weaving girlevery July 7. My wounds are not for compassions . . . [End Page 67]

Huang Fan

Huang Fan is a poet and fiction writer born in rural Hubei province, China. His books include the poetry collections Elegies of Nanjing and Selected Poems of a Decade, the novels The Floating Colors and Until Youth Disappears, and the short-story collection Girls' School Teacher. He received the Writer's Golden Prize for Short Story, Beijing Literary Prize for Poetry, Biennial China Houtian Culture and Art Prize, and Jinling Literary Prize for Poetry.

Frank Stewart

Frank Stewart is a poet, translator, and editor who has published four books of poetry and a book of nonfiction. His edited books include The Poem Behind the Poem: Translating Asian Poetry. His translations with Michelle Yeh are included in Hawk of the Mind: Collected Poems of Yang Mu; he has also translated I, Snow Leopard by Jidi Majia. His honors include a Whiting Award and the Hawai'i Award for Literature.

Ming Di

Ming Di is a Chinese poet, translator, and editor based in the U.S. She has published six books of poetry in Chinese, plus a collaborative translation, River Merchant's Wife. With Neil Aitken, she cotranslated Zang Di's The Book of Cranes, and with Jennifer Stern, Liu Xia's Empty Chairs: Selected Poems, a finalist for the 2016 Best Translated Book Award. She edited and cotranslated New Cathay: Contemporary Chinese Poetry and New Poetry from China 1917–2017. A recipient of Henry Luce Foundation fellowships, she is a cofounder of Poetry East West journal and the China editor for Poetry International Rotterdam.



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